We dodged a bullet with Erika, but we're about to reach the statistical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season (Sept. 10).

Last week, it appeared as if then-Tropical Storm Erika could hit Florida. Jill, from Melbourne Beach, writes in:

If I were to evacuate, I would like to be prepared. What kind of items do I need in my car?

There are several items you should have in your vehicle in the event of a major storm impacting Central Florida.

First, some pretty basic things: insurance information, a phone charger, a flashlight and cash to fill up the gas tank or for other emergencies. It's also a good idea to make sure your air conditioning works.

There are some other things you might want to bring, as well:

  • Water
  • Cooler with ice
  • Nonperishable snacks
  • Toiletries
  • Clothing
  • Blankets and pillows

It might also be good to include some distractions, like music, cards and games. Also, bring toilet paper, medications and basic items for your pet (if you have pets).

If you want to be even more prepared, bring your health insurance information, a copy of your homeowners' or renters' policy, a certificate of vaccination for your pets and photos of your house so you can prove damage to your insurance company.

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