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Jake Owen doesn’t live in Florida anymore. But if he did, he’d know just what to do to stay out of Hurricane Irene’s way. “Growing up in Florida, you seem to watch the Weather Channel all the time,” he told CMT Radio. “You just don’t know when something’s coming. You’ve gotta start packing, not only your clothes and everything to head out and go to get some refuge, but you’ve gotta board up your windows on the house. It’s just a big pain, so hurricanes are just not fun at all, and they’re really devastating.” Owen is right about packing up everything — especially in the case of Irene, which has forced people into some mandatory evacuations along the East Coast. But if you don’t have to leave your home, you do need to do what Owen says to protect it.
And here’s what the government recommends: Cover your windows with pre-cut ply wood or hurricane shutters, bring in everything outside that isn’t tied down, turn off utilities and propane tanks, reinforce your garage door and so on. As of right now, Irene’s full of 100 mph winds and 9-foot waves, so please do everything to stay out of her way. Nature is a mother.