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Clear your yard of loose objects that can become missiles. Move potted plants, hanging baskets, seedlings and cuttings inside.

Remove swings and tarps from swing sets. Tie down anything you can't bring in. Check again for loose rain gutters or moldings.

Stake small or newly planted trees to anchor them, tying them at various heights on the trunk. Pass ties through pieces of old garden hose to prevent trunk scarring and leave slack for some movement.

If you have time, try to prune shrubs and vines to one-half or more of their height to prevent permanent damage.

Check trees for any dead or broken branches or those sticking straight up or V-shaped. Cut them back to a main branch. Then thin the tree enough to let the wind pass through. Don't trim roots.

Watch for power lines as you trim.

Leaving trimmings at the curb will make them more dangerous than if you'd left them on the tree. Tie them and take them inside or remove them to where they won't be a danger.

Try to strip coconuts, but don't bother with citrus or other fruit. It will take up valuable time.

Go to the Emergency Preparedness Information page, on to Swimming Pools, or back to Pets.