Answering 5 common questions in preparing for Dorian

Christian Smith is with the Red Cross is here to tell you where you can go if you have to evacuate and how to get help if you can't go home right away after a storm hits.

With so much uncertainty about Hurricane Dorian's track, the entire state of Florida is in preparation mode.

Christian Smith with the Red Cross offers answers to the most common questions asked as Floridians prepare for a hurricane.

What are the bare minimum items you need in your hurricane kit?

  • Food and water
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Copies of all your important papers
  • Backup batteries for cellphones and other tools
  • Prescription and eyeglasses

PRINTABLE: Hurricane supplies checklist

What items might I not be thinking about for my kit?

  • Extra clothes
  • Things for children to do (books and games)
  • Each kit is unique based on the family
  • Put it together now while it's still calm and beautiful outside

RELATED: Finalize your hurricane kit. What are you forgetting?

Can I stay or do I need to evacuate?

  • Heed your emergency warnings
  • Know your house and the area around it (do you feel comfortable staying if you're not in an evacuation zone?)
  • If you need to evacuate, consider where you will go: shelter, friends and family, or somewhere else
  • If you need a special needs shelter, register with the city now

IMPORTANT: Know your flood/evacuation zone

Can I take my pet with me?

  • Some shelters in Jacksonville are designated to allow pets (check
  • Check the requirements for bringing your pet
  • It's not a drop-off situation -- you have to stay with your pet

RELATED: How to prepare your pet for a storm

How do I prepare my home?

  • Walk around your house and do an inventory
  • Trim your trees back
  • Clean your gutters out
  • Remove debris (even garbage cans and flower pots) that could become airborne
  • Board up if it's necessary
  • Every home is unique to personal needs

WATCH: What to know about portable generators

About the Author:

Jennifer, who anchors The Morning Shows and is part of the I-TEAM, loves working in her hometown of Jacksonville.