My parents always taught me that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. While they were usually focused on making sure I avoided things like breaking windows when throwing a lacrosse ball against the side of the house (while scared my dad would never let me see the light of day again, I was secretly impressed with how far I was able to send the shattered glass through the house), the axiom holds true with the impending hurricane season.

June 1 officially kicks off the hurricane season, and if that wasn’t enough to get your hurricane preparedness started, then perhaps Tropical Storm Alberto will. Alberto formed off the coast of South Carolina, which is interesting not only because of how early it formed, but also because of the location at which it originated. While most experts agree that the storm is anomalous, remember that most experts felt the terrible hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005 were anomalous as well. This early storm does not necessarily mean a busier than normal hurricane season, but it should remind us all that Mother Nature can be unpredictable.

Thankfully, Alberto has barely affected the coastal areas of the Southeast. Take the time now, before the hurricane season gets in full swing, to go through your checklists from years past to ensure you have necessities such as batteries and bottled water. If you build up a supply now, you won’t have to fight the crowds when a hurricane is only days away and you can even spread the costs out a bit.

If you don’t have a checklist, the American Red Cross provides a checklist: