Dear Readers: Hurricane season has just begun — it runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. Will your family have to deal with the flooding, high winds and rain that can come with a major storm? Now is the time to prepare!

According to the National Hurricane Center, every family should have a disaster plan. If a hurricane strikes, you should know ahead of time the best place to ride out the storm. If you don't evacuate, which rooms are the safest? What's the best escape route? Have a prearranged meeting place picked out, and be sure everyone knows how to get there.

For your pets, take along leashes, carriers, vaccination certificates and enough food and water for several days.

Fill a large, plastic tote with nonperishable foods, drinks and snacks to last three to seven days. Add a hand can opener, paper plates and plastic utensils.

Another tote could hold clothing, blankets and pillows, toiletries, medicines, prescription drugs, diapers, etc.

Be sure to have extra batteries for flashlights and radios. Charge all cell phones and fill the car's tank with gas. It's also a good idea to have some cash handy, since ATMs might not work. Being prepared can make all the difference. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: When you are framing a picture with a new frame or reframing an older picture, always clean the glass first. Frames gather dust on both the inside and outside of the glass. This is very true with store-purchased frames. Also, frames you have had out for years always need cleaning, too, on both sides of the glass. Makes a big difference! — Darvin Jemming, Thermopolis, Wyo.

Dear Heloise: I read the hint about putting the liquid-laundry-detergent measuring cup inverted on a washcloth and had to write. I saved the cap from an empty bottle of liquid laundry detergent and use that to measure. Then I simply toss the cap in with the load of laundry. The soap has been measuring perfectly, and there is no sticky residue in the cap. — Laura Pipitone, Roseville, Calif.

Dear Heloise: The center of my back gets dry and itchy, but it is hard to reach it to properly apply lotion. I appropriated a smooth, never-used wooden spatula from my kitchen. I squirt a little lotion on its wide end and comfortably spread the lotion on my back. No more itching! — M.O., via e-mail

Dear Heloise: When transporting handicapped people in your vehicle, put a large garden trash bag on the seat, and it will be easier for them to get in and out, as it slides very easily. — Barbara Godar, Akron, Ohio

Dear Heloise: I position a blanket on the bed, put a stitch in each bottom corner, which helps the blanket line up perfectly. — Kay Lewis, Dallas

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 1-210-435-6473 or e-mail it to Heloise I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column. © King Features Syndicate Inc.