Hurricane season is upon us and like every year we are told to prepare for these massive storms. Hurricanes can produce dangerous conditions like winds in excess of 155 mph, tornadoes and microbursts, flying debris, heavy rainfall, storm surges, floods, mudslides, and more. Needless to say, they are not storms that should be taken lightly. Hurricane season starts in June and doesn’t in until the beginning of November, however, things really heat up in August and September. So don’t wait until there is a hurricane headed straight for the state of Florida to prepare.
- Keep supplies handy – Dedicate storage for a three-day supply of water, dried or canned food and other essentials. Check out FEMA’s emergency supply list. Having the right supplies is among the top hurricane season tips.
- Unplug electronics – By unplugging all your electronics you protect your home from surges. Even if you have a surge protector, the best way to protect against surges is to unplug your electronic devices.
- Check for leaks – Check doors, windows, and walls, such as areas where cables and pipes enter, for openings that could allow water to penetrate.
- Prepare for long-term outages – Consider purchasing a generator. It doesn’t have to be pricey, whole-house version. Even one that’s big enough to run a refrigerator and plug in a few essentials can really make life easier. Consider what you can’t live without if you were to be without electricity for a few days – such as a sump pump or well pump – and select a model that best fits your needs.
- Trim trees and shrubbery – Trim back any branches touching your home. If they rub your roof, they could pull parts of it off in a storm. Keep trees well pruned to allow wind to pass through with minimal damage and debris. Consider re-grading around trees to strengthen the ground and give roots something to cling to.
- Clean gutters – This could prevent potential roof damage and flooding inside your home.
- Clear clutter – Prevent items from flying off to Oz. Get rid of items you are no longer using, which can turn into projectiles. Bring lightweight outdoor items such as patio furniture, plants, toys, and trashcans inside.
- Secure your home – Highly recommended are window shutters, roof clips, and garage doors braces. Anchor fuel tanks as well. Ensure all items are professionally installed.
- Verify insurance coverage – Avoid the wind and water debate. Check your homeowner’s policy and purchase additional flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program to ensure you have adequate protection if necessary.
Do you have a plan?
You and your family should know (in advance) where to go when a storm comes. Make a plan now, including a safe evacuation route inland, the location of official shelters, and a safe off-site place to meet in the event you are separated. Don’t forget the necessary medications and emergency plans for pets as well! Heed these hurricane season tips and evacuate if you live in the following high-risk homes:
- Mobile or manufactured home
- On a coastline or offshore island
- Near a river or flood plain
- In a high-rise