With storm safety prevalent in everyone’s minds, now is an ideal time to begin planning for potentially devastating weather. Early preparation provides a crucial opportunity to stock up on supplies and make your home ready for impending high winds and heavy rains.
Start Preparing Small Items
Go over your insurance policies to ensure you have adequate coverage for the damage caused by hurricanes. Understand your coverage as regards water damage, wind damage, and flooding. If you have questions, ask your insurance agent for more details.
Pack a storm safety kit to keep important necessities in easy reach. Useful items can include:
- A first-aid kit Medical supplies, such as prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Flashlights and extra batteries. Look at crank-up models of flashlight if you’d prefer not to store batteries.
- A portable radio, either with extra batteries, or with a crank for charging.
- Three days of ready-to-eat, non-perishable food.
- A manual can opener.
- One gallon of drinking water per person, per day for three days.
- A fireproof, waterproof container for vital papers
- Extra keys
- Cash for emergency use
- Spare clothes and blankets
Preparing Your Home
Your home represents one of the greatest financial and emotional investments you can make. Hurricanes can cause heavy structural damage, which can not only cost you in repairs required and time spent. A home without proper storm safety measures can threaten the well-being of those who ride out the storm within it. If you do not have hurricane shutters, consider boarding your windows. The windows are a highly vulnerable part of the structure, prone to cracking or shattering. Purchase plywood for guarding doors and windows. Most home improvement stores will cut sheets of wood to your specified size for free.Evaluate the trees on your property for their soundness and ability to withstand a high wind storm. Trim problematic branches that might blow off and cause damage to your home, or a neighbor’s home. If high or heavy branches are too dangerous for you to remove yourself, contact a professional tree trimming service for assistance. Stock up on important home items. Because seasonal storms may knock out power, consider the purchase of an emergency generator. Safely store fuel for the generator and family vehicles in case of need.
Preparing Your Family
Particularly powerful storms may call for an evacuation of the area. Create an emergency evacuation plan, and go over it with all family members in your home. Homeowners with small children may even wish to practice the plan so younger people will feel comfortable executing the plan. Notify friends or family who live outside the hurricane area of what your evacuation plans are. You may wish to entrust willing individuals with copies of a video and photos cataloging your personal property and the contents of your home for safe keeping in a separate location. Another alternative is taking digital video and pictures, and storing them in a secure, cloud-based storage service online. Be certain everyone understands what to do when a storm hits. Establish safe areas for waiting out the weather. Know where to tune the radio for updates, and go over when it is safe to emerge from the safe spots in the home. Because a sudden silence in winds may indicate the eye of the hurricane passing over, and because tornadoes often follow hurricanes, it is not always safe to come out when the winds die down.
SafeTouch wants to help keep your family secure. While you make storm safety preparations this season, think about upgrading your home’s security system.