Hurricane Preparedness, Are YOU ready?
As of June 1, the 2021 Hurricane Season kicked off and AGAIN forecasters are calling for another above-average season. If you're a native like me, you know that hurricane preparedness has become more and more challenging when you're in the 24 hour window prior to the storms impact: grocery stores become bare, gas station lines will run for miles, water and batteries become scarce. If it's your home or your business, we must prepare BEFORE the storm so that we are safe during and even after a hurricane makes landfall. Preparedness is crucial to your safety and well-being of your property, family and friends.
While we cannot stop the disasters from happening, we can prepare ourselves to survive another busy storm season.
PREPARE TO PROTECT
With winds of over 155 mph and hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage to coastlines and several hundred miles inland. They can also lead to storm surges along the coast and cause extensive damage from heavy rainfall. The No. 1 priority is to ensure the safety of your family and the protection of your home. It is also important to ensure you have all of your documents electronically and emergency kits available.
Here are some additional top storm tips for homeowners:
Ensure you have an electronic copy of your insurance policy to take with you in case your original copy is destroyed. Take before photos of ALL assets.
Build an emergency supply kit and make a family communication plan.
Make a plan: Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate, also have a secondary route.
Know the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone to best protect against the likelihood of storm surge or tidal flooding.
Be sure all trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant when the storm hits. Vegetation can fall on power lines causing safety issues and restoration of your home’s power even more complicated.
Make sure to cover all your home’s windows - permanent storm shutters are best! A second option would be to board up windows with 5/8-inch marine plywood, which would need to be cut to fit and ready to install. Remember: Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and down spots; flooding is dangerous and expensive.
Ahead of the storm reaching landfall, ensure all outdoor furniture, décor, garbage and recycling cans are moved to a safe place indoors. Any items not tied down ahead of a storm can become a projectile causing severe damage to person or property.
Where's the supplies?!
As part of your storm season prep, ensure you have an emergency supply kit available and accessible in your home. Essentials include water — at least one gallon per person daily, most storms can cause outages for 3+ days; adequate non-perishables; battery-powered flashlights, and batteries; adequate medicines and filled prescriptions; and finally, copies of important documents such as insurance policies and identification records.
AFTER THE STORM
Following a major storm or another catastrophe, BE SAFE by checking your surroundings and protecting yourself and family from downed lines and hazardous conditions. Once safe, take photos of the damaged areas, as they will help you in the event you should need to file a insurance claim. Try your best to prevent further damage and only make minor repairs if necessary.