Peak hurricane season is approaching and if you live on the coasts it’s a good time to think about how prepared you and your home are for a tropical storm. Hurricanes are devastating, unstoppable events, but there are steps you can take to ready yourself and your home. Here are few measures you should take when determining your best possible hurricane response.
Establish A Hurricane Plan
First off, know the emergency preparedness protocols in your community. Then you should create your own family plan. Determine a contact point so you can get in touch with worried relatives. Designate a meeting place in case your family becomes separated. Finally, locate the best escape routes from your neighborhood. Be prepared to leave quickly to beat the rush if an evacuation is ordered.
Have The Essentials On Hand
Create a hurricane survival kit that is also portable so you can take it with you if you have to leave. Stock up on the indispensable items you’ll need to ride out the storm. Have a three day supply of food and water on hand including canned goods (and of course a hand can opener), bottled water and other staples you don’t have to cook or refrigerate. Be sure to include other necessary supplies like flashlights, batteries, blankets, duct tape, tarps (for leaks) and a radio (hand crank if available).
Keep important documents with you. Passports, insurance policies, birth certificates etc. should be stored in a secure waterproof container. A first aid and medical kit is another essential item. Choose a first aid kit that includes latex gloves, painkillers, sterile dressing and antibiotic and burn ointments. Make sure to include any prescription medicines family members take too.
Secure Objects Around Your Home
Remove and store all loose objects on your lawn or deck. That include bikes, lawn and patio furniture, umbrellas; even your lawn gnomes. Hurricane winds can reach speeds of over 156 mph in the most severe storms, turning these items into flying battering rams. Storing objects before a storm hits reduces the likelihood of them turning into lethal debris.
Take Steps To Reduce Your Homes’ Susceptibility To The Storm
While there is no way to make your home completely hurricane-proof there are steps you can take to reduce the severity of storm damage. Windows are one of the weakest points in your home. While ideally you have storm shutters, sheets of plywood can be used to protect your windows too.
Gutters are also particularly vulnerable. It’s very important to make sure all debris is cleaned from your gutters prior to the hurricane’s approach. Hurricanes bring torrential rainfall causing your clogged gutters to overflow. This water has a tendency seep down to your foundation where it eventually floods your basement. Water can also leak in through the ceiling and walls causing thousands of dollars in damage. Keep your gutters clean or, better yet, invest in gutter guards. Gutter guards prevent debris like twigs and leaves from getting in your gutter in the first place, ensuring you’re always prepared.
There is a good chance they’ll come a time when you have to decide whether to stay or leave. Have access to the information you’ll need to make the right decision. Find out if you can sign up for email or text alerts from local authorities in the event a mandatory evacuation is ordered. Stay updated on the storm’s status-via a battery or crank operated radio if the power should go out. Know where the closet shelter is.
Take these steps and you and your family will be as ready for a hurricane as you can be.
Peter Bruzzini is a home improvement, roofing and gutters expert and loves to share his knowledge with the blogosphere.
- Four Safety Items That Your Home Should Never Be Without (olgerfallaspainting.com)
- 2012 Hurricane Season Begins Today: Are You Ready? (mix1051.cbslocal.com)
- Hurricane App Debuts For Free from the American Red Cross (ehssafetynews.com)