Published on February 27th, 2015 | by Jacks0
Preparing Your Home for Storm Season
Hurricanes can reach speeds of over 155 mph! Strong winds, heavy rain, and flying debris can cause major damage to your property and your home.
Hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th, take some time to prepare for the storms before they arrive.
Preparing Your Home
Hurricanes can severely damage or destroy anything in their path in a short amount of time. Preparing your home can minimize damage and possibly even save it from becoming a total wreck. It is recommended to start preparation before storm season approaches so your home is ready when the storms hit. Keeping your belongings and your house safe during a hurricane is essential, follow these guidelines to prepare your home:
- Install storm shutters on your windows or buy plywood that is at least 3/4 inch thick. Make sure they are cut to fit your windows and ready to be installed on short notice.
- Install Hurricane Straps to your roof. These are brackets that are designed to give your roof more support in the event of strong winds.
- Keep rain gutters and downspouts clear throughout the duration of storm season.
- Winds can blow out garage doors causing structural damage to your house. Make sure they are reinforced before storm season hits.
Preparing Your Property
Loose limbs, outdoor furniture, gravel and other outdoor objects can become flying dangers in the middle of a hurricane. Anything outside that is not tied down has the possibility of being thrown by the strong winds into your house or someone else’s. Keep your property and your house safe by following these simple guidelines:
- All outdoor furniture, toys, garbage cans, decorations, display racks, and any other loose objects must be moved to a safe location inside or tied down.
- Keep tree branches and shrubs trimmed to offer more resistance to the high winds.
- Access your property for flood plains and hazardous landscape.
- Remove trees or tree limbs that are dead or damaged to decrease the chance of flying debris.
Preparing Your Generator
Your generator could be your lifeline during a hurricane or a strong storm. High winds and damaging rain can cause power lines to come down leaving people without electricity for days or even weeks. Servicing your generator to keep it up-to-date and ready for the storms can help avoid a lot of frustrations when you lose your power.
Performing preventative maintenance on your generator at the beginning of every storm season, and before, and after every use keeps your generator ready for any power outage. Test your generator every few weeks during storm season to minimize the risk of your generator not working in the middle of a storm. Keep an extra supply of gas, oil and other generator parts in case you are out of power for an extended period of time.
Creating a Disaster Kit
The storms hit and your power went out. Do you know when it will be turned back on or even if it will be turned back on today?
When hurricanes hit, people are often left without electricity and necessities for an extended period of time. Gathering food, extra clothes and other supplies is a good way to prepare for an extended power outage.
Create a list of essentials you cannot live without and store in a bag or box at the beginning of storm season in an easy to reach place. Follow these guidelines to create a successful "disaster kit."
- Non-perishable food items and utensils
- First aid kit, including prescription medication
- One gallon of drinking water per person for 3 days
- Fill bath tubs and sinks with enough water for sanitary purposes
- Portable radio with batteries
- A tool kit including basic tools
- Flashlights with new batteries
- Extra clothing
- Rain Gear Clothing: sturdy shoes, season appropriate clothing, and ponchos
- Blankets and sleeping bags
- Important documents and information in a watertight box or safe
- Pet supplies, if applicable
- Sufficient amount of cash to last a week
Evacuate or Stay?
The choice to leave the area or stay is completely up to you unless a mandatory evacuation is put in place, then you are recommended to leave the area immediately. In preparation of the event of a mandatory or by choice evacuation make sure you have a full tank of gas, create an evacuation bag that would be similar to your Disaster Kit, and be prepared to leave quickly.
If there is not a mandatory evacuation and you choose to stay, follow some important guidelines. Keep your disaster and first aid kits close, stay informed about the upcoming weather, and create an evacuation plan, if need be. Always be prepared with charged cell phones, an all-weather radio and plans for different emergency situations.
Are You Ready For the Storm?
Hurricanes and harsh storms can bring on dangerous conditions. Being prepared in advance can save you time, damage and injury during the storm. Stay informed about the upcoming weather and follow safety procedures when the storm hits to keep yourself and your home safe during the storm.