Hurricanes are quite hazardous, to say the least, and cause major damage due to flooding, storm surges, and strong winds. Your home is one, if not your largest investment. It’s your sanctuary and a place of safety. It only makes sense that you take whatever precautions necessary to prepare your home for a hurricane. In Florida, we have a few days to prepare for hurricanes and that gives us just enough time to batten down the hatches and take whatever precaution we can to ensure our homes are relatively unscathed after the storm. Here are a few tips to prepare your home for a hurricane in advance.
What’s Your Plan?
Hurricane season begins on June 1st and ends November 30th in the Atlantic. So before the hurricane season starts, be sure to have a few things ready and squared away just in case. There are somethings you can always have prepared in case of a hurricane.
- Create a copy of emergency phone numbers and keep them where easily accessible. Of course, you’re thinking you can just use your cell phone, but if the power goes out and your phone dies, it’s a good idea to have a few numbers ready in case you borrow someone neighbor’s phone.
- Prepare an emergency supply kit that you can use during the hurricane and in case the power goes out for an extended period. The Department of Homeland Security has a great guide to creating an emergency kit.
- Will you continue to nonperishable canned and dry foods throughout the year? Purchasing these goods at the last minute can be difficult, especially when all the stores are packed with other shoppers who are making last-minute purchases.
- Find the nearest shelter and various routes that you can take if you need to evacuate from your home. This is important particularly if shelter locations are not yet identified in your area.
- Prepare your home for gale-force winds and flooding. Hurricane shutters and sandbags will make a huge difference. Consider installing hurricane impact windows on the offseason.
Be sure to prepare your home for a hurricane in advance if possible. The more you can take care of before the storm is identified, the better.
Purchase the Necessary Emergency Supplies
It is essential to prepare emergency supplies to keep your family healthy and safe. Hurricanes are devastating that it may cut off your power and water supply. Likewise, because roads are blocked or flooded, you will find it impossible to drive, aside from the potential damage to your car.
- Nonperishables including canned and dry foods.
- Backup batteries to charge cellphones.
- First aid kit
- Toilet paper
- Moist towelettes
- Garbage bags
- Dish soap
- Aluminum foil
- Paper towels
- Paper plates and cups
- Plastic utensils
- Food storage bags or containers
- Tool kit
- Mosquito Repellent
- Rain gear
- Plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
- Lighter fluid
- Manual can opener
- Strike-anywhere matches
- Pet Supplies
These hurricane supplies should not replace your emergency kit but rather supplement or add to it.
Review your insurance policies
Be sure to look into your insurance policy and check what is covered. You can upgrade your coverage before the storm, but you must hurry. Some home insurance companies will not allow you to upgrade coverage until the policy ends or during hurricane season. If you have to dispute your insurance coverage because your home suffered, be sure to contact a hurricane damage lawyer as soon as possible. You are entitled to receive compensation to repair your home and an experienced attorney may be your best option to ensure you are fully covered.
Get Your Transportation Ready
Once you have prepared your home for a hurricane, and before the storm hits, ensure that your car is ready to travel.
- Fill the gas tank
- Move your vehicles into your garage or under a shelter
- Keep an emergency kit inside your car
If you don’t have a car, you can make plans with family or friends or call authorities if you are unable to organize transportation for an evacuation.
Get Your Family and Pets Ready
- Review your emergency plan with your family
- Check for updates about the storm from the TV, radio, or online
- For special needs, you may call the police, hospital, or public health department
- Keep pets and farm animals in a secured location or read more about pet safety during an emergency
Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane
Don’t wait for the hurricane to come to your place. Make sure to get prepared during the hurricane season. Here are several tips you can follow to prepare your home for a hurricane.
- Keep supplies handy
- Unplug any electronic equipment, even if you have a surge protector
- Check for possible leaks
- Prepare for long-term power outages
- Trim branches of trees touching your home or rubbing against the roof
- Clean the gutters
- Clean clutter in your surroundings
- Secure your home by keeping window shutters, roof clips, and garage door braces are well maintained
- Verify the insurance coverage of your home
If the hurricane intensity does not prompt you to evacuate, you may stay at home for the duration of the storm. Otherwise, you need to get ready to leave your home if the condition worsens. And so, it is important to have your supplies ready when the need arises.
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