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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Be Ready For Hurricanes

By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff

Hurricanes bring several threats from high winds and storm surges to tornadoes and flooding. What can you do to prepare for such a potentially devastating event? The simple answer is to plan as early as now.

Think Ahead

Don't wait for the hurricane season before you come up with a disaster plan for your family. Find out how vulnerable your home is against hurricane hazards. There are online sites where you can get this information. Determine the safest place in your home for the different hurricane threats such as flooding or winds. Think about adding a safe room to your home.

Locate the escape routes from your house and decide on a meeting place. Think about several places where you can meet in case the first one is not accessible; for instance, if it was flooded, too. Designate a friend or a relative who resides outside your state as the single contact for your entire family. In addition, think about where you can go should there be a need for you to evacuate your home. Make sure everyone in the family is aware of the disaster plan.

If you have young children, teach them how to dial 911 and when to call. Post this number and other emergency phone numbers near your phones or program them into cell phones. Check your homeowner's insurance coverage because flood damage is typically not covered in standard policies. It would also be a good idea to take classes on disaster preparedness, First Aid and CPR.

Prepare a Hurricane Supply Kit

A hurricane supply kit contains everything that a person will need to survive for a week following a hurricane disaster whether you are stranded in your home or forced out of it. Some of the things to include in a hurricane supply kit are: water and food to last everyone in the family for 7 days, pillows and blankets, clothing, first aid kit and medicines, toiletries, flashlight and batteries, battery-operated radio, cell phone with a fully-charged battery, cash, keys, important documents, tools, and toys for children.

Secure Your Property

There are several things you can do to reinforce your home and minimize damage. The areas of a home that are the most vulnerable against strong winds and flying debris are the roof, windows and doors. One thing you can do is to install permanent storm shutters on your windows or prepare cut marine plywood for boarding up your windows. Also, consider installing straps to your roof to fasten it to the frame and minimize roof damage.

As the Storm Approaches

When preparing for an approaching storm, here are some things you must do:

  • Trim trees and shrubs surrounding your home.
  • Clear the yard of any debris that the wind can throw at your house.
  • Declog rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Secure all doors, shutters and windows. Consider a board-up service if your home is not retrofitted. Don't forget to secure vehicles like boats and trailers to the safest place in your area. Keep cars and scooters in the garage.
  • Make sure to fill your car's fuel tank and, if you have a portable generator, make sure you have enough fuel to run that, too.

Lastly, monitor hurricane conditions. A hurricane is possible in your area within 36 hours if it was mentioned in a Hurricane Watch, but if a Hurricane Warning is issued for your area, you can expect a hurricane within 24 hours. Prepare for the possibility of evacuation before either alert is issued.

Recommended Reading
Preparing for Hurricane Season

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