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Preparing for Hurricane Season
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
For about six months out of the year, from June to November, the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast of the United States is in the crosshairs of almost every tropical depression that forms in the Atlantic basin. We watch and wait as these severe weather events form, eventually blowing themselves out, proceeding on a course that keeps them well out to sea, or in a worst case scenario, embarks on a path straight toward the US mainland.
The damage caused by hurricanes can easily reach into the billions of dollars, with some areas of Florida still showing scars and damage from storms that occurred five or six years ago. Although recent hurricane seasons have been relatively mild, Hurricane Irene (2011) vividly reminded everyone of the threat presented any time a hurricane makes landfall.
What You Can Do to Prepare
If there is good news, it is that most of these storms come with ample warning, giving residents in their path time to prepare. If you live in an area that is prone to hurricane activity, read these tips because making the right decisions now can save your life later on.
Have A Family Plan.
Familiarize yourself with the storm threat most likely to affect your family and plan accordingly. Have your evacuation route planned, as well as an out-of-state family or other contact so that loved ones can be sure that you are okay. If other family members live nearby, have a predetermined place to meet outside the evacuation zone.
Have A Disaster Supply Kit.
If you have to evacuate, chances are you will be gone for a period of several days. Have a "go bag" prepared for each family member, well stocked with changes of clothes, cash, non-perishable food items, bottled water, any important documents such as insurance cards, identification, and first aid supplies. Donít forget to take along supplies for your pets during this time.
Equip Your Home.
Installing storm shutters, reinforcing doors and garage doors, and having plywood available to board up windows in the event of a storm are all suggested. If you find yourself in a storm's path, move all exterior furniture and other loose items to an indoor location. Hurricane force winds may turn a lawn chair into an airborne missile. Roofs should be reinforced to withstand strong winds.
Secure A Water Restoration Professional.
It may seem ridiculous to contact a company when there isn't a cloud in the sky, but you have to think of it like car insurance Ė something you get but hope you'll never need. Once the damage is done, you need someone you can call quickly because water damage needs to be promptly treated in order to avoid more serious problems.
The ideal candidate should be certified, available 24/7, and offer same-day emergency service. They will offer a full range of services, including water removal, carpet cleaning, mold remediation, and restoration. All work will be guaranteed, and they will be able to work with your insurance directly. Get the professionals in place and be ready for the storm when it comes.
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