Is Your Home Hurricane Ready?
Hurricane season has begun... are you ready for it? The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1 - November 30, although occasionally storms develop before or after the official season dates.
Supplies tend to run out quickly once the forecast predicts a hurricane heading in our direction. It is important to make some basic preparations beforehand, just in case.
- Prepare a Storm Kit Your kit should allow you and your family to get through 3 - 7 days without electricity and basic services. This kit should include flashlights, whistles, pillows and blankets, weather-appropriate clothing, garbage bags, emergency radio, batteries, first aid kit, multi-purpose tool, cash, and 3 - 7 days worth of food and water. Have no less than one gallon of water per person, per day. Don't forget about pets - make sure you have enough food and water, plus a crate, for them too.
- Fill Gas Containers If you have a generator, remember that it will need fuel. A 5,500-watt will generator will use about 5 gallons of gas for every eight hours it is running. Be sure to think about how much fuel you will need for an extended power outage.
- Prepare Your Yard During a storm, outdoor furniture and toys can easily become flying projectiles. Prior to any storms, take inventory of your yard and throw away/sell/store any items that you don't use on a routine basis. Before a storm, move any unsecured items into your home or garage; if you can't move something indoors, tie it down with a strong rope to keep it secure.
- Locate Water, Gas, and Electricity Shut Offs Familiarize yourself with the location of water, gas, and electricity shut offs before a storm is even in the forecast.
- Prepare Windows and Doors If your home already has hurricane shutters, make sure they are in working condition and be sure that you have all the parts and pieces necessary for installation. If your home does not have hurricane shutters, make a plan for covering your windows and doors. If you are thinking about plywood, get it now, rather than taking the risk of it being unavailable when you need it.
- Evacuation Plan Finally, it's a good idea to have an evacuation plan for you, your family, and your pet(s). Pick two locations that you could choose from in case evacuation is necessary. Gather all insurance documents and other important papers that you will bring with you if you have to evacuate.