Even if you live hundreds of miles from any coastline, it pays to be prepared during hurricane season. More than once, changing weather conditions have turned storms inland, surprising non-coastal residents with power outages, flooding, and costly property damage. Fortunately, today’s advanced tracking technology provides us with plenty of warning whenever a tropical storm begins forming out at sea. By the time a depression spins into a full-blown Category 1 or higher, there are no excuses for being caught unprepared. As a homeowner, there are steps to take that can ease the impact of these powerful storms.
The Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1st and ends on November 30th. That means that your storm preparations should be in place by June 1st. here is a quick checklist:
- Compile a list of all important phone numbers, such as your property insurance company, utility offices, physician, local TV and radio stations, tree removal services, and the local emergency management office.
- Secure all of your important papers and documents in a fireproof box or safety deposit box. Have copies made in case you have to evacuate.
- Keep prescriptions filled.
- Take the necessary steps to ensure that your pets have somewhere to go in case of evacuation. Pets are not allowed at storm shelters.
- Have a three-day supply of nonperishable food and water on hand. If you live in a hurricane prone area, avoid stocking up on too many groceries that require refrigeration, unless you have a generator.
- Clean out your storm drains and gutters. Torrential rain from a storm could create big problems later on down the road such as leaks, mold, and mildew.
- Have any dead limbs or trees removed from your property. Consider taking out trees that would pose a threat to your home should they snap and break in a storm.
- Make a mental note of which outside objects would need to be secured in case of a hurricane. Have a plan for where outdoor furniture, bird feeders, planters, and grills will be stowed.
- Know the evacuation routes.
- Check on the first aid supplies. Be aware that the most common injuries after a hurricane involve cuts, scrapes, and bee stings.
- If you have a chain saw, service it and then familiarize yourself with how to safely operate it. Unfortunately, chain saw accidents are a very prevalent component of hurricane cleanup.
- Make sure to have enough flashlights, batteries, and candles for one week without electricity.
- If you do not have storm shutters, have plywood cut for your home’s windows. Predrill the holes for easy installation and make sure to label which pieces fit which windows.
For more ideas on how to be as prepared as possible visit this site: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php
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