It is no doubt frightening facing the idea that during a hurricane you may lose your home. However, one of the most important things about emergency preparedness is understanding and learning how to protect our living spaces and possessions we have worked so hard for.
Before a storm is declared and to avoid the rush:
- Purchase plywood at least 5/8" thick.
- Purchase water and canned food
- Do not tape windows. Taping windows is a myth and will most likely cause glass to shatter in the most dangerous places.
- Check the caulk around windows and doors, checking for any cracks or airflow and seal them if found.
- Fill all vehicles' gas tanks.
- Make sure that your insurance policy is up to date to make sure you are properly covered.
- Take an inventory of your home. The easiest way to do so is to take photos of the outside of the home and items inside, as it makes it much easier to apply for disaster aid after the storm if you need it.
- Save and backup any important files to a cloud service before the power or WiFi drops. If you can, keep and use a USB drive with backups as well.
- Clean up and empty your yard. All items from toys, decorations as well as patio or outdoor furniture in the yard or on your porch should be brought inside.
- Cut down all dead trees or branches.
- Brace every opening, including your garage doors. Bracing your garage door to keep it from failing may keep the rest of the house from depressurizing.
- Have waterproof and air-tight containers and keep your most important documents as well as a first-aid kit and nonperishable foods in them. Flooding can be likely during a very bad storm, having a waterproof duffel bag or backpack with airtight containers to hold important items can keep your crucial valuables safe. Find a location above the water level to safely store or carry them on you. Do not store valuables in an attic, because blown roofs can result in flooded attics.
Be smart and be safe this hurricane season and secure your home and belongings before a storm.