Preparing Your Home for Hurricane Season 2014
The most pressing concern for hurricane season preparedness is preserving life. People in hurricane zones should know the evacuation routes and shelter locations. Do not ignore evacuation orders and if there is a registration process for immobile or people who cannot evacuate themselves, register. Individuals should have first aid and disaster kits prepared for any emergency. These kits should include water, flashlights, batteries and a battery-powered radio.
To stay prepared throughout the season, residents should keep their gas tanks filled to at least half-full. They should also keep cash on hand for emergencies. Small denominations are better than large notes. Generators should be ran and allowed to carry a significant load to ensure there are no issues. This should be a monthly ritual throughout the season. All homeowners should purchase flood insurance. This is true for residents who live outside of floodplains also. Flood insurance for natural disasters is not in normal residential insurance coverage. A homeowner should call their local government or check out online flood plain information, to make sure they know if they are at risk to flood or not.
Preparation When Your Home is in the Path of a Hurricane
Homes should be prepared by closing shutters or boarding up windows. Trees and shrubs that are near residences should be trimmed and rain gutters and down spouts should be functional. Photos should be taken of all property and inventoried in pre-storm condition. This includes all valuables inside and out. This information is valuable and should be stored in a storm proof safe along with other valuables, like jewelry and some electronics. Young trees can be uprooted and should be tied down. Grills and other outdoor equipment, toys and furniture need to be brought indoors. Prepare emergency kits or reinforce the kits that have been previously prepared. Check batteries and radio functions, as well as, flashlight operation. Remember to store valuable documents in waterproof containers before securing them away. If there are outdoor propane tanks, they should be turned off. Run water in tubs in case it is needed for flushing directly after the storm. It’s also important to keep up with the latest information on the storm track and where it’s going. You can do so, via the news, or you can go online to the National Hurricane’s center website (or add them on Facebook) to get the latest tracks, computer model runs, and much more.
Steps to Take During the Storm
There should be an effort to stay informed by the television if possible, but local radio stations will be broadcasting pertinent information. Keep blinds and curtains closed, and stay away from all glass doors and windows. Turn refrigerators and freezers to the lowest settings, and avoid opening doors to any of these appliances. Stay indoors and use the phone for emergencies only. People should stay in interior rooms and at the lowest levels in the home, and keep all interior doors closed.
After the storm, residents should not wander out until they know that there are no imminent dangers, like downed power lines. If residents evacuated, they should not return until they are informed that returning is safe and possible. They should also stay off roads until they are deemed passable by the appropriate authorities. After the danger has abated, residents should inspect their home and properties for damage and safety issues. When returning home, check for the smell of gas, fire and water danger before entering the home. The best advice is to stay vigilant for danger and perils, and prepare to stay put until roads and utilities have returned to some semblance of normalcy.
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