The most important thing you can do as hurricane season comes to an end is to get yourself, your family, and your home prepared for next season. By starting early, you’ll avoid the rush at home supply stores and grocery stores, which are typically crowded and often chaotic when hurricane watches and warnings are issued.
Here are some basic tips on how to stay prepared for the next hurricane:
Make a Plan
- Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation routes to take and have a plan for where you can stay.
- Have a disaster supply kit ready to go. This includes a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate.
- Make a family emergency communication plan. Cell phones and long range walkie talkies are perfect for this.
- Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. If you need help, try searching the internet for your town with the words “alerts or emergency information.”
- Consider buying flooding insurance if you live in an area that is known to flood each season.
Preparing Your Home
- High-speed winds can cause branches and even trees to fall. Before hurricane season, trim or remove damaged and risky looking trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
- Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows, and doors, including the garage doors.
- Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture, and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
After a Hurricane
- Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
- Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
- Avoid floodwater as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines and may hide dangerous debris or places where the ground is washed away.
- Photograph the damage to your property in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.
- Early attention to risks and planning can avoid great inconvenience or even tragedy later. These guidelines will help to prepare you for Hurricanes and other emergencies throughout the year by staying ahead of hurricane season.