If you live in a coastal area, the thought of hurricane season probably sends a shiver down your spine. It cannot only lead to high winds and heavy rain, but you might endure storm surges or tornadoes that can cause flooding and property damage.
Rather than allowing your family home to bear the brunt of what is expected to be a busy season until November 30, there are steps you can take to prepare for a potential hurricane.
Create a Plan
It is vital to have a plan at the ready if you’re forced to evacuate due to a potential hurricane. For example, you must identify the nearest shelters and turn off all utilities before you leave your home.
You also should pick a meeting place for your family members, should the worse happen. Plus, you could select a single point of contact for every family member. If you have one or more pets, create a plan on how to evacuate them quickly.
Protect Your Property
If you’ve ever experienced hurricane-force winds, you’ll know they can turn tall trees and landscape materials into weapons. Unfortunately, this can lead to broken windows and doors that will allow rain to enter the property and destroy your home.
To protect your property during hurricane season, you can:
- Trim large trees and remove weak branches
- Install storm shutters on your windows
- Add hurricane proof exterior doors with a deadbolt lock and three hinges
- Seal outdoor openings, such as vents and garden hose bibs
- Replace rock or gravel landscaping materials with shredded bark
Stock Up on Supplies
Many people will run to grocery and hardware stores to stock up on supplies when a hurricane warning is issued. Avoid the chaos by buying the following supplies in advance:
- Candles or a lamp with fuel
- A flashlight
- Extra batteries
- First-aid supplies
- Matches – don’t forget to keep them dry
- Materials and tools to complete home repairs
- At least three days of drinking water
- Non-perishable food you will not need to cook
The Red Cross will also provide much-needed relief to communities following a hurricane, such as shelter and supplies. You can help them to support yours or other communities with a hurricane relief donation.
Take Inventory of Your Possessions
By taking stock of your possessions, you can identify if you have purchased enough insurance to easily replace any destroyed items. An inventory can also lead to a speedy claims process and will be helpful if you need to apply for disaster aid. It is, however, important to take the inventory document with you when evacuated, as well as other important documents, like your passport and insurance policies.
Move Your Vehicle
Prevent your car from experiencing damage by moving it to higher ground or by parking it in your garage. It is important to park it against your garage doors. Remember, you must never park a vehicle under power lines, trees, or low-lying areas if a hurricane warning has been issued.