Hurricane season is officially upon us, and the devastation these storms leave in their wake can shatter lives as well as destroy your property. Being properly prepared can help you and your family weather the storm. You shouldn’t wait until the hurricane watch has been issued before acting. If you haven’t started preparing for a hurricane, the best time to get started is now. Here are a few precautions you should take to ensure you don’t feel the full impact of a hurricane.
1. Plan Your Evacuation Route Now
When you live on the coast or in a mobile home, you likely will have to evacuate at some point due to a significant storm. Probably, you will receive instructions on how to evaluation from the government, but you should still create your own evacuation plan before a disaster even strikes. You should be aware of where the nearest shelters are, and make sure you have your important papers on hand. If you have pets, make sure to understand where you can take them.
Make sure that every member of your family understands the evacuation route. Together, all go together on a trial run so there are no confusions.
2. Keep Emergency Supplies On Hand
As soon as a hurricane warning is issued, people immediately run to the store and empty the shelves. Therefore, you should beat the rush and have as many supplies as possible on hand already.
Some supplies you should have include:
- Candles or lamps with fuel
- Matches in a dry-proof container
- Prescription drugs
- Three-day supply of drinking water per person
- Non-perishable foods
- First-aid supplies
- Portable NOAA weather radio
- Basic tools
The portable NOAA weather radio might be one element that you might not have considered for your emergency supply kit. An NOAA weather radio is especially important because it can keep you informed of any changing weather conditions, as well as keep your devices powered. Choose a weather radio that can keep your devices charged and serve as a light source as well.
While most of these items might already be lying around your house, it is vital that you store them in one location. These supplies should be packed away, and you should know where everything is. Check every few months that no supplies have expired.
3. Keep An Updated Inventory Of Personal Property
Before disaster strikes, create a home inventory to help speed up the claims process if your home or property is damaged. This information can be useful to ensure you have enough insurance and can also be helpful if you need to apply for disaster aid. If you do have to evacuate, make sure that you bring the home inventory with you.
4. Update Your Insurance Policies
If you are in the path of a hurricane, your home could be damaged. Speak with your insurance agent to make sure you understand what is in your coverage. You can aks whether or not you have adequate coverage to repair or rebuild your home, and replace any belongings if necessary.
Your homeowner’s insurance should cover the cost of repairs, as well as additional living expenses if you have to relocate. Check to see if your current policy covers flood damage, and if it doesn’t, you should consider it. You might also need a separate policy against wind and wind-blown water damage.
5. Protect Your Home
One of the biggest damages from hurricanes is often the wind. High-speed winds can turn landscaping and debris into missiles that can break windows and doors, allowing water to enter into the home.
Some things you might consider doing is replacing the gravel with shredded bark, which is lighter and therefore won’t cause as much damage. You could also remove weak branches and trees that might fall on your house. Replace your sliding doors with tempered glass and cover the doors and windows with storm shutters to keep your home as protected. All exterior doors and wall openings should be hurricane proof. Consider replacing all old garage doors with ones that can withstand wind pressure and impact.
Just because hurricane season has already started doesn’t mean it is too late to act. By starting now, you can ensure you and your home are prepared to withstand the damage from a hurricane.