It’s here … are you ready?
We’re a little over a month into the hurricane season and if you haven’t gotten your supplies, what are you waiting for? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted that 10 to 16 named storms are likely and between 4 and 8 of them could become hurricanes. And although we usually have a few days’ notice, it’s much better to be prepared ahead of time. Check out this guide to see what you need on hand and what you can do get ready in the event a storm heads your way:
First: Prep your home
If you don’t have hurricane shutters, don’t dismay – you can still take precautions that will help prevent your windows from breaking if a big storm hits. Measure your windows and get some plywood to serve as covers. It has to be at least 5/8 of an inch thick to truly do the job, so don’t skimp. In addition, walk around the outside and inside your home and take the following steps:
Outside your home:
- Secure or bring in any items that can become airborne in strong winds, like patio furniture, plastic playground equipment, potted plants, fire pits, and BBQ grills
- Have trees that are close to the house trimmed back and cut down any that are dead or flimsy to prevent them from crashing into your house or car
- Inspect your roof for missing or damaged shingles or tiles – secure any that could potentially fly off during a storm
- Check the attic to see if you have metal roof straps and, if not, consider having them added by a professional
- Check the seals around windows and doors to prevent heavy rain from coming in
Inside your home:
- Put important documents in a waterproof container or a safe
- Cover computers with plastic and move any valuable items off the floor
- Move furniture away from the windows
- Take an inventory of all your valuables, like jewelry, artwork, and camera equipment. Take pictures of possessions and keep a list for insurance purposes
Next: Stock up
It’s not uncommon for traffic lights to go out, trees to go down, and streets to become flooded during a hurricane, resulting in people becoming stuck in their homes for several days. You need to stock up on certain supplies that you may not have access to until conditions improve and it’s safe for you to venture outside. Here’s a list of supplies that you should get before a hurricane warning is issued (once it gets too close to the storm, you’ll have a hard time finding a lot of these items):
- A battery-operated radio
- Matches and candles
- A battery-operated clock
- Fire extinguisher
- Can opener
- First aid items: band aids, antiseptic ointment, hydrogen peroxide, gauze, over-the-counter pain and fever relievers, adhesive tape, a thermometer, tweezers, alcohol, cotton balls, etc.
- Extra prescription medications
- Children’s medications
- Water for bathing and brushing teeth
- Paper towels and napkins
Food and water
- One gallon of water per person in your home per day
- Canned and non-perishable foods (canned fruit, meats, beans, soups, and veggies)
- Raisins, dried fruits, crackers, ready-to-eat cereals, granola, and fruit bars
- Baby food and formula
- Boxed milk and juices
- Dry pet food and water for your pet
Other ways to prepare
It’s also important to be ready if you have to evacuate, even if you don’t live in a flood zone. So you should fill up your car, check your tires, and make sure you have cash on hand in case the banks are closed and ATM machines are not functioning after the storm.
And speak to your insurance provider to make sure your homeowners and auto insurance policies are appropriate and that you have adequate windstorm and flooding coverage.
Avante has all of the insurance solutions you need to ensure that your property and your person are protected. Check out the wide array of products we carry on our site and get in touch with us if you need more information or would like a quote.