Tips for Protecting Your Home and Family During Hurricane Season
The 2021 Hurricane Season officially began on June 1, 2021, with our first Hurricane hitting Louisiana (Hurricane Ida), we are not out of the clear yet. The Hurricane season does not end until November 30th, 2021 and the NOAA states we are currently in an "already active season that shows no signs of slowing". With that being said, are you prepared? Let this blog be your source of information to help you prepare properly.
Let's Get Prepared
When a hurricane is in route things can quickly become chaotic. If you are in an area that gets evacuated often or someone who rather evacuate voluntarily then you should make sure you know the hurricane evacuation routes. Have a plan in place of where you will stay. Is it with family, friends, or a hotel?
If you are someone who would rather "ride it out" at home, then it is important to have a plan as well. You will have to consider you may not be able to leave your home due to flooding and road closures. Also, there is a chance you will be without power for a few days. Having this kit prepared for the season in advance will help you avoid the crazy long lines, stress, and possible shortages. What does your disaster supply kit look like? Below are some tips and ideas.
Hurricane Supply Kit:
- Make sure your kit is in a durable waterproof container
- Non-perishable foods (to last 2-6 days) for your family and pets. Ex. protein bars, peanut butter, beef jerky, bread, tuna spread.
- First Aid Kit
- Candles and/or flashlights
- Extra batteries
- Portable battery-operated radio
- Travel size personal hygiene items
- Waterproof container to hold important documents
- Disposable items like paper plates, utensils, diapers, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, garbage bags, zip-loc bags, etc.
- Special needs items, such as baby supplies, pet supplies, medications, as applicable.
- Ice Chest and Ice Packs (you can freeze containers or zip-loc bags of water in advance to have in case power goes out)
- Comfort Items
- A plan for evacuation if needed
While this supply kit can be planned in advance, there are some items and things that have to take place as the storm is approaching. Preferably one to three days before the storm.
- Fill your vehicles with gasoline. If you have a generator, fill your gas cans.
- Fill your propane tanks.
- Charge/Purchase portable battery packs
- Board up your windows with hurricane shutters or plywood
- Clear out your gutters, ditches, and drainages.
- Trim any trees or shrubs that can potentially fall on your home
- Store any items outdoors that can fly away: outdoor furniture, garbage cans, decorations, etc.
- Take videos and photos of your home and its contents for insurance purposes in the event you incur damage and have to file a claim
- Make plans for your pets. Crates, boarding, collars. leashes, ID tags, and supplies.
There are a few other items recommended you do right before the approaching storm makes landfall:
- Turn your a/c down in the event you lose power your home can stay cool
- Turn your fridge temperature down and/or freeze any items that you can if you are expecting a power outage.
- Have your cooler and ice packs ready to go
- Fill your bathtubs/large containers with water for washing and flushing if needed
- Charge your cell phones
- Have your hurricane supply kit easily accessible
A hurricane can be a very scary storm event. The key to getting through it is taking the measures to protect your home and family. Other things you should do before a hurricane hits is assess you homeowners' insurance policy and find out if you should have flood insurance or not. Check with your insurance agent to make sure your coverage is up to date and make sure you understand the details of your policy in the event of a claim. Are additional living expenses included in case you are unable to return home? Knowing the in's and outs to your policy and coverage can provide a peace of mind in these uncertain conditions. Your policy is one of the items that should be a part of your important documents to easily accessible along with the following items.
- Other Insurance policies like life, health, dental, etc.
- Driver's License and/or pictures
- Emergency contact information
- Bank/Credit Card Information (account numbers, online access, routing numbers, etc.)
- Birth/Marriage Certificates and any other certificates of importance.
- Social Security Cards
- Medical Cards
- Title to vehicles, boats, etc.
- Family Will
- List of prescription medications and pharmacy numbers
Hurricane season is every year from June 1st to November 30th each year, the most important step we can take to protect our families and ourselves is to prepare in advance. Prepare for risk in advance and act immediately on any warnings issued from emergency officials.