Hurricane season comes every year and many are still caught off guard and are not prepared. Does your family have a plan for the next hurricane? There are 3 phases in being prepared for a hurricane, before, during, and after.
Before the hurricane season starts you should make a plan. Where will your family meet if there is an emergency evacuation by officials? This place should be somewhere the hurricane should not affect. It could be another family member, a hotel, or a school. If you have the choice to stay, make sure you have a ready to go supply kit. This should include a battery powered radio, nonperishable food, water bottles, first aid kit, and a few other items listed on our Hurricane Check List. Also make sure your car has a full tank. Cut down and trim any dead branches or tress close to your home to prevent debris. Buy plywood and nails to board up windows and glass doors if shutters are not already installed.
Whether you plan on staying or evacuating, when a hurricane is likely in your area board up all windows and glass doors with plywood. This will help protect your home against strong winds and debris. Also secure all outdoor furniture by bring them inside. If left outside the wind could pick them up causing them to smash into anything in its path. Turn off propane tanks. Ensure the refrigerator and freezer is set to the coldest setting to keep them colder when the power goes out. Try not to open the doors as that will let the cold air out. Instead keep a cooler with ice with things you know you will need right away.
The time has come and you have decided to stay. Keep the family away from any doors or windows. Watch the news for information until power goes out then use battery powered radio. Fill up bathtubs with water to use for flushing the toilet and washing. If the power goes out the water will eventually go out as well.
After the hurricane has passed and it is safe to either come outside of return home, check the outside of the house for any damages. If a tree has fallen do not reenter until it has been examined by a building inspector as safe. If you have had any water damage air out that area using fans and open doors to help prevent mold. Do not use the water as it may not be safe to drink. Throw away any food that has spoiled in the refrigerator or freezer.
Download our Hurricane Check List to get ready for this Hurricane Season.
Check out www.ready.gov/hurricanes for more information about hurricane readiness.