June first officially marks summer, fun in the sun and the not so exciting hurricane season. If you’re a resident of the southern united states odds are you know just what were talking about. In Louisiana we can look back and see the devastating effects hurricanes have caused throughout our state, along with the aftermaths that come including flash flooding, people being abandoned and animals being displaced. Hurricanes begin as tropical storms, however as they advance and become more severe, they move into being a full-on hurricane. And if you’ve ever had one to drink, it goes to show you how powerful they can be! We here at Cretin Townsend homes understand the anxiety that comes with this time of year; therefore, we have put together a preparation guide to ensure the safety of your home and family.
One of the most important ways to ensure your family and home are prepared this hurricane season is to stay informed! Keep an eye out for developing tropical storms in bodies of water near you. The weather channel has many resources you can utilize to stay informed of possible storms, flash flooding and the development of hurricanes. This hurricane season downloading a local weather app is an easy way to stay on top of local news and help to make sure you are informed of potential storms brewing.
Install hurricane proof shutters.
The windows of your home are one of the most vulnerable places on the exterior of a house. It is imperative to ensure your windows can be protected from flying debris and water. One way to do this is to have storm shutters installed. Storm shutters are often extremely durable protecting the inside of your home from the hurricane outside. They are also permanently attached to the house which makes them convenient in case of an emergency, however they often come with a hefty price tag for materials and installation.
A more cost-efficient way to ensure windows are properly protected during a storm is to opt for plywood. Plywood comes in at a much lower price tag and offers protection from flying debris and water However, most likely you will need to do the work and once hung plywood blocks all-natural light. This means individuals often wait to the last minute to hang the plywood. Preinstalling hardware such as screws and anchors can help the process progress quickly.
Secure any outdoor décor and furniture
Whether patio furniture, a grill or yard décor, when a hurricane is near be prepared to secure these items. If not secured loose items such as these can become airborne due to the high winds. If possible secure these items in your home, garage or shed to prevent them from flying away. Larger items such as swing sets should be laid on their sides and additional components such as the actual swings should be taken off.
If you haven’t took the time to evaluate your gutters yet this hurricane season, now is the time. Your roof is one of the biggest things affected by hurricane’s and keeping the gutters in good condition can reduce the amount of damage! Weather you want to hire a company to come take care of it or you’re not afraid to get dirty, having clean and prepared gutters is essential when looking to lessen storm damage to your home.
Inspect your landscape
Dead or damaged trees can be one of the biggest threats to your home this hurricane season. Dead trees are weak and can often be picked up by the heavy winds causing them to fly and potentially damage homes and vehicles. Take time to inspect your landscape, if you have dead or decaying trees the best time to act may be now. Cutting limbs hanging over your home and power lines is also a great way to prepare for a hurricane and hopefully prevent some power outages. However, be sure to consult a licensed individual before doing so! Picking up limbs, sticks and other debris is also very important when inspecting your homes landscape
Ensure your home is insured
Being prepared this hurricane season is a big task, there are a lot of things to evaluate, prepare and consider. Even with all these preparations nothing is absolute. Therefore, ensuring your home and valuables are insured is very important. When doing this it is important to take note of what you own in case of devastation. Contact your insurance broker to ensure you have enough insurance to replace damaged items as well as go over what you need to do to ensure your policy will cover any potential damage
Creating an Emergency Kit
When a hurricane touches land it is imperative that you have everything, you need with you. Preparing an emergency kit ahead of a potential storm insures you have what you need and gives you time to collect all necessities. If you wait to the last minute often stores are emptied of essentials!
Food is essential in preparation for a hurricane with the possibilities of extended power outages and flooded roadways. Make sure your family, you and your animals have a food supply that can last a few days. When acquiring food in preparation it is essential to gather nonperishable food items, things in cans bread and other food that don’t need to be cooked or kept frozen. When doing this ensure you also have a manual can opener!
Water is essential in survival and experts say you should have enough water and supplies to survive for 72 hours (3 days) in the aftermath of a hurricane. Authorities urge to keep at least a 3-day supply of water on hand considering a hurricane. The common definition of a 3-day supply is 3 gallons per person—a gallon per person, per day—half to drink and a half to use for cooking and sanitation.
Extra clothes & Blankets
Preparing extra clothes and blankets for a hurricane is a great way to ensure your family have dry clothes and access to warmth. With high rain fall, and no power making sure you have clean and dry clothes and blankets for a few days is necessary when preparing for a storm.
Protect Valuable paperwork
Store important documentation such as birth certificates, identifying papers and money in waterproof lockboxes to ensure the security of these documents in case of flash flooding.
Below is a list of other essentials to have in a hurricane survival kit.
•Battery operated radio and flashlight
•Extra pre-charged portable phone charger.
•Prescription Medicines – If you are low on prescription medicine it is important to call in a refill early to ensure proper medication can be distributed during emergencies.
•Pet supplies- Ensure you have proper supplies for your pet, such as water, food and any medication.
•First Aid kit
•Personal Hygiene items
•Entertainment- With possibilities of power outages ensuring your children have games, toys or coloring books can ease anxiety and promote a more relaxed atmosphere.
•Be aware of evacuation routes in case of emergencies.
•List of important contacts- Having a list of family members and emergency contact numbers can be overlooked but when needed having them at your disposal is critical.
With hurricane season upon us we understand how hectic life can be, please make time to ensure your home and family is prepared for a storm. We also encourage you to check with elderly neighbors and family members to ensure that they are also in supplies of necessities and to lend a helping hand.