Hurricane Preparation - Is your home or property ready?
As we have all seen recently on television and social media, Hurricanes and other storms can be extremely dangerous. They can cause extensive damage to your home and businesses. Completing your hurricane preparation prior to the storm is an important first step to securing and protecting your property.
BEFORE A MAJOR STORM, KNOW YOUR EMERGENCY SHELTERS
Contact the National Disaster Office for the closest shelters. In Florida, click here to find a shelter near you.
AS A STORM APPROCHES
Be sure to listen to the hurricane warning messages and plan ahead. This can reduce your chances of injury or major property damage. If you are capable of leaving the affected area, it may be a good idea to evacuate to relatives or friends outside the area. Your property can be replaced, but lives cannot!
HAVE DISASTER SUPPLIES ON HAND
- Non-perishable (canned food) and water
- Essential medicines
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Written list of emergency contacts and/or family members (if cellular functions fail)
- Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Non-electric can opener
- Cash and credit cards
- 3-5 day supply of clothing
PREPARATION of YOUR HOME
- Protect your windows. Permanent shutters are the best protection. A lower-cost approach is to put up plywood panels. Use 1/2 inch plywood--marine plywood is best--cut to fit each window. Remember to mark which board fits which window. Pre-drill holes every 18 inches for screws. Do this long before the storm. Also include your Insurance carrier and policy number on each panel.
- Trim tree branches from trees from your home and cut all dead or weak branches on any trees on your property.
- Ensure gutters and drains are clear of all leaves and debris. This will not only save your roof from potential water intrusion, but adequately move water away from your home. Also ensure all French-style drains and pop-up drains are clear of excessive dirt, leaves and debris.
- Protection of home or property prior to storm surge or excessive rainfall. Contact your local government agency to obtain enough sandbags for low lying areas of your property. In addition, place your valuables inside your attic to prevent damage from floodwaters or storm surge.
- Purchase or budget for a generator in advance. This item is a great investment especially if your job requires you to stay in the affected area. ***Never…never use a generator inside a living space***
- Check into your current Home and Auto Insurance. Confirm that policies are valid and coverage is appropriate. ***This includes flood insurance***
- Make arrangements for your pets. Pets may not be allowed into emergency shelters for health and space reasons. Contact your local humane society for information on animal shelters.
- Develop an emergency communication plan. Make sure that all family members know what to do. Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water. Teach children how and when to call police or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information. In case family members are separated from one another during a disaster (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.
Well before a storm, consider getting a maintenance home inspection. A maintenance inspection will help to prioritize a home improvement list, and to hopefully find out about small problems before they turn into big ones. Call Stevens Inspections at 727.505.2700 or visit our website at www.stevens-inspections.com to schedule your inspection today.