Mother nature allows you to enjoy bright sunshine and warmth in the summer season, but sometimes she wants to remind us of the right of control over the world by bringing severe weather conditions, such as dangerous storms, and hurricanes. Natural disasters are not something we can prevent. We can take precautionary steps to reduce potential damage to us and our belongings. According to CDC, below are some guidelines to help you prepare your home against a storm.
Follow Weather Tips
The most damaging hurricanes to coastal communities are the ones that hit at night. Storm surges can cause severe flooding and damage when combined with strong winds and rain.
There are many resources that can help you make decisions about what you should do and how you can create an evacuation plan for a disaster.
When a major storm approaches, follow local weather broadcasts tips on radio, local news channels, and online news platforms to stay updated about the storm strength, approximate landing time, landing area, and lasting time.
Assess the risk in your area, and learn from those who have dealt with this issue before. Follow the example of those who live in dangerous storm areas. If you are living at a high risk of storms, invest in storm-related equipment.
Make A Emergency Plan
Make sure you have an emergency plan for your family
It is vital to stay connected in an emergency situation. If your local phone line is down, have someone from the family or a friend check in on you. Make sure everyone has the contact information and ways to reach you.
Keep a list of emergency numbers handy, and place them on your refrigerator. You can also program them into your mobile phone.
Make sure you have an emergency supply kit.
Find the closest shelter and all possible routes to get there from home. Learn how to locate shelters in your area. If you have to go to the shelter, avoid crossing flooding streets, under buildings, and under trees. Strong winds may cause fallen glasses and branches.
If evacuation is required, shut off all utilities and implement community disaster preparedness plans. Choose a single point of contact or common meeting place for all family members. You should also have a plan in place for pets’ evacuation.
Prepare Emergency Supplies
Keep in mind that hurricanes and storms may cut off electricity, water supplies, and gas. This could be for several hours or even days. The damage on-road or fallen tree limbs can make it impossible to drive your car. It’s important to have everything ready to ensure your family is safe and well after the crisis has passed. The following are things you should prepare:
- Minimum 3-5 days’ worth of clean water and food for each person.
Clean water includes direct drinking bottled water, boiled water, and sanitation water. Fill all clean water containers with direct-drinking water. Fill your bathtubs and sinks with water to wash dishes. This is important in case your water supply goes out during a storm. The power cut-off makes it impossible to boil water.
Food can include cooked meat, bread, cake, instant noodles, chocolate, biscuits, candy, fruits, and raw-eaten vegetables.
- Emergency medicine for injuries or wounds, and adequate medicine for the seniors with chronic medical conditions. Power shortage may not allow repelling mosquitoes with electric pest control. It’s best to prepare some repellents against insects and mosquitoes, such as mosquito repellent coils, bug spray, and mosquito netting for the bed.
- Charge your phone and change it into power-saving mode.
- Maps, flashlights, extra batteries or power bank, and chargers.
- Waterproof lighters and candles. Just in case you need to burn a candle for light and warmth. Don’t forget to place the candle into the candle holder and take good care of your fire.
- A portable radio that keeps you up-to-date with the latest news, either battery-operated or old-fashioned
- Fire extinguisher. It is important that your family knows where the fire extinguisher is located and how to use it.
- If you have babies, it’s better to prepare some formula milk powder and make sure you have enough diapers. For older kids, don’t forget to prepare some snacks, books, and toys to help them ease.
- Some clothes, blankets, personal cleaning items, and toiletries.
- When in an emergency, only take the essentials. Place those essential emergency supplies into a backpack, and make it accessible.
Keep Important Items Safe
If your home is at a higher risk of storm damage, store your valuable household items in water-proof and portable containers in higher positions.
- Cash and treasures
- Important documents and pictures. This includes medical documents, marriage licenses, birth certificates, passports, personal identity, mortgage papers, insurance policies, and financial information.
- Delicate electronics such as phones, cameras, tablets, or computers.
- Clothes and beddings.
The inventory can be stored in rented storage units, or you can send it to family members who live elsewhere for safekeeping.
It’s also helpful to know the approximate cost of each item in order to claim your coverage in the event that they are lost.
Clear Your Yard
Storms can cause dead tree branches to fall, causing damage to a home’s exterior or shattering windows. Trees with shallow root systems can also become brittle during heavy rains. You should remove any branches that could cause damage to your home or pose a risk to your life. If the tops of tall trees are at risk, you can use a gas chainsaw to cut them down.
Secure your fences.
Move your lawn furniture, umbrellas, bikes, plants, and building materials indoors or inside your shelter. This can prevent heavy winds from lifting them up and causing them to smash into your home.
Secure Your Home
Strong wind can cause damage to roofs, windows, doors, patio furniture, and fences. Before the hurricane and storm season comes, you must ensure that the critical area of your house is well protected.
Seal your windows, doors, and roofs. You can use some storm shutters or attach plywood pieces to the outside of the entire window frame. This will help protect you from broken glass. You can do these projects yourself. You can also hire a contractor for professional work to seal the roof and strengthen the doors.
To prevent CO poisoning, make sure you check the battery of your carbon monoxide detector.
Check that the wall hangings are secure. If you have art hanging outside, make sure it’s taken inside. If you want to protect your art and valuable hangings against the storm and winds, wrap them up and put them in a storage container.
Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear. This will keep your home clean and prevent any damage.
Listen to the authorities when deciding whether you should evacuate or remain at home. Find a shelter for yourself and your family before leaving. The best shelter should be located on the first floor and away from the window.
Install Surge Protection
Storms can instantly cause power surges, which can damage electronic equipment and appliances. Protect your home and electrical panel by using surge protectors on power strips. It is necessary to protect your heater or air conditioner.
Always be ready to shut off the power. You should always switch off your power if you experience flooding or downed power lines. If you have the time, turn off your appliances, water, and gas.
Get Your Car Ready
Fill up your car’s fuel tank with gas. Test your generator, make sure you have enough fuel in the vehicle for any power outages.
Move your cars and trucks under cover or into your garage. Place them in higher ground. Avoid parking cars in low-lying places, such as under powerlines or trees.
Prepare an emergency kit in your car.
Follow the recommended routes for emergency personnel. Avoid driving through flood areas. Cars and other vehicles may be swept away by the water or could stall under 6 inches of moving water.
Make sure your car is safe in the garage or parking lot from flooding.
If you don’t have a car, it’s best to make plans with friends and family to ensure they can arrange for a ride to take you to safety if you’re forced to evacuate.
Remove appliances and fixtures from windows and doors.
Think about Your Pets
Ask your local emergency management agency if they have accommodations for pet owners. Find out more about how to evacuate your pet.
Get Timely Updates
Listen to the radio or TV for updates about the storm or hurricane.
Keep inside even if the weather appears calm. The weather may calm down before a more severe storm. Wait until you receive or see an official announcement that the storm has passed.
Stay away from the window when you are at home. Broken glass or debris from a storm may cause you injury.
Listen to the authorities when deciding whether you should evacuate or remain at home. Only take essentials in a backpack just in case you have to evacuate when your home is badly damaged.
Things for Emergencies in A Storm or Hurricane