Preparing for Hurricanes

An unfortunate natural calamity that people living around coastlines have to experience are tropical storms and hurricanes. Hurricanes are storm systems that form over the water and proceed to the neighboring land area. They are characterized by heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes and rip currents. Hurricanes are also referred to as typhoons or cyclones in different parts of the world.

Unfortunately, the United States is affected annually by these storms. You may be tempted to think you are safe, but this might not be the case if you are within a 100-mile radius from the shore. Lack of preparation can lead to a fatal outcome for the neighboring areas. While you may not be able to prevent one, you certainly can take the necessary precautions to minimize casualties, loss of life, and damage to property.

Basic Preparation Tips for a Hurricane

Before the hurricaneHurricane

Even if there is no imminent risk involved, it is always a good idea to stay prepared.

  • Get yourself emergency supplies for your household, pets, and your car.
  • Program emergency numbers into your cell phone and write them near all the phones in the house too. You could stick them on the refrigerator as well.
  • Learn the different shelters nearest to you and the safest evacuation routes just in case.
  • Educate your family members about warning sirens in your locality, use of fire extinguishers, and any relevant information to dispel any fear and anxiety.
  • Make copies of all important

Preparing your home

  • Trim trees before hurricanes to avoid damage to your property when they strike.
  • Secure and reinforce windows and glass doors with sheets of plywood or other protection to reduce damage from flying debris.
  • For power outages, install generators but keep them outside; at least 20 feet away from the windows and doors. They should also be shielded from moisture.
  • To prevent flooding, clear any clogged rain gutters.
  • Store away lawn furniture, trash cans, garden tools, etc., in a safe place to avoid them flying around and hurting others or damaging other things.
  • Buy a flood insurance for your property especially if you reside along the coast.
  • Insure your cars as well because you can’t be able to take all your vehicles to the shelter. If you can park it in a concrete multi-story parking garage, this is the safest place. But expect some damage when you leave it at your property.
  • Unfortunately, there is not a lot you can do to protect your roof and siding. It will depend how well it was installed and even if it was installed well, your roof and siding may be damaged. What you can do though is to call several companies ahead of time to make contacts and ask them to put you on a list for storm damage repairs so they get to you sooner rather than later.

During the warning

Evacuation

  • Strictly follow evacuation orders if given.
  • Take whatever belongings are essential and nothing else.
  • Unplug all your household appliances and turn off the gas, water, and electricity.
  • Follow the recommended routes even if there is traffic.
  • Carry your car’s emergency kit with you.
  • Check up on family and friends and find out if they are safe.

If you need to stay at home

  • Ensure you keep listening to updates on the radio or TV.
  • Stay indoors unless there is official communication that the storm is over.
  • Steer clear of You can stay in your closet or a room without windows.
  • Be prepared to leave if you are ordered to.

Protecting your pets

For information on how to protect your pets during this period, get in touch with your local animal shelter or local government animal control services. Some of the agencies and organizations that can be of great help include;

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • American Veterinary Medical Association
  • Red Rover
  • Pet Travel and Lodging Resources

What You Should Have in your Hurricane Kit

  • First aid kit
  • Batteries and flashlight
  • Local maps
  • Battery powered radio
  • Whistle to look for help

 

Dealing with Damage on Roofs and Siding

After the storm, if you were unlucky and did get some damage, call the company or companies you contacted in advance and set up a time for them to come out and work on your property.