Tropical Storm Cindy mostly bypassed Southeast Texas, last week. However, it is a good reminder to take time today to prepare your home and business for possible storms. As in any safety situation, it is better to take an hour or two to prepare than get into the middle of an issue and not know what to do.
The National Weather Service offers advice when preparing for a tropical disturbance.
Protecting Your Past
People often regret losing valuables and items from a family’s past because of a natural disaster. Be sure special jewelry and certain items are easily located, secured from weather and can be packed quickly in the event of an evacuation.
These items include but are not limited to:
- Family Records (Birth, Marriage, Death Certificates),
- Inventory of Household goods,
- Copy of Will, Insurance policies, contracts, deeds, etc.,
- Record of credit card account numbers and companies,
- Passports, Social Security Cards, immunization records, and
- Valuable computer information.
The damage with storm surge is the immediate water level and also the damage to building foundations because of the high water. Homes have been demolished along with businesses because of storm surge. Stay up to date with your local news and law enforcement to know if an evacuation is called for your area.
Even if an evacuation is not called for your area, plan ahead for the possibility. Have some large plastic or rubber storage containers ready to store valuables. Also, think about what items you will need for a few days if needed, including medicines and personal products.
Wind and Squalls
Rising water is not the only concern, strong winds can also cause damage to buildings when a tropical storm or hurricane is proceeding through an area. If you are driving before or after a storm has come through, be aware of wind gusts and avoid overpasses.
If you live inland and storm surges do not impact your area, flooding could still occur because of heavy rain. Take some precautions:
- Photos: Begin with simply hanging pictures a little higher on the wall. This will help diminish the threat of losing them forever to floods. Do you have extra photos laying around that may not be displayed? If they are not on display, place them in plastic storage containers and store them in the attic.
- Jewelry and valuables: Have an extra, empty plastic storage container available to quickly gather jewelry, mementos, and other displayed photos and place the container in the attic should a flood emergency arrive.
- Electricity: If a flooding is occurring at your home, immediately shut off your electricity at the circuit breakers. This will prevent short circuiting electrical appliance such as refrigerators.
- Refrigerators: In many cases, with minor flooding, the refrigerator will just need to be cleaned and can be put back into use again. If the power was left on in a flood, the short circuit will make repairs very costly.
- Documents: Also, if you normally keep valuable documents in a fire-proof safe, check to insure it is water-proof as well. A water-resistant safe might not prevent water from entering the safe should it become submerged in a flood.
Hurricane Season started on June 1st and will run through November 30th. Prepare for the possibility, while we hope not to have any major storms. Communicate safety plans with your coworkers and family members so everyone is aware of how to respond to the situation.
One Team. One Vision. One Goal. – Everyone Goes Home Safe!