Prepare while you can, before a disaster hits. Part two of our tropical storm preparation posts is here and we are highlighting ways to protect your property now and in the future. The National Weather Service has resources for preparing for a variety of natural disasters, including hurricanes. Consult their website for even more information on how to prepare yourself, your family, your home, and your business for a hurricane or other weather related events.
Protect what you have.
Do you have a summer project planned for remodeling or building a home? Be sure you are following the correct building codes and standards. These codes are designed for your safety and those who will be in and around your home. They are also in place to ensure your property can withstand weather that is most common in your area.
Insurance is another way of protecting your property. Regularly review your policy with your insurance provider to be sure it is most appropriate for your property and possessions. This could include flood and wind storm insurance. Different events may be covered by different policies. If you have completed any of those remodel projects, you want to be sure they are protected with your insurance. Remember, do not wait to the last minute. Some insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period before they go into effect.
Plan for the future.
If there is hazardous weather predicted, stay up to date with your local and national weather reports. By knowing what is predicted, you can prepare for it and know when to expect bad weather.
According to the National Weather Service, at the start of the hurricane season:
- Monitor your NOAA Weather Radio for tropical weather updates and visit the National Hurricane Center for updates.
- Review your evacuation routes. Contact the local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter, and ask for the community hurricane preparedness plan. This plan should include information on the safest evacuation routes and nearby shelters. These routes may change from year to year depending upon local construction.
- Make a disaster supply kit that includes:
- At least two waterproof flashlights with extra, fresh batteries,
- Portable, battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio and AM/FM radio with extra, fresh batteries,
- Either purchase an approved American Red Cross First Aid Kit or put your own together. Include:
- Assorted sizes of sterile adhesive bandages, sterile gauze pads, and roller bandages,
- Hypoallergenic adhesive tape and triangular bandages,
- Scissors, tweezers, needle and thread, and assorted sizes of safety pins,
- Medicine dropper and thermometer,
- Safety razor and blades,
- Bar of soap, moistened towelettes packages and antiseptic spray,
- Tongue blades and wooden applicator sticks,
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant,
- Cleansing agent, and
- Latex gloves.
- Disposable camera with flash,
- Emergency food and eating supplies:
- Non-perishable packaged or canned foods and juices (check the expiration dates),
- Special foods for infants or the elderly (check the expiration dates),
- Cooking tools and fuel,
- Paper plates and plastic utensils, and
- A non-electric can opener.
- Fire Extinguisher - Class ABC extinguishes can be safely used on any type of fire, including electrical, grease and gas.
- Plan to take care of your pets. Contact your local humane society for information on local animal shelters as pets may not be allowed into emergency shelters for health and space reasons. Also, store two weeks of pet supplies.
- Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
- Prepare your protection for your windows. If you wait until a hurricane watch is in effect, plywood may be in short supply.
- Trim trees and remove dead or weak branches.
- Develop an emergency communication plan. 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.
- Check to ensure tie-downs are secured properly if you live in a mobile home.
- At the end of the season, use the food you stored provided the you have not exceeded the expiration dates. You will want to store fresh supplies for the next season.
This is not an exhaustive list of things to consider. Check other resources to be sure your plan best suites your needs.
One Team. One Vision. One Goal. – Everyone Goes Home Safe!