Doing basic maintenance and having necessary items will reduce the damage of your home in the event of a hurricane. Insurance is also a great protective measure that is available to you.
- Flood Insurance.
- Have the equipment needed to secure property in the home such as bungee cords and rope.
- Identify potential hazardous areas which will cause the most damage and take preventative measures.
- Have boards for covering windows.
- Keep trees and shrubs trimmed
- Know how to reinforce garage doors and have the necessary equipment to do so.
- Keep rain gutters clear
- Know how to turn off utilities
Having evacuation plans in place and on hand will provide calmness before a disaster.
- Plan emergency evacuation routes and safe meeting destinations.
- Family communications plan.
- Emergency contact list including family, friends, local authorities and hospitals.
- For pet owners: identify shelters that will house your pet during the event.
Hurricane Watch Checklist.
A hurricane watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours.
1. Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for hurricane progress reports.
a. Local Emergency Broadcasting System on radio / TV
b. Listen to NOAA Radio. NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24hrs a day.
2. Check emergency supply levels. (replace or restock as needed)
a. Shelter In Place Kit
b. Individual GOOD bags
3. Fuel car.
4. Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys, and garden tools and anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.
5. Secure buildings by closing and boarding up windows.
6. Remove outside antennas.
7. Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly. Keep door closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
8. Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles, and cooking utensils.
9. Review your Family Emergency Evacuation Plan.
a. Plan an evacuation route. Be ready to drive 20 to 50 miles inland to locate a safe place.
10. Moor boat securely or move it to a designated safe place. Use rope or chain to secure boat to trailer. Use tie-downs to anchor trailer to the ground or house.
11. If your house is located on high ground, seek refuge elsewhere.
12. Before the storm hits, carry inside all possible objects that could be lifted by the storm and become deadly weapons. Tools garbage cans, outside furniture can hurt you even kill you.
13. Make arrangements for pets. Pets may not be allowed into emergency shelters for health and space reasons. Contact your local humane society for information on local animal shelters.
14. Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a hurricane. Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water. Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
15. Protect your windows.
a. Permanent shutters are the best protection.
b. 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.
16. Trim back dead or weak branches from trees.
17. Check into flood insurance. You can find out about the National Flood Insurance Program through your local insurance agent or emergency management office. There is normally a 30-day waiting period before a new policy becomes effective. Homeowners polices do not cover damage from the flooding that accompanies a hurricane.
- Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.
HURRICANE WARNING CHECKLIST.
A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions (winds of 74 miles per hour or greater, or dangerously high water and rough seas) are expected in 24 hours or less.
1. Listen constantly to a battery-operated radio or television for official instructions.
2. If in a mobile home, check tie-downs and evacuate immediately.
3. Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container on the highest level of your home.
4. Avoid elevators.
5. Stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.
6. Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy. Avoid open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light.
7. If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce power "surge" when electricity is restored.
8. If the center of the hurricane goes directly over you, there will be a period of calm from a few minutes up to an hour. Don't go out and stay in your shelter since the wind will pick up again even with more strength even from another direction. Stay inside till the hurricane has left.
9. The inside of a car is not a good shelter but it can be used in emergency your best bet is to crawl under the car to protect yourself. Staying in the car could be lethal.
10. If officials indicate evacuation is necessary:
a. Leave as soon as possible.
b. Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges.
c. Secure your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main water valve.
d. Tell someone outside of the storm area where you are going.
e. If time permits, and you live in an identified surge zone, elevate furniture to protect it from flooding or better yet, move it to a higher floor.
f. Bring pre-assembled emergency supplies and warm protective clothing.
g. Take blankets and sleeping bags to shelter.
h. Lock up home and leave.