Preparing Your Home
Whether you own your home or rent, it is important to make sure preparations around the house are done so you can feel safe and secure when the storm is moving over the area. A storm can last anywhere from 24-48 hours depending on the intensity and speed in which the storm passes. Effects can be long-lasting, as seen with Hurricane Ian in 2022. Here are some tips to help you before, during and after the storm.
Before the Storm:
Check your insurance - Make sure your insurance is up to date and you have phone numbers/emails/policy numbers to your insurance company.
Take photos - Before the storm, get photos of your home, inside and out, all rooms, including porch areas and the garage/carport area. Have them loaded into a backup system such as a laptop or thumb drive.
Write down serial numbers - For electronics and other big-ticket items in the house.
Store important documents - Keep important documents such as birth certificates, insurance papers, passports and photos in a water-proof bin with a tightly sealed lid should flooding occur.
Safely store outside items - statues, flags, furniture, grills, lights, plants and other decorative items used outdoors should be brought inside, placed in a secure shed or otherwise placed in an area where the wind cannot pick it up and make it a projectile during the storm.
Secure windows - Hardware stores will have wood you can cut and place over windows. Get this taken care of long before a hurricane comes as there is usually a rush to get supplies.
Purchase a generator - if you do not have a generator for power, you can purchase or rent one from hardware stores. This is another item you'll want to have in place long before a hurricane comes because of supply and demand.
Trim trees and clean gutters - Dead branches can be a hazard when they fall. They can cause damage to your home and vehicles. Make sure the gutters are cleaned so water can flow freely without backing up and breaking the gutter on the house.
Have a plan - Should the need to evacuate happen before a storm, have a plan that includes where you need to go and how long you would need to plan to stay there. Take supplies for the family and pets and have a full tank of gas and cash on hand.