Hurricane season officially started on June 1 and will continue until the end of November. The first tropical storm, Arlene, formed in late April. As the season ramps up, meteorologists are already expecting this hurricane season to be more active than usual.
If you live or own a vacation home along the east coast or Gulf of Mexico, you need to be prepare yourself and your home before a huge storm hits.
Before the Storm
Loose items that are left outside need to be brought inside so that they aren’t damaged, or so they won’t cause damage. This means your garbage cans, patio furniture, or any other items left outside.
Trees can be a great danger to houses, cars, power lines, and people. Trim or take down any damaged trees or limbs to prevent trees from damaging any property.
Windows are the most vulnerable part of your home during a storm. If you live in a place that’s commonly hit by storms, investing in permanent storm shutters are your best solution. However, if you need to protect your windows within a few days, it’s best that you board up your windows. Don’t forget your roof, either. Consider retrofitting it to reduce property damage.
If You’re Staying Home
If you’ve decided that you’re going to wait out the storm, be sure to alert your friends and family that you’re staying put. Keep them updated through texting or social media. Make sure your smartphone is charged in case the power goes out, especially if an emergency arises.
Before the storm hits, make sure you have the supplies you need in case of a power outage or in an emergency.
At the bare minimum you need:
- Non-perishable food: 3-7 days of food for each person
- Drinking water: half a gallon, per person per day
- First Aid kit
- Battery-powered radio
- Flashlights and extra batteries
For a more in-depth hurricane-preparedness list, visit here.
Power Outage Tip: Turn your refrigerator on coldest setting before the storm and try not to open to keep the food as chilled as possible.
If You’re Leaving
If you’ve decided that the storm is going to be too dangerous to remain at home, you need to prepare your house to weather the storm as much as possible.
Pay attention to the news to see how bad the storm is when it hits land and/or your home. After physically preparing your house for the storm, make sure you have a camera monitoring system and water sensors installed. This will allow you to see inside your home when you’re safe, many miles away. Cameras will also show you if there’s any damage inside or if any windows break. Also, water sensors will alert you if there’s flooding or a pipe burst in your home.