First and foremost, be prepared, the CDC has put this statement out for staying at home during a hurricane. "Monitor the television or other means of communication for weather reports. Stay indoors until the storm is over. Seek shelter in a basement or in an interior room with no windows. Stay away from all windows and exterior doors. Evacuate to a shelter or to a neighbor’s home if your home is damaged or if emergency personnel instruct you to do so."
WHEN IS HURRICANE SEASON?
In the United States, the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th. This is the most likely time frame named storms will occur, however hurricanes can happen anytime when the weather conditions are right for it.
If you live in a hurricane-prone area, preparation can be key to minimizing storm damage.
If your plan is to stay at home, be prepared and don't panic, have a checklist handy so you can cross off everything you might need in the event you're stuck at home during a hurricane. Below is a checklist you can print off and post to your fridge.
BEFORE THE STORM
FOOD. Have a stocked pantry of non-perishable items, such as (Beans, Nut Butters, Dried Fruits and Vegetables, Canned Fish and Poultry, Grains like Rice and Oats, ect...)
CASH. Hurricanes can knock out card readers, stopping at a gas station to buy a soda becomes harder when you don't have cash, be sure to withdraw 3 days to a week worth of cash.
HOME INVENTORY. Most people forget that if they incur property or personal damage during the storm that your insurance carrier will replace what was lost. Having a video walkthrough of your home can save you thousands of dollars when it comes to replacing those lost items.
WINDOW PREPARATION. Install your hurricane shutters, and tape your windows as an extra measure in the event that the shutters don't work. Having to clean up glass is easier when it's not in small shards.
MAKE AN EMERGENCY PLAN. Know an exit path, in the event the storm is getting out of hand you might face an evacuation. Do not rely on a GPS during this, you'll find cell service will be bogged down when there is a mass exodus of people leaving all at once. Print off your directions.
ELECTRICITY. Charge all your devices, cell phones, vehicle batteries, battery banks, ect...
ROOF INSPECTION. When was the last time you had your roof inspected? Lose shingles, tiles, or un-seated screws can cause parts of your roof to become airborne projectiles during a hurricane. Have your roof inspected by a licensed and certified roofing contractor. Such as Universal Contracting & Solar. Email us at email@example.com or call 239.321.5886
NOTIFY FAMILY AND FRIENDS. Before the storm hits, let those closest to you (outside the storm zone) know your plans. During the storm itself, try to limit your phone calls. Wireless networks are often overtaxed during an emergency.
DURING THE STORM
Weathering out the hurricane is one ordeal, it's likely you might lose power, so having a Solar Panel System with a Back-Up battery to help ease the storm and keep the lights on will help. If you don't have a backup system then the next best thing is a generator and an ample supply of gasoline, a good rule of thumb is 10-15 gallons of fuel for each day the power is out.
STAY INDOORS. If you’re sheltering in place, avoid the temptation to go outside and watch the storm. By far, the safest place to wait out a hurricane is inside your home.
AVOID FLOODWATERS. Don’t walk, swim or drive through floodwater. Not only could the current sweep you off your feet, but the water can contain harmful contaminants and bacteria.
UNPLUG APPLIANCES. If you lose power, unplug your appliances. This will protect them from power surges, which can cause permanent damage.
TURN OFF UTILITIES. If directed by your utility provider, turn off your electricity, water and gas at the main shut-offs.
STAY ALERT When it’s safe to head outdoors, watch out for downed power lines and other dangerous obstacles.
DON’T RETURN UNTIL IT’S SAFE. If you’ve been evacuated from your home, only return when local authorities say it’s safe to do so.
AFTER THE STORM
PHOTOS. There’s a good chance you’ll have an insurance claim on your hands, be sure to take ground level photos of everything around your property.
ALERT YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. Give them a call, let them know you’re alright.
NEIGHBORS. Check on your neighbors, they might have damage that is limiting their ability to exit their property.
ROOF INSPECTION. Call Universal Contracting & Solar at (239) 321-5886 and request a no-cost property inspection. We will provide you with a full damage report of your roofing system and help guide you through the process of either repairing or replacing your roof and providing you peace of mind.
Subscribe to Universal Contracting's Blog