Though there have been no major storms that have ravaged U.S. coastal areas this year, hurricane season
is not officially over until November 30. Despite the lull, it's important to prepare. With the right procedures, you can increase your home security and your family's safety.
Assemble a kit and a plan
One basic hurricane preparation
practice is packing a bag of essentials in case you need to evacuate your home. This should include a good first aid kit, flashlight, radio and perhaps even a change of clothes. Implement a plan
to reunite with family members in case anyone gets separated. Choose an easily accessible elevated location in case any flooding occurs. Find out where the community fallout shelter is and share the information with loved ones.
Protect your house
After packing the essentials and making a plan, you should find out whether or not your property lies in a potential flood zone. If it is, you will have more work to do in preparation. First, defend your home against strong winds by boarding up your windows. The Federal Emergency Management Agency noted that permanent storm shutters are the best line of defense. However, if your home doesn't have these, FEMA suggested 5/8 inch marine plywood. Be sure that the boards fit your window well before putting them in place.
Other common victims of strong winds are trees and shrubbery. If any are on your property, consider trimming them or even cutting them down altogether. Hurricane winds can easily uproot these and you don't want one going through or landing on your home.
To ensure proper drainage, clear your house's gutters. Additionally, if you have a pool, check on how well water leaves the deck. Consider creating extra routes for water to flow by digging some simple trenches that lead away from the pool. Remember to remove all deck furniture, since these can easily become airborne and potentially damage property.
Stay safe inside the home
When the hurricane makes landfall
, take shelter inside your home. Stay away from windows, in case the winds break through. As tempting as it may be, do not use any electronics, as the storm can cause a surge in electricity and destroy your devices. Look into surge protectors so that you can leave your items plugged in without having to worry. Alternatively, you can unplug everything.
It's important to stay alert and be ready to evacuate if necessary. However, with the right preparation, you can increase your family's safety inside the home.