Happy June! School is out, summer is here….and so is Hurricane Season!
Now is the time to put together your readiness plan. NOAA predicts a near-normal season which may include 9-15 named storms, of which 4-8 could become hurricanes. The first named storm of the season, Andrea, came early in May and Barry is up next.
Just having enough supplies to make it through a hurricane isn’t enough. You need plenty to make it through what could be a LONG recovery period too. Water and electricity could be out for a week or more. Have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family for a MINIMUM of one week. Also make sure you have extra cash, a battery-powered radio, flashlights, and a portable crank or solar powered USB charger to charge your cell phone. Visit https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes to help prepare your plan. Be sure to account for your pets, as most local shelters do not permit them.
Be sure to call your insurance company or agent and ask for an insurance checkup to make sure you have enough homeowners insurance to repair or even replace your home. .Standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. While flood insurance is required in some zones, it is volunary in others. Whether you own your home or you are renting, you will need a separate policy to cover flooding damage. Act now as flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period. Visit floodsmart.gov to learn more.
SECURE POTENTIAL “MISSILES”
During a major storm, heavy wind can send debris flying around your home and yard. Be sure to put away all objects that are outside your house and not securely attached to the ground. This might include grills, trashcans, basketball hoops, toys, bicycles, patio furniture and umbrellas, loose pieces of wood, and flower and plant containers to name a few.
It is also a good idea to trim your trees and plants to remove weak or dying branches. These can be picked up by the wind and turned into potential missles. Trimming ahead of time will also help prevent larger trees from blowing over and reduce the amount of clean up after the storm. And be sure to clean out your gutters to keep the rain water flowing away from your home.
If your entry has any type of hanging light, be sure to disconnect it or secure it. These lights are typically attached to the ceiling of the entry with lightweight electrical cords and decorative chains and can easily break loose. If you cannot disconnect the light fixture, secure it to one side. If it breaks away, it will fall down to the ground instead of being hurled into a window by the wind.
GET YOUR GENERATOR READY
Generators can be a big help in the event electricity is lost. Whole house generators can power your entire home. They are typically powered by natural or propane gas and are wired directly to the home’s electrical system, allowing them to kick on immediately if power is lost. More often, people have portable generators which can provide power to key components of the home during power outages including lights, refrigerators, TVs, etc. It is important that you do NOT place your generator inside your garage, carport or in any location too close to your house. They release carbon monoxide which can get into your home. To prevent the risk of CO poisoning, place the generator away from your house in a ventilated area. Also be sure not to place electrical cords near a water source. If you’re running an electrical cord from the generator to your home, be sure it has a clear path where it won’t be saturated by rain.