As hurricane season is upon us, many people are wondering “How can I prepare for a hurricane?”. As the intensity of each hurricane can widely vary, it’s important to have a few levels of protection between your home and the elements.
As always, be sure to listen for official announcements regarding the hurricane as it approaches – if officials tell you to evacuate, do so. Do not stay in your home when it is deemed too hazardous!
Have a Family Plan
As you should do to prepare for every disaster (fire, flooding, etc) you and your family should have a plan of what to do if a hurricane approaches. You should have a designated room that your family goes to (bathrooms are typically very safe) to ride out the storm and should have a preparedness plan for if a family member is stuck outside the home during an event (where should they go, who should they call).
An important part of this family plan is determining how you will communicate with each other. Have a backup plan in case phone lines are down/overloaded, such as contacting via text or social media.
Gather Helpful Supplies
During a hurricane event, a number of things can happen, including power outages (possibly for a few days), downed trees, blocked roads, etc. It’s important to have enough supplies in your home to be able to hunker down and stay safe until it is okay to venture outside again. It’s a good idea to create a basic disaster supplies kit that will hold a number of essential items:
It’s always a good idea to have a few gallons of water on-hand in case you aren’t able to access clean water during a hurricane event. Water can also come in handy if you need to use it for sanitation purposes as well.
Crucial for those dark nights without power, having a few flashlights available can be a game changer. Having some head-mounted flashlights (such as these) can also be helpful for hands-free usage
First Aid Kit
It is extremely important that you have a first aid kit available, especially in the event you or a family member has an accident and you’re unable to leave your home. Be sure your kit has the basics: antiseptic wipes, band-aids, ibuprofen, gauze, etc.
You should keep a three or four-day supply of non-perishable foods within your cabinets in case you lose power and are unable to get to a grocery store. Don’t forget to include pet food if you have animals in the home as well!
Fill up your car’s gas tank at least 36 hours prior to a hurricane event, just in case you need to evacuate or have a local gas shortage as a result of the storm.
Protect Your Home
There are some things you can do to prepare your home for a hurricane event that could help prevent exterior damage and flooding.
First, review your insurance policies to be sure you fully understand its terms and what kind of coverage you have. Call an insurance agent or your local credit union for questions about hurricane preparedness or your policy.
Do a walk-around of your home to determine any weak spots that may need to be addressed before the storm, such as windows that could be blocked off with hurricane shutters/plywood, trees around the property that may need to be trimmed down, etc. Consider utilizing sandbags in areas that are prone to flooding.
Similarly, check for loose objects around your yard that could become dangerous projectiles in high-velocity winds – these objects could include trash cans, children’s outdoor toys, patio furniture.
Eastex wants you to be fully prepared for any storms during this hurricane season. We are always here to help with any questions you may have – contact us today to discuss any concerns you may have!