How to Prepare for an Impending Hurricane
Natural disasters of all kinds can cause severe damage to residential and commercial properties. Hurricanes, in particular, can destroy homes and buildings due to their strong winds and heavy rain and flooding. Sometimes, a hurricane will be so destructive that damage is inevitable. But this does not mean you cannot minimize the harm done.
If you live in an area that is at risk for a hurricane, then you should ideally prepare your home and yourself for an impending hurricane prior to that start of hurricane season, which is June 1- November 30 for the Atlantic area. Otherwise, do not wait for a hurricane to be near to prepare. Get to work promptly to give yourself and your property the best chance at surviving a hurricane.
Use the following information to help guide you through the hurricane preparation process.
Create an Emergency Kit
While the thought of an impending hurricane may cause you to first think of the damage it can cause your home or business, it is important that you do not forget about your and your family’s safety. When a hurricane is coming, you will likely need to evacuate the area to ensure everyone’s safety.
If you do have to evacuate, you should bring emergency supplies with you. To better prepare yourself for such a disaster, take the time to put together an emergency kit ahead of time. That way, you are not rushing to grab essential supplies with little or no time to spare.
The following are among the items you want to include in the kit:
- Non-perishable food
- Bottled water
- First aid kit
- Spare batteries
- Portable radio
- Laminated copies of important documents
You should periodically check the items in the kit to make sure they are still up-to-date. You do not want to take expired items with you during an emergency. If you have any pets, include supplies for them as well.
Develop an Evacuation Plan
This plan should include various evacuation routes, a designated meeting place, a backup meeting place, and emergency contacts. Ideally, one of the contacts listed should be someone from out of your area. Make note of the phone numbers and addresses for the meeting places, too.
Discuss the plan with your family and review it regularly to ensure that everyone knows what to do in the event of a hurricane.
Protect Your Property
When you leave your home or business to evacuate the threatened area, you want to leave it in the best position to recover from any storm damage. An important part of the hurricane preparation process is to protect your property and eliminate as many potential damage sources as possible.
If you have large trees and shrubs near your home, then you should trim these down. During a hurricane, its high-speed winds may break off branches only to fall or be forcefully blown into your property. This may cause dents and more serious damage to the roof and siding. This is also why you should bring in any potted plants and furniture that are outside of your home.
Exterior Property Work
The shutters installed on your windows should be storm shutters because they will provide better protection against a hurricane than standard shutters. So if your home does not already have storm shutters, have them installed. These will cost you money, but you will not need to spend as much money on storm damage repairs in the long run.
Before you evacuate, board up windows and doors if you have time. This will provide some extra protection against the storm.
Any exterior doors should also be hurricane proof, meaning they have a dead bolt lock that is at least 1-inch long and at least three hinges. Double check these doors and switch them out if necessary. For garage doors, make sure the door has impact protection and wind pressure approval.
Take a walk around your property to inspect it for any cracks and openings where water can seep in. Seal any openings you find to limit the possibility of flooding.
Professional Reconstruction Services
When you return to your home or property following a hurricane, there is a chance it will be heavily damaged. Even if you do hurricane preparation beforehand, you cannot stop a hurricane from causing damage. Sometimes, a hurricane will simply be so destructive that damage is inevitable.
Coming across the storm damage can be overwhelming. But it is important to remember that immediate action always gives your property the best chance at survival.
If a hurricane has severely damaged your property, then standard restoration work will likely be inefficient. Instead, you will need to seek help from a professional that also provides reconstruction services. This work will ensure your property is thoroughly rebuilt and restored to a safe property once again.