The severe weather conditions that occur from mid-May up to the end of November can be disastrous if you are not well-prepared. The intense flooding, damaging winds, and fierce storm surge of hurricanes can happen at any time. These can bring about health and safety risks to you and your family while causing serious damage to your home. You need to have a hurricane checklist that will help to ensure that you, your family, and your property are prepared for any eventuality.
Have an Emergency Plan
You need to have an emergency plan and practice it with your family so that everyone is aware of what to do when the actual emergency occurs. Everyone needs to know the evacuation route to use if they need to leave their home and find shelter, and that should include when you are not all together. Have emergency numbers readily available and program them to your cell phone. Know the location of the nearest shelter and the different routes you can take to get there from your home.
Have an Emergency Preparedness Kit
When a hurricane occurs, it disrupts normal services such as electricity and water supply. You will need supplies that will help keep your family healthy and safe during and after the hurricane. The emergency preparedness kit includes food, water, medicine, alternative power sources (flashlights), extra batteries, important documents, and a first aid kit. The supplies that you have should be sufficient to last your family for a few days.
Be Ready to Stay at Home or Evacuate
Authorities usually advise people on whether they should evacuate their homes, and you need to take their advice seriously. Do not ignore the order to evacuate even if your home is well-built and sturdy, as it might not hold up against a hurricane. Sometimes you may hear an order that forbids you from leaving your home, and this might be because the driving conditions are dangerous.
If you are to evacuate then carry your emergency supply kit, unplug appliances, and follow the designated routes even if they have heavy traffic. If you are to stay then have the emergency supply kit handy, listen to the broadcasts and stay inside until the storm passes.
Use Many Ways to Receive Alerts
You need to have various ways of receiving updates about the storm such as watching TV, listening to the radio, and checking online. If you live in hurricane-prone areas, then it would be smart to download apps on your smartphone that give real-time alerts before and during the storm. You can also sign up for email alerts from local authorities and the National Weather Service. It is a good idea to invest in a portable battery-operated radio since the electricity might be cut off during the storm.
Secure Important Documents
Certain important documents such as your birth certificate, state-issued ID, insurance policies, and social security card must be kept up to date and in a secure place. Make copies of these documents and include them in your emergency kit, as you will always need them.
Prepare the Outside of Your Home
Clear the yard and make sure that there is nothing that can be blown around during the storm. Things like lawn furniture, bikes, grills, and propane tanks should be moved inside to prevent damage to your home. Be prepared to turn off your power in case of downed lines during flooding and fill drinking water in clean containers since you might lose the water supply during the hurricane.
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