It only takes one storm to change your life. If you live in an area prone to strong storms, you need to be prepared. Get ready with these tips below.
1. Determine Your Risk
Depending on where you live, the impact of a hurricane can vary widely. Determine your risk and what you need to do to protect your family and home BEFORE a storm strikes.
Storm surge | Strong winds | Tornadoes | Flooding and rainfall | Rip current
2. Develop an Evacuation Plan
After you have evaluated your risks during a storm, you can develop an evacuation plan for your needs. Identify if you are in a storm surge hurricane evacuation zone or other high risk area where evacuation may be necessary and/or mandatory. Determine where you will go, how you will get there and where you will stay. If you need help leaving or use public transportation, plan for this well in advance. Don’t forget about a plan for your pets as well as many shelters may not permit them or the shelter may be full.
Find out if you live in an evacuation zone | Plan several evacuation routes | Have a bag pre-packed in case you need to leave quickly | Plan for your pets | Follow evacuation orders if provided
3. Assemble Disaster Supplies
When a storm strikes, it’s important to have supplies on hand for during the storm and the recovery period. Prepare for at least 3 days. If you evacuated, you may not be able to return to your home for an extended period.
Food & water | Medicine & prescriptions | Keep gas tank full | Cash on hand | Radio, phone chargers and batteries (cell phone, CPAP, wheelchair, etc.) | Pet supplies
4. Strengthen Your Home
Is your home ready to withstand a hurricane? Before the storm hits, make sure your home is prepared. Have supplies on hand to board up windows and doors, check that your garage door can withstand high winds, clean out drains and gutters, and identify where you can store outdoor items safely.
Cover windows | Trim trees | Secure loose outdoor items | Secure all doors | Move vehicles to a safe location
5. Complete a Written Plan
The time to prepare for a hurricane is BEFORE the hurricane hits. Creating a written plan now can help reduce the guesswork of what to do when a hurricane strikes, reduce the time spent in lines securing supplies (if they are still available!) and reduce last minute stress. Also take pictures/inventory of your personal belongings.
Have a written contact list | Keep critical documents together for quick reference | Have at least one contact outside of the impact area | Share your plan with others
6. Get an Insurance Checkup
Will your insurance policy cover hurricane damage? What about the valuables inside your home? Check now before a hurricane hits. A standard homeowners insurance policy may not cover flooding, and flood insurance may require a 30-day waiting period. Whether you’re a homeowner or renter make sure you have enough coverage!
Know your policy | Consider flood insurance | Keep documents with you