As National Hurricane Preparedness Week comes to a close, we wanted to share tips on how to prepare both your home and families before, during, and after severe tropical weather. All week, we've been sharing ways you can get prepared for the various hazards associated with a hurricane, so we wanted to end the week with a more tips on protecting your home and family from a hurricane.
In addition to the tips below, you can get more information on preparing for hurricanes and tropical storms at www.Ready.gov/hurricanes.
Tips for protecting your home:
- Make plans to secure your property. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage. Close storm shutters, and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
- If a storm is imminent, turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed. Also remember to turn off propane tanks.
- After a storm, carefully walk around the outside and check for loose power lines, gas leaks, and structural damage. If you have any doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.
Tips for keeping your family safe:
- Remember to include items like a flashlight, hand-crank radio, and a solar powered cell phone charger to your emergency kit. Hurricanes often bring power outages, so be sure your emergency kit can sustain your family for at least 72 hours after the storm.
- Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency. After a disaster, cell phone networks may be congested, so teach your family how to send and read text messages as a way to get in touch after a hurricane.
- Make copies of important family documents such as insurance policies, identification and bank account records. Store them in a waterproof container.
- Know where you will find the latest information if a storm is approaching. If you have a smartphone, bookmark useful sites like http://hurricanes.gov/mobile to track the storm's path, and http://m.fema.gov to find safety tips.
There is no better time to prepare for an emergency than now. Hurricane season is right around the corner (starting June 1), so we hope you'll take steps today to get prepared.
Other blog posts for National Hurricane Awareness Week
- Day 1: What we're doing to prepare
- Day 2: Storm surge
- Day 3: Wind danger
- Day 4: Inland flooding
- Day 5: The team effort
- Day 6: Make a plan