A recent study found that an average of 17.7 hurricanes occur per decade; One hurricane can produce inland flooding, heavy rainfall, and winds so powerful it can rip buildings apart.
One hurricane can leave a city in destruction but 17 per decade can kill hundreds and injure thousands more. So how do we protect ourselves from hurricane season 2022?
Don’t worry; with this guide, you can find out. - From how to develop an evaluation strategy to preparing your supplies. That way, you can learn how to stay safe and protected during hurricane season.
Here’s an in-depth look at preparing for hurricanes:
Determine Your Risk
First things first, determine what type of wind or water hazards are more likely to happen where you live. Research your local area and find the places that are prone to flooding, storm surges, and strong winds. That way, you know what you need to protect your house from the most.
You see, hurricanes are not just a coastal issue. The impacts from both water and wind are felt miles inland and can result in loss of power, damage to your car or house, as well as house flooding.
These damages can be costly if you don’t have insurance to cover them. Not to mention repairing your house after a storm can be a nightmare.
That’s why it’s crucial that you secure your house before a hurricane comes. In doing so, you can prevent significant damage from occurring.
However, what should you do? Again research your area; if your area tends to flood, research preventive measures for flooding. Understanding your risk can help you protect the parts of your property that are vulnerable.
Develop an Evacuation Strategy
If you live in an evacuation zone, you certainly need to develop an evacuation plan ahead of time. You may also have to leave your home if you live in a mobile home, flood zone, or a trailer.
The first thing you’ll need to plan is where you’ll go. Now, you don’t have to travel hundreds of miles; your destination could be at a friend or family’s house or a hotel out of town. Some people even go to a storm shelter in their area.
Just make sure the building is well built and outside the flood areas. Plan several routes to take in case there are accidents on the road or one road is blocked.
However, if evacuation orders are given, follow those instead and make adjustments as needed. Now, you also need to plan for your pets, if you have any.
You’ll want to make sure they are accommodated during this chaotic time as well. If you go to a hotel or storm shelter, ensure that it’s pet friendly and there are no expectations on breeds or how many pets you can have.
Shelters are pretty good at sharing this information openly and being accommodating to your needs. However, a hotel is still a business, so they’ll be more strict on what type of pets they’ll allow, how many, and generally, it can be expensive.
Prepare Disaster Supplies
Whether you’re sheltering in your home or evacuating to a safer place, you’ll need supplies to help you through the storm. However, since many people leave this step until the last minute, there are large amounts of panic buying, leading to a shortage of products. To alleviate this stress, we recommend buying your hurricane supplies at the beginning of hurricane season, when all the products will be in stock and easy to find.
When you’re creating your kit, purchase a large bag or a few medium size bags that you can easily transport your supplies with. It’s crucial that if you have to evacuate unexpectedly that you can transport your belongings easily and effectively. Other items you should purchase include:
- Non-perishable food items (enough to last your family up to a week)
- Water (enough to last your family up to a week)
- Toilet paper
- First aid kit with any important medications your family needs
- Flashlights (at least one for every family member)
- Change of clothes for each family member
- Chargers for each one of your family member’s phones
- Extra batteries
- Battery operated radio
- Waterproof pouch with cash, important documents, and contact information
- Lighter or matches
- Manual can opener
- Pet supplies (dog/cat food, poop bags, litter box, leash, carrier)
- Baby supplies (baby food, diapers, toys, car seat, baby carrier)
- Books, games, and magazines for entertainment
Set these supplies aside in an easily reachable area like a hallway closet or garage storage area. Make sure you keep these items altogether, as separating them can make them harder to find later on.
Now, it’s important that these supplies are saved and used for emergency purposes only. Don’t use a battery or two because it’s easier than buying a new pack at the store. These supplies are meant to help you through the storm, not be additional supplies you can use throughout your daily life.
You see, by using these supplies, you run the risk of not having enough batteries to power your radio and your flashlights. It will add stress to an already stressful and chaotic time, so make sure you save those supplies until you truly need them.
Start Fortifying Your Home
Regardless of if you’re evacuating or staying home to ride out the storm, you need to make sure your home can withstand hurricane winds. You’ll want to start by covering all your windows with either hurricane-grade shutters or wood.
Now, some people decide to tape up their windows due to it being cost-efficient. However, tape by itself isn’t strong enough to prevent your windows from breaking.
So don’t rely on tape to secure your windows. If you need a more cost-efficient strategy, use storm panels, hurricane fabric, or a window film.
Now, make sure you trim your trees and bushes that way; longer branches can’t break off and block the road or hit important necessities like power lines. Also, move all outside furniture, toys, decorations, and garbage cans inside.
Anything that isn’t tied down can be moved with the wind resulting in damage to other objects as well as damage to the item itself. So make sure you clean up outside your property.
You’ll need to also reinforce your garage door. To do that, you’ll want to cover your garage door with hurricane-proof metal panels, hurricane fabric, or plywood. Some garage doors can be reinforced with a metal post system that strengthens the door, so it won’t blow in or out.
Lastly, ensure that all the doors in your home are locked and secure. That way, your home is safe and protected from any hurricane winds that might come your way.
Check Through Your Insurance Policies
Call your home insurance company and ask about your policy. Check to see what your policy covers and doesn’t cover before any big storm.
Now don’t be surprised if your home insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Plus, depending on where you live, some insurance companies don’t cover wind damage. You may want to purchase separate insurance policies, so you’re covered in case any damages due occur.
Before the storm comes, take photos and video evidence of your house, belongings, outside property, and car. That way, you have clear and documented proof of what your property looked like before the storm.
If there are damages to your property, you have every right to file an insurance claim. Just take another round of photos and videos so the insurance company can see the type of damage with a before and after photos series.
Also, keep a documented list of high-value items that have been destroyed due to the storm. These items can be computers, TVs, mattresses, as well as certified collections. That way, the insurance company has a complete assessment of what they owe you.
Help Your Neighbors
If you’re close to your neighbors, try and help them prepare their houses for the storm. For example, you can ask them if they need any help with trimming their trees, boarding their house up, or finding any supplies.
By offering your help, you’re not only ensuring that they stay safe during the storm but that others do so as well. Think about it this way, if trimming their trees is difficult for your neighbor due to age, they might forgo that step.
When the hurricane comes, one of the branches could break, hitting a power line, blocking the road, or landing on a car. So if you notice that your neighbors are having difficulties completing some of the needed tasks of hurricane prep, offer your services.
However, before you help others make sure that you’ve secured your own house first. You need to make sure that your property is safe and secure before assisting others with theirs.
Contact Your Friends and Family
Before any big storm, there’s one last thing you need to do: create a contact list of important friends and family members. This list should include their names, phone numbers, and addresses. This contact list serves multiple purposes, which can help ensure your safety.
It can be used as a way to remember contact information for your family members if your phone is not working and you need to relay it to someone else. It can also help police get in contact with those you love if you get lost, separated, or in danger due to severe weather.
It can even help you check off which people you need to contact to tell them you’re okay. Now this list does not have to include family members you’re not close with or tend to be not reliable.
The point of this list is to compile information on people you want to keep in touch with or who can help you in dire situations. So don’t try to include all your extended family members; pick a few that you trust and can count on.
Make sure you make copies of this contact list and hand it out to each of your family members. Place it in a waterproof pouch or a personal bag, somewhere you’ll remember it and can quickly access it if you need it.
Prepare for Hurricane Season 2022 Today
Preparing for a hurricane can be challenging, but thanks to this guide, you have a little cheat sheet. Start by determining your risk and then develop an evacuation strategy to keep you safe and protected during hurricane season 2022.
Next, go shopping for hurricane supplies and work on preparing your home for the hurricane. You’ll want to check your insurance to make sure you have the proper insurance to cover any damage that might occur.
If you can, help your neighbors with their preparations and evacuation plans. After the storm has passed, contact your friends and family members to ensure everyone is safe and okay.
Then, contact us to help you inspect your damage and file your insurance claim so that you can make the most of your coverage. We look forward to helping you should the need of our services arise.