Use the following check list to assess the status of your home’s preparedness for a potential hurricane strike. Save your check list and refer to it during hurricane season.
BEFORE HURRICANE SEASON:
Secure your home with protection for the door and window openings. Check your door and window shutters or protection equipment to be sure everything you need is on hand and in good working order. Realistically evaluate whether you will be able to put up the shutters in the event of a hurricane watch. If the shutters haven’t been used in a long time, have them inspected by a professional.
If you do not have any storm shutters, or want to upgrade, contact Folding Shutter Corporation at (800) 643-6371 or www.foldingshutters.com for a professional evaluation and price quote. Each shutter is custom fitted to your home, so allow enough time for measurements and then the manufacture and installation of your shutters.
- Retrofit your home where necessary. Areas to check include the roof to wall connections, roofing materials, exterior doors, and garage doors.
- Prune trees and heavy vegetation around your home.
- Document your home and its interior contents with photos or a video to support insurance claims. Store a copy electronically, or in a safe or safe deposit box, along with copies of important documents.
Assemble supplies in water tight containers. Suggested items include:
- First aid supplies and medicines for your family and any pets;
- Water, at least one gallon daily for each person for 3 to 7 days, plus additional water for any pets;
- Non-perishable canned and packaged food, and pet food; manual can opener and bottle opener; paper plates, cups and utensils; paper towels, resealable plastic bags and garbage bags;
- Flashlights and radio, extra batteries, basic tools and duct tape, matches and lantern;
- Rain gear, extra clothing, sturdy shoes, and blankets;
- Chlorine bleach to use as a disinfectant, moist towelettes, personal toiletries, and toilet paper;
- A duplicate set of keys and copies of important documents, such as insurance policies, medical records, Social Security card, bank account numbers, and credit cards;
- Pet supplies, identification and immunization records, leash, muzzle and carrier.
- Talk to your family about what you will do if a hurricane is predicted to hit our area. If it is necessary to evacuate, plan where you will go, and what route you will take.
- Include caring for any pets in your planning.
- Determine the safest area of your home in which to wait out a storm, in the event that an evacuation is not necessary.
- Designate an out-of-area contact person.
A HURRICANE WATCH IS ISSUED:
- Make sure your car has a full tank of gas. Charge your cell phone.
- Have enough cash, in small bills, to last a week or more.
- Double check your hurricane supplies and make any additions, especially baby food and supplies, special dietary needs and medications.
- Store lawn furniture, potted plants and anything else that could become a flying missile.
- Do a quick inventory of your shutters or door and window protection equipment to be sure everything is on hand.
- Monitor the storm’s progress on local TV, radio, or online at the National Hurricane Center website, www.nhc.noaa.gov.
A HURRICANE WARNING IS ISSUED:
- Put up storm panels or close up your folding, rolling, bahama or colonial shutters.
- Double check around your home to make sure that there are no loose items that could become airborne. Put your vehicles in a garage, if you have one. If you have a pool, lower the water level several inches, but do not drain the pool. When the ground gets saturated with water, an empty pool can pop out of the ground.
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their highest settings. Add plastic jugs of water to take up empty space in the refrigerator or freezer. This will help keep food cold longer in the event of a power failure.
- Fill tubs and sinks with tap water, for possible use later.
- Remain indoors. Do not cook indoors on a charcoal or gas grill.
- Monitor the storm’s progress on local TV, radio, or online at the National Hurricane Center website, www.nhc.noaa.gov. Evacuate promptly should an evacuation order be issued.