Hurricanes are serious storms with the potential to cause extensive damage. Take a multifaceted approach to hurricane preparation by planning for power outages, flooding, high winds, contaminated water supplies and potential insurance claims. Though nothing can change a hurricane’s trajectory, you can minimize its impact on your family and property by following these crucial steps.
Gather food and water supplies
You should have one gallon of water per person, per day. To add to your water supply, clean your bathtub and fill it with fresh water. Gather ready-to-eat food that does not require cooking, such as dry cereal, granola bars and peanut butter sandwiches. Keep a manual can opener on hand for canned goods. Your food and water stock should last at least five days.
Stock up on special supplies
Stock up on power-related supplies, such as batteries, fuel for a generator and gas for your car. Ensure you have a full supply of medical necessities, including glasses, contact lenses and a first-aid kit. Withdraw money before the storm hits. If you lose power, you will be unable to use a credit card or an ATM.
Check your pets
Pick up an extra bag of pet food, and call your veterinarian for refills on any medications. Hurricanes are often frightening to animals, so consider using extra treats or a hairbrush to keep your pet calm. Check that your pet’s collar has an identification tag with your email address, phone number and address. Your email address gives you the best chance at reuniting with a lost pet: you can check your email from anywhere in the world, even if you move away or lose your cell phone.
Take photographs of your property
Use your phone or camera to document the pre-hurricane condition of your property. Time-stamped photographs help when filing a claim with your insurance company for hurricane damage repair and restoration. Be sure to get pictures of your doors, windows, gutters and roof. Upload your photographs to an online cloud-based storage service to keep them safe from blackouts, water damage or theft.
Secure your property
After taking pictures of your property, start securing your house and grounds. Bring outdoor furniture and decorations inside. Remove dead branches from nearby trees and board up your windows. Make sure all exterior doors have deadbolt locks. Extra-strength locks reduce the chances of your doors blowing away. Don’t take any risks with your safety. Head to your nearest evacuation point if you do not think you will be safe in your home. If the government issues mandatory evacuation orders, leave your house as soon as possible.