June 1, 2015 will officially kick off hurricane season, and forecasters believe this could be a very active year since there has already been activity in the tropics. The question is, are you ready in case a hurricane comes your way? This article has the purpose of teaching you what constitutes a hurricane and what you can do to prepare for this potentially crazy hurricane season.
What Conditions Constitute a Hurricane?
- Winds reaching 155 miles per hour and over
- Flying debris
- Torrential rainfall
- Tornadoes and microbursts
Prepare Now! Don’t wait until there is the possibility of a hurricane coming your way. Prepping yourself ahead of time will save you from the aggravation of dealing with all the other last minute shoppers trying to get ready before the storm hits.
- Speak with your insurance agent. Not all home insurance policies cover water damage from heavy storms or other flooding situations. Find out if your policy has you covered or if you might need to purchase some additional coverage.
- Stock up on supplies. Water, canned, or dried food and other edibles that do not require electricity to make are essential. You should have about a three-day supply stored up for each person in your family. Don’t forget your pets when stocking up! Buying shelf stable food is a great idea as it will stay safe for a while, but needs to be checked on occasion to make sure that it doesn’t expire while waiting for an emergency situation. Not sure what to have on hand? FEMA has a great checklist to consult.
- Check your house for potential weaknesses. If a leak can occur from a small summer storm, then image what may occur during a hurricane! Get any weaknesses taken care of in advance.
- Find ways to make your home secure. Heavy duty window shutters, roof clips, and garage door braces can all be used to help keep your home safe and secure during a hurricane.
- Clean and maintain your gutters. Problems with your gutters might mean that they cannot keep up with the flow of water in a storm.
- Trim your trees and other surrounding plants. Downed tree limbs can be a big problem. Try to limit the amount of problems by having it taken care of professionally rather than letting the storm take them down. Some trees might need more than a trim, and your local arborist can let you know specifics.
- Consider purchasing items that can help during electricity outages, such as generators and sump pump battery backups. These can come in handy even without a hurricane.
- Make a plan and fill in all family members. Set up possible evacuation routes, meeting places and other vital information. Don’t forget your pets in your plans.
Not everything can be prepared in advance. Here are some tips to deal with a storm if it comes knocking on your door.
- Clear up any clutter before the storm arrives. Patio furniture and other outdoor items should be either secured or brought inside if possible. You’ll thank yourself when you do not have to have them replaced after the storm.
- Unplug your electronics. You may think that your surge protector will protect your items, but flooding and electronics do not mix. Opt for the safe choice.
- Evacuate your home if necessary. High-risk homes include those near the coast or on an island, near a flood plain, close to rivers, high-rises and manufactured/mobile homes.
Follow these tips to be as prepared as possible for the upcoming hurricane season. Stay Safe!