There are many steps to preparing for a hurricane, but you are better off being over prepared, than under prepared. You may not only save your life, but also you can also reduce the damage to your home. The following are steps that are given by the National Hurricane Center to help you be prepared.
The first step is to develop a family plan...
Next, you should create a Disaster Supply Kit....
- Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding, and wind.
- Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.
- Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet. These should be measured in tens of miles rather than hundreds of miles.
- Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
- Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.
- Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
- Check your insurance coverage - flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
- Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a Disaster Supply Kit.
- Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.
The last step is to secure your home....
- Water - at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
- Food - at least enough for 3 to 7 days
— non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices
— foods for infants or the elderly
— snack foods
— non-electric can opener
— cooking tools / fuel
— paper plates / plastic utensils
- Blankets / Pillows, etc.
- Clothing - seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes
- First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs
- Special Items - for babies and the elderly
- Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes
- Flashlight / Batteries
- Radio - Battery operated and NOAA weather radio
- Telephones - Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set
- Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards - Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods
- Toys, Books and Games
- Important documents - in a waterproof container or watertight resalable plastic bag
— insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.
- Tools - keep a set with you during the storm
- Vehicle fuel tanks filled
- Pet care items
The most important precaution you can take to reduce damage to your home and property is to protect the areas where wind can enter. According to recent wind technology research, it's important to strengthen the exterior of your house so wind and debris do not tear large openings in it. You can do this by protecting and reinforcing these five critical areas:
ROOF / STRAPS / SHUTTERS / DOORS / GARAGE DOORS
Remember: building codes reflect the lessons experts have learned from past catastrophes. Contact the local building code official to find out what requirements are necessary for your home improvement projects.