Hurricane season is officially here! Whether you own a home, operate a business, or do both, it pays to be prepared. As your locally trusted storm damage cleanup and restoration company, First Response Disaster Team has truly seen the worst of the worst in terms of property devastation.
All too often, we encounter properties that would have fared better had a few preparation measures been implemented. Taking the time to weather-proof your property can mean the difference between a total loss of property and life, and a relatively small storm cleanup project.
Hurricane season is long and there is no time like the present to prepare. The First Response Disaster Team has gathered the best information, tips, and resources to help you and your family weather the storm.
How to Prepare For Hurricane Season
Hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30 every year. Although we can never pinpoint exactly where a hurricane will make landfall or how much damage it will do, you can minimize its effects. These hurricane season tips should be implemented BEFORE a storm hits to optimize your chances of survival.
- Buy emergency supplies. You should stock up your home and car with enough food, water, and medicine to sustain each member of the family for several days.
- Create or review your family disaster and communication plan.
- Stash essentials in a go-bag that you can quickly grab if you receive evacuation orders. NEVER ignore evacuation recommendations.
- Consider the special needs of pets, the elderly, and disabled individuals.
- Print important documents, including phone numbers, insurance information, birth certificates, wills, etc. Store these in a large plastic Ziploc bag.
- Withdraw enough cash to cover expenses should the power go out.
- Review your homeowners insurance policy and add any additional coverages you need. Consider purchasing separate policies for flood, wind and hail damage coverage.
- Create a written inventory of possessions. Take photos or videos of each room and the exterior premises to ease the handling of your insurance claim.
- Review your health insurance coverage. Will you be able to receive non-emergency care from out-of-network providers without accruing additional out-of-pocket costs?
- Are you familiar with the elevation of your home? Review surge, flood and/or evacuation zone maps.
- Garage or store vehicles that are not being used.
- Secure loose patio furniture, toys, and anything else that could become a projectile if blown around.
- Trim back any overhanging trees, shrubbery, and dead limbs.
- Repair or replace broken or damaged fences.
- Inspect the roof for loose tiles, shingles or debris. Replace old or damaged shingles with hurricane-force rated shingles.
- Install hurricane clips to secure roof trusses to side walls.
- Secure loose gutter systems.
- Unclog any debris or blockages from gutters and downspouts.
- Reinforce garage doors and tracks. You can also opt to replace the existing door with a hurricane tested door.
- Reinforce double entry doors with heavy-duty foot and head bolts.
- Use a security deadbolt with a one-inch minimum bolt length.
- Shutter or board up doors, but leave one entry easily accessible.
- Use sandbags around doors to prevent water from entering.
- Install tested/manufactured hurricane shutters.
- Inspect shutters to ensure they are in good working order.
- Obtain wood and fasteners, cut wood to size, pre-drill holes and place anchors on homes.
- Store shutters or plywood lying flat to avoid warping when not in use.
- National Hurricane Center Weather Updates
- Emergency Supply Kit Checklist
- Emergency Plan
- FEMA Mobile App
Never forget that a hurricane can knock out land lines and cell towers. Keep a record of any cell phone numbers for key contacts.
Don’t Let a Hurricane Catch You Off Guard
Hurricane season preparation is your best bet for staying alive and keeping your property intact. By planning ahead, you can save time, money, and energy after the storm. Should you find yourself in need of storm damage cleanup or restoration services, First Response Disaster Team is always here to help.