No matter if it’s months in advance or the middle of the season, it’s never to late to heed hurricane preparation tips. Having the things you need on hand while you and your family weather the storm if a wise precaution to take. Gathering the necessary supplies is undoubtedly the most time consuming task.
Unless, of course, we’re talking about more than the stuff we need.
Preparing your home
There are many steps you can take to make your home more resistant to the winds and torrential rain of a severe storm. There are products on the market for that specific purpose. The more structurally sound you can make your home, the better it will withstand this amazing, albeit dangerous, force of nature.
Windows and doors
Once the winds of a hurricane gain access to the inside of our home, things don’t bode well. In addition to glass and debris flying everywhere, the force causes an increase in pressure as the wind looks for a way to escape again. It races upward to the attic pushing into every nook and cranny in search of a way out. All the while, the howling force of the wind outside continues to beat against the house. The combined forces can cause the roof to come completely off!
Reinforcing your windows and doors goes a long way in preventing this catastrophe.
If you have hurricane shutters stored away, never neglect putting them up. Technology lets us know a hurricane is on the way well in advance. You’ll have plenty of time.
Does your home have impact resistant windows? They withstand the force of a 2×4 being hurled at them with the strength of a hurricane. That’s how they conduct the large missile test. It was put in place by Miami-Dade County’s hurricane resistant building code for windows. It’s the strictest in the country.
Windows and doors that survive the rigorous testing process earn the right to proclaim hurricane resistance. They earn their energy star rating according to overall performance.
They have hurricane resistant garage doors on the market, but it’s a fairly easy fix to beef up the one you have installed now. It’s not expensive. Moreover, we should note that the garage door is usually found to be the initial point of entry in homes destroyed by hurricanes.
Protect against uplift
Better anchoring your roof to your home nearly triples its structural integrity. There are several ways to do this. If you’re building a new home, installing hurricane clips or straps now is the way to go. If your home was built before any type of building codes were in place, they can be installed after the fact. It’s a tricky process, however. It’s best to have a professional handle the job.
You can also brace the underside of your roof using 2×4’s with little expense.
Hurricanes pack more than their fair share of water. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear. It makes a difference. If the water has no where to go, you can bet it will be finding it’s way through your roof and into your attic.
Harvest the fruit
It’s hard to lose the crop before it has a chance to ripen, but every piece of fruit will become a projectile.
Another form of hurricane preparation comes in the form of gathering supplies. Rather than waiting until a warning is issued, taking the time to prepare now is one less thing to worry about at the last minute.
First and foremost, we want to note that if an evacuation order has been issued for your area, please, heed it. If there is any way possible for you and your family to flee the area, the sooner you do so the better. Leaving early allows you to avoid the chaos of last minute madness.
If you are going to ride the storm out at home, Ready suggests that you have a three day supply of food and a gallon of drinking water per day for everyone in the home. This includes your pets.
Suggested food items are:
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables (Don’t forget the can opener!)
- Dry cereal or granola
- Protein bars
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruit
- Canned juice
- High energy foods
- Baby food & formula
- Comfort foods
Remember to pack any necessary medications and stock up on first aid supplies. Storing these items in a backpack in case immediate evacuation becomes necessary is a wise idea.
Be ready to function without power. Flashlights and extra batteries are a must for the supply list. You also need a battery operated emergency radio. You want to stay abreast of the ongoing situation or possible evacuation information.
Gather blankets, pillows, clothes, shoes, and socks. If forced to abandon your home and head for a shelter, having these items ready to go at a moment’s notice might make the difference between having them or going without.
If you have children, make sure to select comfort items that mean something to them. Having special items with them during the event can ease their minds. Games, cards, and a few toys provide distraction from what’s going on around them as well.
That said, if you have items of great sentimental value, gather them up and put them in the safest place possible. Or, on top of the go pile if you’re evacuating.
Lastly, important documentation, such as birth certificates and social security cards, can be a pain to replace. It’s a good idea to have these items on hand as well as some cash! Extended power outages render debit and credit cards useless.
Lacking for nothing
You don’t have to have survived a hurricane to know that it leaves a path of destruction. News coverage tells the tale. Depending on circumstances, there could be times when relief doesn’t arrive right away.
Having the things you need to provide for your family is the ultimate “just in case” measure. It could be that you will never have to experience such a storm. We sincerely hope that is the case.
However, if you do find yourself in a hurricane’s path, being prepared provides continuous peace of mind this season and for all that follow it.