Prepare for Hurricane Season
The 2021 hurricane season is upon us, whether you’re a lifelong Floridian or new to the area, it is important to review your hurricane plan before it’s too late.
Here are a few simple steps that can keep you and your loved ones safe during a storm and protect your home from avoidable damage.
- Program emergency numbers into your phone and make sure they’re easily accessible in writing as well in the event that your cell phone battery dies.
- Locate the nearest shelter and identify several routes to get there. Be sure to check that any information you gathered in previous years is still valid and find out what procedures may be in place in light of COVID-19. The FEMA website and mobile app offer helpful information on temporary shelters, as well as short-term housing options.
- Enable Wireless Emergency Alerts on your cell phone, and download an app such as The Weather Channel or National Hurricane Center Data to keep you informed on the latest updates and alerts.
- Have a battery- or crank-powered radio on hand so you can tune in to updates from the NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (a nationwide network of radio stations that broadcast continuous weather information from the nearest National Weather Service office) even if your cell phone isn’t working or has a dead battery.
Gather Supplies and Documents:
- Gather at least three days worth of nonperishable food, water, hygiene items, batteries, and medications. It is important to include flashlights, extra batteries, blankets, and a first aid kit.
- Be sure to include any special items needed by seniors in your household, as well as food and any medication for pets. Ready.gov provides a list of recommended supplies that can help you be prepared for any emergency.
- Stock your car with flares, jumper cables, a first aid kit, water, and snacks, and fill the gas tank if you’re expecting a storm.
- Place important documents, such as insurance policies, in a safety deposit box or other secure location. In addition, take photos of pieces you may need to access quickly (such as health insurance cards and ID) and store them on your phone or on a flash drive.
Plan to Protect Your Family
- Create an emergency response plan that includes each member of your household, including your pets. The Red Cross offers resources, including customizable templates, to help you create a plan of action.
- Talk with each family member about what to do in the event of a hurricane. Having a plan ahead of time can help to ease fear and empower each person to keep themselves and one another safe.
Prepare Your Home:
- Clear your yard of anything that could become a projectile in heavy winds and potentially cause damage. For example, move outdoor furniture inside or secure it tightly; put away lawn, pool, and playground equipment, bicycles, grills, and propane tanks.
- Check the seals on your doors and windows and reseal any that are damaged.
- Inspect your gutters, rain spouts, and drains, and remove any debris so that water can flow freely.
- Invest in storm shutters if your home doesn’t already have them, or cut pieces of plywood to fit your windows and keep them on hand to nail in place when a storm is moving in.
- Check your insurance policy if you’re not sure if you have coverage for flood damage.
- Learn how to turn off the power in your home and be ready to do so if you see downed electrical lines or are experiencing flooding.
- Repair any damage to your roof.
For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit ready.gov/hurricanes. From all of us at KGT Builders, we wish you an uneventful hurricane season!