Hurricanes are massive storm systems that can affect hundreds of miles of land when it comes ashore. These storms often bring strong winds and rain, even reports of tornadoes and microbursts are not abnormal with these tropical systems. The unique thing about a hurricane is once the system has passed damage can still be done.
After effects of a hurricane directly result from the duration of the storm as well as the amount of rainfall. Major flooding and landslides result from the earth being too saturated and being unable to absorb more water. Sometimes these events can be more dangerous than the hurricane itself.
It is important to remember to prepare your property ahead of any major storm.
Your Home and Your Community:
- Always have a family emergency preparedness plan drawn up. This can be used for virtually any emergency and helps keep good communication in your family unit.
- Build an emergency kit. This is also something that is a multi-disaster use item. Your kit should include essentials such as first-aid supplies, medications, food, water, family phone numbers, important documents and anything else that you would need to make it on your own for several days.
- Know where you live. Understand your surroundings and community. Identify if you are in a flood-prone area and investigate how a hurricane might affect your area. A great way to do this is become involved with your community & their emergency management efforts. Your community will fill you in on gathering spots, safe shelter areas and evacuation routes. This is also an excellent way to learn of and obtain resources that can help protect your private property.
- Routinely maintain trees, shrubs, bushes and other arboreal décor. Limbs and branches can easily be torn off by high winds, and become projectiles. By keeping your landscaping trimmed and neat you increase their resistance to the wind.
- If you have a gutter system on your home or business property chances are good they regularly are cleaned out in spring in summer – or they should be. If you haven’t been so good at keeping up with them make sure to remove debris from gutters and downspouts ahead of a major weather occurrence. If you regularly maintain your gutter systems this is still a good idea and will give you peace of mind.
- Bring backyard stuff inside! This includes lawn ornaments, patio furniture, grills and garbage cans. If it isn’t tied down securely it needs to be stored somewhere. Many items in your backyard can easily be picked up and thrown. Not only can they damage your property, they could also damage your neighbor’s property or injure someone.
- Protect entries and windows. If there is glass involved you need to board it up. Plywood is inexpensive and relatively easy to access ahead of a major storm. Always secure your boards to the exterior of your home to protect against broken glass and projectiles. This includes on entry doors that have glass and on your garage doors. Garage doors without glass should be reinforced as they are easily busted in and can cause serious damage to your property. Not to mention you outdoor stuff may be in there for safe keeping.
Following these simple steps is a great way to be proactive in the event a hurricane is headed your way. Preparedness is key to surviving disaster with the smallest amount of damage possible. Make this a family project and teach your kids the importance of being prepared. They make excellent helpers when it is time to put an emergency kit together. For more information on how you can prepare for a hurricane, as well as what you can do during and after such a storm, visit:
- "How to Make a Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Plan"
- Adjusting Today "Hurricanes and Windstorm Coverage"
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