Five Tips For Preparing For Tropical Storms And Hurricanes
With hurricane season commencing on June 1 in the Atlantic and Caribbean, it is essential that you plan ahead to ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones when a tropical storm or hurricane hits your hometown. As you are only given 36 hours to prepare once a hurricane warning has been issued, make sure that you follow these five simple tips to get a headstart in preparing for tropical storms and hurricanes.
Prepare Your Home
Both tropical storms and hurricanes, with wind speeds above 39 and 74 mph respectively, can cause extreme damage to your property. If you have outdoor furniture or anything that could be potentially blown away, make sure to secure it to the ground or bring them inside. Additionally, consider installing hurricane shutters to your doors and windows. If you are on a time crunch, however, nailing planks of wood to your door or window frames would suffice. If you have trees around your home, consider trimming them regularly so that broken branches will not damage your home in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane.
Pack an Emergency Bag
Keep an emergency bag readily available so that in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane, you can just grab it when you need to evacuate. Some supplies that you should include in your emergency bag are bottles of water (1 gallon per person, per day), food, a first-aid kit, phone chargers, physical maps, a battery-operated radio, and a flashlight. Aside from these supplies, you would also need to pack important documents, preferably in a waterproof, sealed bag.
Plan Your Evacuation Route
In the event that you need to evacuate, plan an evacuation route and an alternative route in advance. It is extremely crucial to evacuate as soon as you are told to do so, as delaying may result in panic when faced with heavy traffic. To ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones, consider communicating your evacuation plan with someone who is not affected by the tropical storm or hurricane. If you own any pets, be sure to include them in your evacuation plan as well. Make sure that they have enough supplies, as most local shelters do not take pets in during a tropical storm or hurricane.
Review Your Insurance Policies
Make sure to check your insurance policies well in advance to ensure that you know what is covered. Prepare your home according to your policies to ensure that all damages would be covered. As flooding is the leading cause of damage from tropical storms and hurricanes, be sure to consider flood insurance options to protect your house and loved ones.
With COVID-19 in mind, be sure to pack extra masks, hand sanitizers, and disinfectants in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane. If you happen to be evacuated to a shelter, it is crucial to practice safe social distancing. It is always best to ensure that you are vaccinated and bring along your COVID-19 vaccination records when you evacuate, to better protect yourself and your loved ones.