Thursday, February 2, 2023

Hurricane Season Is Here! Five Ways To Prepare Your Home

#DidYouKnow The first historical reference to a major hurricane in coastal Virginia dates back to August 1635. Virginia’s early settlers left excellent records in ships logs, newspaper accounts, books and other historic writings of noteworthy storms and weather events. Our modern Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30th. During this time the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) National Hurricane Center predicts and tracks these massive storms – occurring up to 12 times a year in the Atlantic Ocean.

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1. Prevention

There are certain measures you can take to protect your home during hurricane season. For starters, most home insurance policies don’t include flood insurance. When anticipating hurricane season, it’s not a bad idea to get back in touch with your insurance agent to make sure you’re protected against damage.

Here are some additional measures that will provide great peace of mind:

  • Photograph each room of your house
  • Consider installing or buying a home with a generator
  • Preventative tree care – cutting down loose branches or limbs prior to hurricane season
  • Install functional non-decorative window shutters
  • Roof clips
  • Garage door braces
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2. Secure Structures

“The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed.” This scale estimates property damage from wind ranging from 74 mph to 157 mph or higher.

You can prevent wind damage by removing or securing structures from the yard. These can include but are not limited to:

  • Lawn furniture
  • Grills
  • Chairs & tables
  • Playsets, toys & trampolines
  • Pots
  • Carports
  • Sheds
  • Canopies
  • Decks

3. Stock Supplies

In the event there is no need to evacuate the home you need to be prepared to live for a couple of days without power or water. According to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention, here is a list of supplies to purchase to prepare for a hurricane:

  • At least 5 gallons of water per person (enough to last 3-5 days) & iodine tablets
  • At least a 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food (canned goods)
  • Baby food or formula
  • Any medicines
  • First Aid Kit
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Battery powered radio
  • Flashlight(s)
  • Extra batteries
  • Sleeping bags
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Baby Wipes (For cleansing without water)
  • Toothpaste
  • Flares
  • Jumper Cables
  • Local area maps

4. Develop A Communication Plan

Ready.gov is a great resource for FREE downloadable communication plans in the event of a natural disaster such as a hurricane. A communication plan is essential for all ages of the household including kids, parents and grandparents. According to Ready.gov, a communication plan should be able to answer the following questions:

  • How will my family/household get emergency alerts and warnings?
  • How will my family/household get to safe locations for relevant emergencies?
  • How will my family/household get in touch if cell phone, internet, or landline doesn’t work
  • How will I let loved ones know I am safe?
  • How will family/household get to a meeting place after the emergency?

5. Evacuate

According to FEMA.gov, these are the 5 items (5 P’s) you will need to have packed in the event you need to evacuate:

  • People – Don’t forget pets and their supplies!
  • Prescriptions – Medicine, eyeglasses, etc.
  • Papers – Birth certificate, social security card, titles, deeds, etc.
  • Personal needs – Clothes, water, first aid kits, phone chargers, etc.
  • Priceless items – Pictures or other mementos

Additional Resources:

Track hurricanes or tropical cyclones before they form with this interactive chart provided by the National Hurricane Center.
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Images and sources: Oceanservice.noaa.govFEMA.govSun-Sentinal.comEmergency.cdc.govMoney.UsNews.com, weather.gov

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