STORM PREP TIPS
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If an evacuation is ordered, know your local hurricane evacuation route(s) and organize a place to stay. Communicate your plan with someone not in the storm’s path.
Sign-up for emergency alerts via text message or email for your area. To find available alerts in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts”.
- Consider your household’s specific needs – disabilities, prescriptions, baby or young children’s necessities, pets, etc.
- Have a communication plan if members are separated.
Know where your important documents are (birth/marriage certificates, insurance information – keep copy backed up on computer and any paper copies in air/water tight bags.
Keep your car in good working condition, and keep the gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.
Make sure your cell phone is fully charged in anticipation of power outages.
store all of your items in airtight plastic bags and have all of your supplies in one or two easy to carry containers, such as plastic bins or a duffel bag. *Remember, after assembling your kit, to check and update as needed and as changes in your household occur. Ensure each member of your household knows where kit is stored. Suggested items include:
- Gallons of Water – enough for each household member for drinking and sanitary purposes.
- Non-perishable food – have approximately three days’ worth of food on hand for each household member.
- Battery powered or hand crank radio
- Extra Batteries
- First aid kit
- Manuel can opener
- Moist towelettes/Sanitary wipes
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Paper plates, cups and utensils
- Books, board games, puzzles, cards, etc.
- Cell phone charger(s) and extra battery
- Additional items as pertains to your family – medications, baby and/or pet supplies, etc.
PREPARING YOUR HOME / PROPERTY
Check your insurance policy well in advance of a storm to know what is covered.
Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
Secure all doors on your property. Remember, garage doors are typically the most vulnerable.
Before storm/hurricane season begins, trim or remove limbs and damaged trees to better protect your property.
Have the proper materials in advance to board up your windows to protect from flying debris. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.
If possible, move your vehicle into a garage or to another secure location.
Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
Bring loose outdoor items, such as patio furniture and garbage cans, inside and anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks). High winds can cause them to blow around and cause damage to homes.
If you know a storm is imminent, turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
PREPARING FOR COLD WEATHER
It is common to think that if you are going out of town for a few days that you should turn your heat or air off in your home to save on electricity; but, that is a huge mistake, especially during the cold months. It is imperative that you maintain the heat in your property at fifty degrees or higher, even if no one is home.
Go the extra mile and caulk holes or cracks both on the interior and exterior walls to prevent drafts or cold air from reaching the pipes. Pay more attention to areas around utility service lines.
If you are going to be away for more than 24 hours, you may want to consider the option to turn off the water supply to the house and drain the system. A more common practice is to leave your faucet open to allow slight trickles of water and prevent pressure build-up during freezing temperatures.
Pipes located close to outside walls, attics, or crawl spaces are most susceptible to freezing. Always ensure they are properly insulated with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves. Wrapping pipes with heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables are also an option that will provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and prevent any water inside them from freezing.
Opening cabinets doors that are closely located to these pipes can help circulate warm air around the plumbing fixtures and prevent pressure buildup and blockages from ice. Contact Highland Construction & Restoration at (910) 485-6738 if water damage is discovered in your home or business. We are a professional water damage restoration company, and you can rest assured your home is in good hands.