Hurricane season is approaching quickly. The official start date is June 1, which when you think about it, is right around the corner. Houston hasn’t seen a bad hurricane since the infamous Ike of 2008, and some experts think we are due for a big one. But the scary thing with a hurricane is no matter how much you track them, you never know when one will suddenly turn your way. That’s why it’s very important to have a hurricane kit along with a safety plan ready to put into action.
A study conducted by Colorado State University is “forecasting 11 named tropical systems, compared to the average amount of 12. Out of those, the department forecasts 4 will become hurricanes, compared to the typical 6 to 7 in any given season. They are maintaining we’ll probably see an average of 2 major hurricanes (winds over 111mph), which is considered normal.”
How do you prepare your home and business for a hurricane? Start by following these easy steps:
Be sure your home or place of business meets the proper building codes for withstanding hurricanes. Hurricane winds and rain come fast and hard, and if your home isn’t up to proper code, there’s a good chance that parts of your home or office will be destroyed. Things like windows, shutters, and loose gutters should be fixed and secure before hurricane season starts.
Have proper tools, supplies, and a first aid kit handy. Hurricanes cause damage, and you never know what will need to be fixed quickly, including during the storm.
Have enough non-perishable food and water to last a week. During a hurricane power outages can last a long time, even weeks. Having enough food and water to sustain you and your family is essential. If a powerful hurricane hits, grocery stores can take a while to open up again, so it’s best to be prepared.
Make sure your home and office are covered by flood insurance. With most insurance companies, flood insurance is a separate policy that needs to be purchased before the storm hits. Flooding is very common during hurricanes, and having the right insurance will make the restoration process less of a headache.
Make sure you have a substantial amount of flashlights and batteries. Like we mentioned before, power outages are common and can last days. Making sure your home and office are equipped with flashlights and batteries will keep the lights on and reduce the chances of an accident.
Know the evacuation routes if you live near the coast. This is very important. Roads will be at a standstill if an evacuation is called in your area. Knowing the easiest and safest way out should be part of your safety plan.
Once your safety plan is in place, having a hurricane kit in your home and office is the next step. Your kit should contain the following items:
- One gallon of water per person for at least three days
- At least a week’s supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio along with extra batteries
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air, and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers (solar charger if possible)
Hurricanes are never easy to deal with, but being as prepared as possible will help you in the long run. And following the advice listed above will put you on the right track of keeping your home, family, and business safe.