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In the Community August 24, 2015

Hurricane Preparedness: The Most Important Tips

Hurricanes are powerful and unpredictable storms that can cause immense damages during their season (June 1 through November 30). When it comes to staying safe and protecting one’s property during the hurricane season, preparedness is key.

Before (or during) the hurricane season, property owners are advised to:

  • Create an emergency kit with:
    • Water for drinking and sanitation to last at least 3 days;
    • Non-perishable food for at least 3 days;
    • Hand crank or battery-powered radio, as well as spare batteries;
    • Flashlight with extra batteries;
    • First aid kit;
    • Whistle to call for help;
    • Dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct-tape for shelter making;
    • Moist towelettes and garbage bags for sanitation;
    • Pliers or wrench to turn off utilities;
    • Can opener;
    • Local maps;
    • Cell phone with an extra charger.
  • Make a family evacuation plan together with the members of their household. The plan should be practiced to help reduce confusion and fear in the event of a hurricane.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and determine the meeting place, as well as the routes to get there.
  • Know the geographical area they live in.
  • Find out whether their property is flood-prone due to its elevation level.
  • Find out if the levees and dams in their area (if there are any) pose a hazard to them when the storm hits.
  • Make copies of important documents, such as proof of ownership of any property, and store them in the emergency kit.
  • Secure their property:
    • Cover the home’s windows with permanent storm shutters or marine plywood, unless the windows are made of laminated glass with impact-resistant glazing.
    • Securely fasten the roof by installing straps or additional clips to reduce damage.
    • Trim the trees and shrubs around the home for more wind resistance.
    • Keep the rain gutters and downspouts clean and unclogged.
    • Strengthen the garage door to make it withstand powerful winds.
    • When the storm approaches, bring in all their outdoor furniture, bikes, garbage cans, etc.
    • Consider purchasing an electricity generator to run essential appliances if the power goes out.
    • Consider building a safe room for better protection during hurricanes.
    • Learn how to shut off the power and gas to their home and have the tools for the job handy.

In the words of Sheri Fink, “the threat from extreme weather events highlights the importance of investing in preparedness”, so everyone should make sure they are well prepared before a hurricane hits. For any restoration emergency involving water, fire or smoke damage, the PuroClean team is standing by.

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