Now that the 2010 hurricane season has begun, residents in the Gulf Coast region and people living along the eastern coastline of the U.S. must keep an eye on the sky as well as the local news and weather reports. Pre-planning a hurricane disaster is one of the most crucial aspects of storm preparedness and the number one priority with hurricanes is for the personal safety of you and your family.
The advancements made in storm prediction technology have enabled property owners to take the necessary steps to safeguard themselves and their homes against some of the harsh elements a hurricane can dish out. It is advisable to board up windows, place unsecured items inside structures and remove valuables from the residence to a place far out of the storm’s reach. It is important to have essentials ready in the case that an evacuation is ordered. This includes a first aid kit, lots of drinking water, non-perishable food, flashlights, radio w/ batteries, blankets, medications and dry clothing and rain gear.
You should have a evacuation plan in place and be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Turn off your utilities before leaving and nail a plastic-covered note to the outside of your door so that authorities know that you have evacuated and where you went. Include your cell phone number on the note as well as the names of all who left with you.
It is also important to know what to do following the storm. If you were forced to leave your home and are returning for the first time, be sure to check your yard for downed power lines and if found, do not go near them. Check your roof for loose shingles or leaks. If you find damage, contact your insurance company right away and while you wait for help to arrive, cover the hole with a tarp, which hopefully you will have on hand.
Do not use the tap water until you have been given the ‘all clear’ by the local utility board because quite often it has become contaminated due to flooding. If there is floodwater inside your home, call a storm damage restoration company right away for help. These experts know how to handle storm-flooded homes and will usually arrive shortly after being contacted. Last but not least, be safe and do not take any chances. Avoid walking in flooded areas and take care that your children and pets are safe and dry.