HOMEOWNERS CAUGHT UNPREPARED
As forecasts were coming in regarding the path and strength of Hurricane Beryl no one expected it would come on shore. Homeowners had a false sense of security that had terrible consequences. Tropical Storm Beryl suddenly changed its path and hit the Eastern coastline at winds just below that of a Category 1 Hurricane. Unprepared homeowners were left scrambling to secure their properties and find a safe place. Hurricane Beryl resulted in regional flooding, structural damage due to high winds, and power outages to nearly 3000 residents.
June 1 marked the start of Hurricane season. If low pressure systems are brewing off the Eastern or Gulf Coasts it is time to start thinking about your preparedness and putting in place an exit strategy.
10 HURRICANE TIPS
- Get important papers and special photos together and secured in plastic. Be sure to include social security cards, passports, birth certificates, diplomas, titles, property deeds, a copy of your insurance policy, etc. Photos of special occasions or loved ones cannot be replaced so include these as well.
- Take photos and videos of your property and belongings. This will be beneficial if an insurance claim is needed later.
- Think about where you will stay ahead of time and make sure you have directions already printed out and ready to go. Have a list of shelters on your route available, just in case.
- Have a Hurricane Kit: extra cash, batteries, flash lights, battery operated radio, bottled water, toilet paper, non-perishable foods, canned goods, can opener, small cooler, candles, prescriptions, etc.
- During a large storm you can pretty much count on the power being out for at least a day. Set your refrigerator to its coldest setting. As previously mentioned, have other options for lighting available. If you have a generator, make sure that it is in good operating condition. Some board games and cards aren’t a bad idea either.
- Board-up. When a storm is on the way plywood becomes scarce. Stock up ahead of time. Boarding up the windows and doors is a great way to help prevent damage to your home. See our Board-Up section for more information. If you don’t have any plywood and time is running out, criss-crossing the windows with layers of duct tape is a good way to add strength to the windows against light-to-medium winds.
SECURE THE PROPERTY
- Make sure everything outside is either put away or bolted down. Items such as patio sets, grilles, and toys can become destructive in high winds.
- If you plan on weathering the storm make sure you have plenty of food and water. Fill the bathtub with water as well as pots and pans.
- Sometimes the dangers present after the storm are worse than the storm itself. Avoid flooded roadways. The water is often times much deeper than it appears if the road is still there at all.
- Be on the lookout for looters. Unfortunately, some people try to take advantage of the situation for their own personal gain. Keep in contact with your neighbors and if your cell phone is working keep in touch with that authorities as you make your way home.