Hurricane Preparedness

Here are some helpful tips and important information on the things you can do prepare for an impending hurricane and be safe before, during and after one of these major storms.

BEFORE A HURRICANE

Tropical Storm Repairs Before Storm

In order to appropriately prepare yourself for a hurricane, you are strongly encouraged to take the following actions and precautionary measures immediately after a hurricane forecast:

  • Build a Hurricane Survival Kit, also known as a Storm Emergency Kit.
  • Sit down with your family and make a Family Contact & Communication Plan, in order to define and identify the plan to follow or steps to take in the case of an emergency; determine how you will get in contact with one another and/or places to meet in the case that any member of the family gets lost during the hurricane.
  • Be aware and conscious of the areas that surround you. If you know that you live in an area that’s prone to floods, take the necessary measures to prepare for Tidal Flood or Storm Surge forecasts.
  • Katrina showed us, in the most unfortunate fashion, how important it is to be aware of any levees and/or dams near you or close to your area; determine where they are and evaluate whether they constitute a risk to you and your family in the case of a disaster.
  • Community procedures and guidelines call for evacuation routes to be established in the case of an emergency; learn about this evacuation routes and the emergency plan in your community, particularly about how to find higher ground should the need arise for you to evacuate the area.
  • Take preemptive action to protect and secure your property and belongings by covering your windows with permanent storm shutters – please be aware that tape will NOT prevent your windows from breaking.
  • Take the necessary measures to reduce and/or prevent roof damage, by installing clips or straps that tighten the structural frame of the house to its roof.
  • Trees are lovely, but they are often the cause of tragedy and destruction during hurricanes and storms. Take the necessary measures to secure, to the extent that it’s possible, any trees close or near your house from falling on top of your property; remember that trees are more resistant to strong winds if they are neatly trimmed.
  • Go to the roof of your house prior to the hurricane and make sure you clean all rain gutters and drainages, particularly if they are clogged.
  • Garage Doors… Reinforce them! This cannot be stressed enough. If your garage door is blown away by the wind, the structural damage the wind can cause after it enters your garage, and potentially your home, may end up being expensive to restore and more dangerous for your family.
  • Do your kids have a playground on your lawn? Any toys that could be lifted up and blown away by strong winds? Any objects like outdoor furniture, garbage disposals, etc.? These objects may essentially become projectiles with the force of nature’s winds; tie them down or bring them inside.
  • If you have the financial resources, try and install a power generator for immediate emergencies – such as hurricanes. It doesn’t have to be the most powerful generator in the world, just one that’s good enough to provide you with the power you need for an emergency.
  • If you live in a high-rise building, please take shelter at the lowest levels. Call a neighbor if you live at the Penthouse. But do everything you can to avoid staying on a floor level 10 stories or higher.

DURING A HURRICANE

Tropical Storm Repairs Satellite Image

If there is a Storm Forecast for your area, or worse, a hurricane warning, you should take the following steps to ensure your safety and that of your family:

  • The internet, radio, and TV are your friends. Stay tuned and pay attention to the most updated information about the hurricane on your local news and radio stations.
  • Remember to bring outdoor objects inside, and secure windows with something stronger than tape.
  • It may be that weather authorities or government agencies like FEMA instruct you to turn off your home utilities like the refrigerator, oven, etc. Do turn these off if that’s the case. If not, turn your fridge to its lowest or coldest temperature and keep the doors closed so as to save any supplies you have inside for a couple extra hours. That may end up making the difference during an emergency.
  • If you own a barbecue, not only should you bring it inside, but you should also remember to turn off any gas propane tanks, either from the barbecue or pertaining to any other appliances you own. Remember that not only is gas extremely flammable, but also toxic and poisonous if inhaled.
  • Turn off your cell phones, so as to save the battery for serious emergencies. If you live in a household where there are many cell phones, take turns and have only one turned on at a particular time. Communicate with friends and family and set-up times to call each other to make sure everything is safe and there no dangerous situations have unfolded.
  • Water? Get tons of it. Supply of water can never be enough. And I’m not just speaking about drinking water, but actually a supply of water for flushing toilets and for sanitary and hygiene purposes. Fill your all the bathtubs in your house with water, and take all the containers you can find in the house and fill them with water as well.
  • Buy a hefty supply of non-perishable food; particularly canned goods. Take the necessary and appropriate measures to keep food in a safe and accessible place during and after the hurricane.
  • Should weather conditions get too hazardous for the safety and security of your family, you must evacuate the area – please listen to what local, state and federal authorities have to say about the dangers a hurricane poses for your area. They will know to make the adequate recommendations regarding an evacuation, or if it’s safe for you to stay sheltered at your own house.
  • Folks who live in mobile homes, high-rise buildings, or close to the coast or a body of water, are particularly at a highest safety risk during hurricanes. IF you live in one of these structures or places, please strongly consider taking shelter somewhere else, such as a relative or friend’s house or a government facility.
  • If you decide to stay at home, please follow these procedures and measures during the hurricane:
    • Stay indoors and away from windows and any glass structures or sliding doors.
    • Close all doors inside the house and secure external doors. Close all blinds and curtains.
    • Remember that when the eye of a hurricane passes through a certain location, there will be some moments of calmness and tranquility. Do not be fooled by this and think that it means the hurricane is over. It’s coming back.
    • Gather your family and take refuge in the most secure room inside the house – and yes, this includes taking your pets in there with you.
    • If things get testy, take refuge inside a closet.

AFTER A HURRICANE

Tropical Storm Repairs After Storm

  • Keep on listening to the radio for local news updates and newest weather forecasts about the hurricane, storm or emergency – the radio station for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a good source of the most current hurricane information and the latest updates regarding emergency situations.
  • Be aware of the fact that just because the hurricane has passed and the rain is over, does not mean that the emergency is entirely over. Subsequent extended rainfall and massive flooding may occur even after the storm or hurricane has passed. Many tragedies occur after the fact, because people think it’s safe to go outside and lower their defenses. Do not make this mistake.
  • FEMA and the American Red Cross represent the first and last lines of defenses for you during and immediately after the hurricane. Contact them for any troubles of problem, particularly in the case that one of your family members has gotten lost of separated from the rest of you; remember to use the family plan to search for the missing family member, if you did set up a communications plan prior to the hurricane.
  • If you were forced to evacuate your house, return only after local government, state, or federal officials say it’s safe to do so.
  • Avoid driving in the streets unless it’s necessary – as a matter of fact, stay off the streets entirely to the extent that it’s possible immediately after the hurricane or emergency.
  • Take a walk only around your immediate premises, being real careful, and look around for any damages, dangling power lines or structural damage to your property. If you see any loose or hanging power lines, report them immediately to the proper authorities or the power company.
  • It is very important that in inspecting your house or property for damages, that you take pictures of any damage that did indeed occur – and take pictures not just of the damages, but also of any related contents and personal belongings. This is crucial for insurance purposes.
  • If your house did suffer damages, minimizing these damages should be one of your main priorities; call us immediately and we’ll have a rapid response team in your property within 30 minutes to have your house inspected and examined by professional structure inspectors with an expertise in Tropical Storm Repairs restoration and flood damage water removal.

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