With 2019’s hurricane season officially upon us thanks to Tropical Storm Barry making headway in the Gulf of Mexico, now is a good time to brush up on hurricane safety and how to protect yourself, and your home, against a natural disaster.

Build an Emergency Kit

Having an emergency kit filled with everyday essentials and survival tools could make all the difference. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends having enough supplies to last you and your family at least 72 hours.

Emergency kits should be stored in air-tight containers or bags when possible, and should be stored in something that is easy to carry, like a duffel bag. A basic emergency kit should include:

  • Water – 1 gallon of water per person, per day
  • Food – Non-perishable food is preferred
  • NOAA Weather Radio – Battery powered or hand-crank
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle – to signal for help
  • Baby wipes and garbage bags
  • Can opener
  • Maps of the area
  • Cell phone with a backup battery and charging cords

Once you have a basic emergency kit, think about the needs of all the individuals in your home (such as medication, contacts or eye glasses, pet food, etc.) and add those things to the emergency kit as well.

Protect Your Property

The first thing you can do to protect your property and home is figure out the elevation of your property, and whether it falls within a flood-prone area. If so, it’s time to batten down the hatches.

Cover all of the windows. In a pinch, boarding up the windows with plywood is a good option, but if you want to be extra prepared, permanent storm shutters offer the best protection.

Reduce roof damage by installing clips or straps to secure your roof to the frame of your home, in case of damaging winds.

Trim trees and shrubs around your home to reduce the likelihood of them breaking off and damaging your home.

Bring in everything that is not tied down, such as outdoor furniture, garbage cans or other yard decorations.

Thank you for reading The Place of House’s blog on hurricane safety and preparedness. We hope you never have to experience a hurricane, but it’s always better to be prepared. Stay safe this hurricane season!