Hurricane Preparedness: The Essential Checklist

Hurricane Preparedness: The Essential Checklist

Hurricane Preparedness: The Essential Checklist

Hurricane season isn’t over until the end of November. As the National Weather Service tracks storms and keeps everyone updated, make sure that you and your family are ready to wait out any severe weather. If you decide not to evacuate or can’t evacuate, these emergency supplies may be all you have to go on for a while.

While you should always maintain a kit of emergency supplies, it’s particularly important to double-check that kit this time of year and replace items as necessary. Don’t let yourself get caught by surprise with an expired kit. Use this checklist to make sure you have everything you need and a plan for staying safe this hurricane season.

Hurricane season lasts another month and a half! Use this checklist to keep track of all the emergency supplies you have. Click To Tweet

Food and Drink

Your disaster kit should contain a three-day supply of nonperishable food for each person in your home. Make sure it’s easy to open and prepare as well–for instance, opt for pull-tab tops on canned foods so you don’t have to worry about a can opener. Along with the food, make sure each family member has a three-day supply of clean water with at least one gallon per person per day set aside. Don’t substitute the water for other drinks like fruit juice or soda. While these drinks may taste better sometimes and last a while, because of their less beneficial nutritional content and the potential to increase thirst through high sugar content, they should be saved as a last resort.

Non-Edible Essentials

Of course, there are plenty of non-edible supplies you should include in your emergency kit. These include:

Medical Supplies

  • 7-day supply of any prescription medicine your family needs
  • Bandages
  • Sanitary wipes
  • First aid kit
  • Sunscreen and bug spray

Evacuation Supplies

  • Extra cash
  • Copies of personal records: passports, proof of address, medical papers, etc.
  • Family members’ contact info
  • A full tank of gas
  • Flashlights
  • Hand-crank or battery-powered radio to monitor the weather
  • Extra batteries
  • Extra sets of keys for your house and car
  • Cell phones and extra chargers and/or battery packs
  • Spare clothes

Specialized Supplies

  • Baby supplies: diapers, wipes, formula, etc.
  • Pet supplies: food, carrier, leash, etc.

Pro Tip: Take before and after photos of your house to document any damage that may occur. Your insurance will appreciate it.

Before the Storm Hits

Keep your gas tank full and go down the checklist to see what supplies you may need. Keep an eye on the weather in the meantime. Prepare your home for severe weather by covering the windows, moving valuables inside, and any other steps you deem necessary. Most importantly, make sure your family knows the evacuation plan if it comes to that. Protect what’s really valuable.

Be Ready for Anything

Even the most advanced weather equipment is occasionally wrong. Sometimes, a hurricane projected to die at sea causes severe damage on land. We can never be completely sure what the weather might bring. The best we can do is make sure we’re ready to weather the storm.

Join the conversation for more ideas for your hurricane preparedness checklist.

4 Ways to Prepare for Heavy Rain

4 Ways to Prepare for Heavy Rain

As summer draws to a close, plenty of homeowners are looking forward to not dealing with severe summer thunderstorms as frequently. However, Houston isn’t completely out of the woods yet. Even if heavy rains later in the year don’t quite measure up to a summer downpour, you may still find yourself dealing with severe weather a little longer.

Ready to deal with the remnants of summer thunderstorms? Here are 4 ways to make sure your home can survive the storm with minimal damage. Click To Tweet

Preparing Your Home

Aside from the basics of gathering emergency supplies for yourself and your family, make sure to get your home ready for the abuse a severe thunderstorm is sure to dish out. Even if you’re confident your home can take it, it never hurts to be prepared. Use this checklist to inspect your house and protect vulnerable spots:

  1. Check your roof, outside and inside
  2. Clear your gutters
  3. Protect valuable outdoor items
  4. Check your windows and doors

1) Check Your Roof, Outside and Inside

If you don’t have time to get a free expert inspection, take a few minutes to examine your roof yourself. Any signs of a leak on the inside or outside of your roof should be covered immediately with a tarp and repaired as soon as the rain stops. Don’t let your home or belongings be damaged even by the possibility of a leak.

2) Clear Your Gutters

Gutters notoriously fill with leaves, twigs, and other debris over time, making it difficult for them to effectively drain your roof. For a long-term solution, considering installing gutter guards to prevent clogging. If you don’t have gutter guards yet, quickly check to ensure the gutters are clear and clean them out before the storm hits.

Pro Tip: If rainwater can’t drain properly off your roof, it weighs down in puddles and can cause leaks or collapsing. That’s why it’s so important to keep your gutters clean.

3) Protect Valuable Outdoor Items

Most homeowners have a few belongings they keep outside, such as grills, bicycles, or outdoor furniture. However, even water-resistant items will sustain some damage in a severe downpour. Bring everything inside before the storm hits to keep your outdoor valuables safe.

4) Check Your Windows and Doors

Finally, remember that your roof isn’t the only part of your house that can leak. Make sure the seals around your windows and doors are still secure and doing their job. If you find a leak, cover it temporarily with a waterproof protector until you can repair it later.

Protecting Your Home

In areas prone to severe weather and heavy rain, houses are built to endure the storms. However, every house has its flaws, especially as time passes and the original construction loses some of its strength. The best thing you can do as you prepare for heavy rain is to take a few extra steps to protect your home from severe damage through periodic inspections and maintenance.

Connect with us to learn more about preparing your home for the last bit of severe summer weather.