Being prepared means protecting yourself, your family and your business from the worst. And this is something you should do now, not any other day. For when a hurricane watch is issued, it will be too late to act.
Step 1: Prepare Emergency Supplies
In case of emergency, you should have food, water, medicine, documents and non-perishable emergency supply readily available.
- It is recommended to prepare at least 5 gallons of water per person and iodine tablets or chlorine bleach that will make your drinking water safe.
- A 3-5 day emergency supply of food should consist of canned or other food that does not go bad.
- Have prescription medicine as well as any recipes in your emergency kit.
- Gather items like flashlight, candles and matches, sleeping bags, personal care products, battery-powered radio and extra batteries before the hurricane season is looming.
Step 2: Plan Your Evacuation
Severe hurricanes may require the organized evacuation of all citizens.
- Be sure to check the nearest shelter and think of the ways to get to it in case of a hurricane.
- Prepare the radio that will allow you to stay informed.
- Think about how you will transport children, elderly and pets living with you.
- Instruct each member of the family about fetching the prepared supplies and safely leaving your home.
Step 3: Take Care of Business Hurricane Preparedness
Minimize the impact of hurricanes on your business:
- Review your business continuity plan and instruct your employees on the key elements of it.
- Assign an employee responsible for alerting severe weather and communicating news after the hurricane event.
- Train emergency evacuation and shutdown.
- Inspect commercial buildings and surrounding areas and take precautionary measures as described below.
- Inspect life safety equipment and emergency supplies inventory.
Step 4: Prepare a Personal Property Inventory
Preparing home inventory is a good practice for preparedness to hurricanes, as well as sudden water damage or fire damage. It guarantees sufficient coverage and faster process of making insurance claims. With modern technology – photos, videotaping and dedicated mobile apps – it might be easier than you think.
Step 5: Reinforce your Roof and House Structure
Hurricanes may literally blow apart residential and commercial buildings. For this not to happen to your property:
- Use ring-shank nails to seal the roof deck and double its strength.
- Make sure vents and soffits are securely attached.
- If not installed during the construction, add metal connectors like hurricane straps to tie the building together while having a renovation.
- Consult specialists whether connection points along the continuous load path of a structure need to be reinforced.
Step 6: Protect all Windows and Doors
Windows and doors can easily “fly away” under pressure of a strong wind exposing your house to rain and debris and posing a hazard to health on their way. To protect all windows and doors:
- Install shutters or roll-downs or prepare permanent fasteners that can be installed when a hurricane watch is issued.
- Have pressure-rated garage and business doors or install a bracing system that will prevent wind from blowing in the door.
- Install hurricane proof exterior door with at least three hinges and at least one-inch long deadbolt lock.
Step 7: Make Surveying of the Outside Area a Regular Practice
Learn to critically evaluate the outside area for hazard in case of a hurricane:
- Hide all loose objects when a hurricane is viable.
- Trim trees and branches to prevent any tree damage.
- If you have a trailer of the boat, learn to firmly fix them and have all the necessary tools ready.
- Assign a responsible person to survey business premises before a hurricane season.
HallMark Mitigation and Construction has a Top Priority Program that allows receiving help faster than anyone else in your area in case of an emergency event. It takes nothing to join the program, but it will make feel secure and prepared. What’s more, our experts come to evaluate your property and give tips on how to improve its hurricane preparedness.
Are you already done with some steps? Please share with us in the comments.