Hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30, and those of us in the South know that whether you’re on the coast or miles from, you’re not out a hurricane’s warpath, and you better be prepared. Especially now that we’re in the eye of hurricane season, it’s time to revisit and revise your checklist to make sure you are hurricane ready all year long. Here’s our list of ways to prepare your home and your family before the next storm makes landfall.
Create/Revisit Your Evacuation Plan
Luck favors the prepared, and you don’t want to be caught in a hurricane unprepared. Before a hurricane strikes, create an evacuation plan for your household. This plan should cover what to do when an emergency is declared and account for each common emergency scenario: when you’re at home, if you’re separated from your family, or if you have to evacuate.
If some time has passed since the last time you revised your plan, we recommend reviewing it. Factors including home layouts, landmarks, or resources along the way may have changed, and you don’t want to be left unprepared in a time of need. After solidifying your plan, share it with your loved ones and ensure that everyone knows what to do and their role should you need to evacuate.
Another step to hurricane season preparedness is to arm yourself with knowledge. Know the difference between each hurricane category and what it means for your personal situation. Know where your evacuation shelters are located and know the government responses for each of the five hurricane categories. Knowing can save your life.
Sign Up for Weather Alerts
One of the first things you should do to prepare for hurricane season is to sign up for weather alerts. You don’t want any of this to come as a surprise, so use these early warning tools to stay vigilant. Most news channels have an app or text alerts to keep you informed. We recommend picking your favorite station or picking the one sharing the most info. For added coverage, enroll in national alerts like ones from the National Weather Service or the American Red Cross. They tend to be more detailed with the information they broadcast, plus most news stations use national trackers to update their reports.
Create a Disaster Kit
After the storm clears, you may be without food, water, and supplies for several days. Here is where a disaster kit comes in handy. The Ready division of the Department of Homeland Security advises having three days of supplies in your disaster kit, putting them in airtight bags, and storing them easy-to-carry containers like plastic bins or duffle bags. Don’t wait until a warning is issued to build your kit. You may forget the necessary items in a panic. Instead, take the time to build your kit when things are calm, and update it as your family’s needs change.
Items to have in your kit include a gallon of water, food, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, external batteries, flashlight, medicine, first aid kit, and dust masks. If you have pets, you can prepare a disaster kit for them as well. Also, within your disaster kit, make sure each family has a Safe and Well card. These cards allow carriers to have a list of relative contacts on hand and a website resource to check if they get separated from their family.
Lastly, if you’re unsure of what daily items you may need for your kit, take a roll of everything you use over the next three days and then ensure you have the same quantities available in your kit. Have a small child and go through 10 diapers a day? Then your kit should have 30 diapers and wipes available for your 72-hour kit.
Make Sure You Have Access to Clean Water
Whenever there’s news of a hurricane forming off the coast, what do people buy first? Water bottles! Tropical storms and hurricanes are notorious for tainting water systems, filling them with contaminants from sewage and stormwater. To best prepare for the damage hurricanes cause, we recommend installing a whole house water filtration system, overstocking up on water bottles. If you want to get a head start having clean water, the Science of Water is at your service, ready to install one of five water filtration systems by Puronics.
Installing a system ensures you’ll have clean, contaminant-free, and pleasant-tasting water throughout your home and stay hydrated with, and a bonus is that you can bottle your filtered water and pack it in your disaster kit.
Prepare Your Home
Our homes are our prized possessions, and although we can’t do much to stop hurricanes, we can attempt to minimize damage. Whether you decide to evacuate or shelter in place, here are few ways to protect your home during hurricane season:
- Protect your windows: With the fast-moving winds of a hurricane, it’s common for windows to break and blow inward. Taping up windows is a common practice to protect from windows shattering, but it doesn’t protect from windows breaking. We recommend boarding up your windows or installing storm shutters or using hurricane glass.
- Clear your yard: While trying to prepare for the incoming hurricane, your focus may be on your indoor furniture, but don’t forget about your outdoor items. Bikes, grills, materials, and patio furniture; they’re all items that can damage your home and your neighbor’s if you forget to bring them indoors.
- Turn off/Unplug appliances: Hurricanes cause flooding and power outages from downed lines. To protect your home from damage, turn off lights, unplug appliances. Rushing water and power surges can create fires or lead to electrocution. So, if you see it coming, act fast.
- Check your roof: Hurricane winds often exceed 100 MPH, which is enough to take your roof clean off and leave your home totaled. Examine your roof for any cracks, missing shingles, or signs of it being loose.
Get Flood Insurance
When disaster strikes, you want to make sure your home is covered. Have a conversation with your insurance providers about flood or hurricane insurance. Because hurricanes are high-cost damage events, those in hurricane- or flood-prone areas should be wise and take out enough coverage to ensure their property is covered. And before picking a policy or two, know the details of what your plan includes, because not every flood insurance policy is created equal. Not reading the fine print can leave you out in the rain should a storm arrive.
The Science of Water
Hurricane season is upon us, and before you find yourself in need, let The Science of Water help you get prepared. With these tips and our installation of a water filtration system, you’ll be able to breathe, stay safe, and have access to clean water should a hurricane strike.
We’re proud to serve the Jacksonville and Gainesville, Florida area, and provide your home with safe and great tasting water. The only way to know if your water is safe is to take one of our free water tests.
To learn more about how to get the best water you’ve ever tasted, contact us or check out our latest blogs!