Hurricane Sandy stormed through Fairfield County last fall, and many of our readers had their lives changed forever. We are still rebuilding, but we are headed into a new hurricane season in the coming months. These expert tips will help to make sure that our homes and daily lives can withstand the weather’s uncertain future.
Check to make sure it is up to date and reflects the current state of your home. Take all into account when buying flood insurance and coverage for additional living expenses.
NOTE: Keep up landscaping: diseased and damaged trees can be serious hazards in hurricane-strength winds.
Take videos or photos of your property and the contents of your home now. This becomes essential if there is the chance that you need to make damage claims in the future. Keep receipts for the most valuable items you have and consider having special coverage on them.
- Plywood is a necessity when a storm is coming, especially if you are considering staying in your home. Make sure hurricane shutters can easily be installed on your windows. These need anchors and pre-drill holes in order to be efficient.
- If there is no more plywood: protect windows by placing duct or packing tape in a criss-cross pattern on the windows.
- Install head and foot bolts on doors.
- Use hurricane straps or clips to help hold the roof to the walls of your home.
- Safe Room: to keep valuables (must be able to withstand high wind and flying debris).
- An emergency supply kit should always be on hand to sustain two weeks for every family member and pet. Put this in a designated spot that everyone can easily get to.
- Manual can opener.
- Essential medicines: eyeglasses and contact lenses.
- Personal hygiene items.
- Changes of clothing.
- Paper towels, hand sanitizer, eating utensils.
- First-Aid Kit.
- Battery-Powered Electronics (flashlight, radio etc…).
- Blankets, pillows, sleeping bags.
- Mosquito repellent and citronella candles.
- 2 coolers: one for food, one for ice.
- Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members.
- Extra cash.
- Bottled water.
- Non-perishable foods.
Established Evacuation Plan
Make sure to make arrangements for the future for all family members and pets. Make arrangements with relatives or friends who live further inland in case you need to leave your home. Establish an out of state contact that everyone will call if separated and establish a meeting location at least 50 miles inland. There are always options for alternate housing, such as pet-friendly hotels or dog-boarding kennels for your furry family members.
- Your important papers and special photographs must be easily accessible and secured in plastic. Make sure to protect:
- Social security cards.
- Birth certificates.
- Diplomas or certificates.
- Titles or deeds to property.
- Hurricane insurance policy.
- Any keepsake sentimental items, such as photographs or letters.
*When officials suggest evacuation, it is always better to be safe rather than sorry. However, if you decide to stay and tough out the storm…
- Stay downwind and inside your home: go to the opposite room of where the wind is hitting.
- Stay away from windows.
- Remember a lull often signifies the storm’s eye, not its end.
- Wait for authorities to announce danger has passed before going outdoors.
To learn more about Hurricane Tips: