Written by Lillie Reiter It’s hurricane season and the weather is throwing some major storms this way. With Texas still dealing with the damage from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma making its way towards the states, the effects are sure to have lasting impacts. Here are some tips to help minimize damage to the home whether you’re evacuated or able to stay.
If you’ve evacuated*:
- With hurricanes come fierce winds that pick up and move any loose objects so trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep the property safe. Clear front and back yards of items like grills, lawn furniture, and children’s toys that can become projectiles.
- Loose gutters and downspouts should be secured and cleared of any clogs which prevent water from draining.
- Cover the home’s windows with a 5/8’’ or greater exterior grade plywood to prevent windows breaking. Shut storm shutters if the house has them.
- Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances to reduce potential damage from power surges.
- Move furniture, items of significance, and electronics to a higher level in the home.
*Please be aware of and pay attention to mandatory evacuation orders and procedures. Material possessions can be replaced and it is risky to underestimate a hurricane.
If you can stay:
- Turn the refrigerator on the lowest possible setting and only open the door when required.
- Store food on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case of flooding. Avoid contact with floodwater as it may be contaminated with sewage or debris.
- Consider purchasing a generator in case of power outages. Remember to have enough fuel to run the generator and store it in an airtight container outside the home or in a well-ventilated area.
- If there is enough time, create a barrier such as a flood wall or levee around the home using sandbags or dirt.
- Have a ‘go bag’ ready just in case conditions become too rough which includes nonperishable food, bottled water, a first aid kit, flashlights/batteries, personal documents, and emergency cash.