If you’ve been living on the East Coast for awhile, you’re no stranger to tropical storms and the effects of hurricanes on the environment. However, if you’ve just moved or you want an update, let’s review a few tips on how to prepare for (and prepare your home for) a tropical storm or the effects of a hurricane before hurricane season begins.
The first thing to do to prepare for tropical storms is to make a plan how you will respond if you are alerted to a tropical storm, hurricane, or need to evacuate. Make a written plan on what steps you need to take to prepare your home, supplies you will need, important documents for ID, emergency phone numbers, nearest shelters, or what route you will take to leave if you need to evacuate. While West Virginia isn’t associated with hurricanes, we can still get damage from heavy storms including flooding.You want to make sure that your home is ready before it happens so that you can be prepared.
Check the CDC for more information, but in the basic storm safety kit you will want to have at least 5 gallons of water per person, 3-5 day non-perishable food item supply, any prescription medication that you will need, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, flashlight and extra batteries, blankets, weather radio, and personal care items (soap, baby wipes, toothbrush/toothpaste, etc.). Store these items in an easily reachable place, or take them in your car if you need to evacuate. While it may seem like you’ll never need this kit, you will thank yourself for creating it when you do.
If you know that there is a chance of a tropical storm or hurricane in the near future (but not immediately), it’s important to get to work right away. Clean up the yard and store any outside items in a garage or shed to make sure that they’re not blowing around and causing damage. Cover windows and doors with storm shutters. Know how to turn off your power. If you see flooding, downed power lines, or you have to leave your home, switch it off. Check your CO detector and fire alarm, and start to fill up water containers if the storm is approaching. If you have a basement, you may want to move things out of the basement so that they are not damaged by any flood water that may come in. To prepare your car, check the oil and fill the tank. Pack your emergency kit and also include jumper cables, maps, charging cables, and a flare or two if possible.
If your home is affected by a hurricane or tropical storm, we can help! We are happy to help with foundation damage caused by a tropical storm or the effects of a hurricane. While it may seem silly to prepare for a storm when you don’t even know if it will come, it’s sometimes better to be safe than sorry. Make your emergency plan today!