Prepare for Storm Season – 12 Tips to Keep Family and Assets Safe
Until we develop a way to control the weather, every individual and household should have a checklist of things you maintain annually to help prepare for hurricane season. The season runs from June 1 to around mid-November, and in the southern states and southeast coastal regions it’s high time for potentially serious damage to your property as well as your health.
It’s not just hurricanes that can be a problem for your family and other assets/investments, like collector cars and homes. Any severe weather can be a problem. To prepare for the worst, we’ve put together a critical list of tips to help you prepare for hurricane season and other natural disasters in your region.
Build an Emergency Kit
Sometimes referred to as a “go bag” or “bug out bag”; your emergency kit should contain essential items that can help you survive for several days should there be a disruption in services due to a natural disaster or other event. Ready.gov supplies a detailed rundown of everything you should include in an emergency kit.
Have a Family Communication Plan
Unfortunately, family is not always together when disaster strikes. This frequently happens when parents are at work, children at school or with friends, teens are involved in activities, extended families are traveling, etc.
Have family members keep a contact card on them at all times with multiple contact numbers, email and social accounts. Also, coordinate with an out-of-state friend or family member that can be a point of contact for everyone. During a disaster, everyone can contact this single individual to check in and let them know they are safe. Note that text messages are a smart communication method, as they can sometimes get around network disruptions when phone calls might not get through.
Make an Egress Plan
Areas in common hurricane paths, such as Florida, Georgia and South Carolina have designated hurricane evacuation routes. Unfortunately these can become congested during a large evacuation. Plan multiple routes that will take you out of the damage path if primary escape routes are congested.
Know your Surroundings
You may not be able to escape the damage path in time. It’s important to know your surrounding area well including the landscape. It can drastically change due to the damage of severe weather and road signs might not be standing after the worst is over.
Secure Your Windows
Cover the windows of your home with hurricane fabric or other materials to help protect them and the interior from the elements if they’re broken – and to keep you safe from shattered glass.
Secure Loose Items
Anything that isn’t tied down or fastened hard to the ground should be put away. This includes patio furniture, garbage cans, lawn decorations, toys, bikes, etc. These can become damaging, lethal projectiles during a hurricane.
Purchase a Generator
Severe weather typically takes out the power grid throughout its damage path and surrounding communities. A generator can keep the basics running in your home including fridge, and radio/TV to stay tuned into updated. It’s also a good idea if you use any powered medical devices in your home.
Have Non-Perishable Food on Hand
Even if you have a generator, keep a stock of extra non-perishable food on hand including canned goods, dry rations and modern MRE’s (meals ready to eat, purchasable online).
A generator may be hard to start if it has been sitting in storage. Have tools handy for quick maintenance along with a product such as Start Your Engines® Fuel System Revitalizer to ensure the generator starts the first time, when you need it most.
Get Your Vehicles into Storage
Any vehicle going into storage, from boats to the family vehicle or collector cars, should be treated with STA-BIL® fuel stabilizer. This way if you need the vehicle after a disaster you won’t have any issues with fuel quality. Here’s a quick car or truck storage checklist to run through.
Sandbag Your Home
Severe weather like hurricanes can generate a lot of heavy rain, leading to flooding, even inland away from the coast. If you’re in the forecasted damage path, have sandbags ready to minimize your risk of flooding in your home or business.
Gather your Documentation
When you get together all your important documents, make sure you include all of your vehicle documents – especially for collector cars and other types of vehicles such as recreation vehicles. This includes registration, title, insurance, maintenance records and especially your warranty paperwork if applicable.
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