The 2018 hurricane season has arrived, and it’s not a matter of if -- but when -- the next strong storm comes along. Just last year we saw the devastation that Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria caused across the U.S. and Caribbean.
We can learn from these storms that personal preparedness is key. If you have already assembled an emergency kit for your household, you're off to a good start. Now it’s time to plan ahead for your home. While we can’t control Mother Nature, we can work to minimize the damage her storms cause.
Here are some tips to prepare your home and property for hurricane season:
- Review your homeowner’s policy to make sure you have adequate coverage. Most home insurance policies do not cover flooding, but flood insurance does. You can find more information about flood insurance at https://www.floodsmart.gov/.
- Take inventory of your belongings using photos or video in case items are damaged or destroyed during the storm.
- Secure important documents like social security cards, birth certificates and insurance policies in a safe place.
- Trim trees away from power lines and discard old, dead branches to prevent them from becoming a hazard during the storm.
- Identify a place to store loose items like garbage cans, lawn chairs, grills and other outdoor equipment that could become flying debris in a storm.
- Install permanent hurricane shutters or purchase plywood – before the storm is imminent. Cut the boards to fit your windows and label them for faster installation when the time comes.
- If you live in an area prone to flooding, know how you can obtain sandbags to block water from seeping into your home.
- If you own a generator, dentify a dry area outside at least 15 feet away from windows or entry ways to prevent carbon monoxide from coming indoors. remember, NEVER use it inside a home, garage or partially enclosed area.
For more tips on how to protect your home and family this hurricane season, visit www.redcross.org/hurricane.