Once you’ve braved the grocery store or the big box retailer for your survival supplies, you can turn your attention to preparing your home for the impending emergency situation. Here are a few tips to shield your home:
- Secure plywood covers over your windows and sliding glass doors. You can use heavy-duty tape to fix the plywood down or drill it into place.
- Make sure that all doors and windows are locked. Even such a simple precaution can really insulate you from wind and rain.
- Anchor storage sheds or other outbuildings with heavy bricks or straps.
- Create a list of all outdoor items – such as lawn furniture, awnings, trash barrels, hanging plants and toys – that will need to be brought in during the storm. These kinds of items can be picked up by a vigorous wind and turned into dangerous projectiles, so bring them inside well before the storm starts.
- Keep all trees and shrubs trimmed to help steady them against powerful gusts.
- Clear the debris out of your rain gutters to ensure proper drainage. You should also remove any fallen branches or leaves out of storm drains in your neighborhood; this can help prevent misdirected flooding.
- Place all important papers like bank and credit card statements, insurance policy information or work documents in a plastic container to keep them safe and dry.
- Have some old towels ready to sop up any water that may leak in through the windows.
- Remove all valuables from the basement since basements are especially vulnerable to flooding; if you should live in a basement-level apartment, try and elevate any electronics to high tables or countertops.
- Procure large, sturdy buckets (preferably the kind found at most home repair stores) to catch any leaks.
- Park your car in a garage if possible; if you don’t have a garage, you should park your wheels at the top of a hill. You may also want to investigate the costs of leaving your car in a larger public garage for a few days.
Loss of power
- Run your fridge on its coldest setting for a day before the hurricane is expected to arrive; this should help your food retain its freshness during a day or so without electricity. You should also minimize the number of times you open the refrigerator.
- Stock up on nonperishable food items.
- Find flashlights for every member of your household and make sure you have plenty of back-up batteries.
- Fully charge cell phones, laptops and other electronics to ensure maximum usage.
These are just a few useful suggestions for protecting your home and valuables against the onslaught an emergency situation. We’ve also included a number of other helpful resources that give you general safety precautions and more specific updates about this particular storm’s trajectory. Be sure to check back with us for updates.