Weathering A Hurricane
Hurricanes are not strangers to homeowners in the Southeast. Knowing what to do can make the difference when it comes to protecting yourself and your home.
Before Hurricane Season Begins
- Plan an escape route.
- Have a stockpile of emergency supplies on hand (drinking water, canned goods, non-perishable foods, manual can opener, flashlights, batteries, candles, first aid kit, essential medications, matches in waterproof containers, portable radio, etc.)
- Develop an emergency communication plan in case you’re separated from loved ones.
- Hurricane shutters are your best protection. If you do not have them, you can use marine plywood panels cut to fit your windows. Pre-drill holes every 18 inches for screws and mark which board fits which window.
- Keep trees free of weak or dead branches.
- Have a video or photographic inventory of your possessions stored in a safe place away from your home. If your home’s damaged it will be invaluable in settling the claim.
- Review your homeowners insurance to ensure it is adequate. Remember, flooding is generally not covered by a homeowners policy. So if you do not have flood insurance, you may want to talk to your agent.
During A Hurricane Watch And Warning
- Pay close attention to progress reports.
- Protect windows.
- Check emergency supplies, make sure you have a full tank of gas in your car and review your evacuation plan.
- Bring outdoor furniture, etc. inside. Anchor items that can not be brought in.
- Set your freezer and refrigerator at the highest setting in case you lose power. (If power is lost, turn off major appliances to avoid power surge.)
- If you are in a surge zone, elevate your furniture to protect it.
- Store valuables and papers in a watertight container at the highest level of your home.
- If evacuation is necessary, unplug appliances, turn off electricity and the main water valve and leave as quickly as possible.
After The Hurricane
- If you evacuated, return home only after authorities say that it is safe. Stay away from flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
- Avoid dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company, police or fire department.
- Enter your home cautiously. Sometimes snakes, insects and animals are driven to higher ground by flood water.
- Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home.
- If your home has been damaged, check for gas leaks (open a window, leave and call the gas company if you find one), obvious electrical problems and sewer and water line damage.
- Take pictures of the damage – inside and out. You will need it for your insurance company.