In our “Hurricane Prep: Part 1” blog last week we went over what a hurricane actually is, hurricane categories, the parts of a hurricane and how they’re named. This week we’ll discuss how to prepare yourselves, your home and your boat for a hurricane. The first thing you should do is create an evacuation plan
For You: Basic Survival Items & Important Papers
- 2-week supply of water and ready-to-eat, non-perishable food for every family member and pet
- Manual can opener
- Essential medicines including eyeglasses and contact lenses
- Personal hygiene items such as toilet paper, toothbrush and toothpaste
- Change of clothing
- Paper towels, hand sanitizer, and eating utensils
- First-aid kit
- Battery-powered flashlight and radio with extra batteries
- Blankets, pillows and sleeping bags
- Mosquito repellant and citronella candles
- 2 coolers—one for food, one for ice
- Plastic tarp for roof/window repairs and tools
- Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members
- Driver’s license or personal ID
- Social security card
- Proof of residence (deed, lease or utility bills)
- Insurance policies (home, auto, flood, wind, etc.)
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Stocks, bonds and other negotiable certificates
- Wills, deeds, and copies of recent tax returns
- Personal checkbook and any unpaid bills
For Securing Your Home
- Before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
- Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
- Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.
- Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture. (More info on portable generator safety.)
- Install hurricane shutters or keep ¾ inch outdoor plywood boards for each window. If using boards, be sure to install anchors and pre-drill holes so you can put them up quickly.
- Head and foot bolts on doors for extra protection.
- Hurricane straps or clips to help hold the roof to the walls of your home.
- A safe room that can withstand high winds and flying debris.
For Securing Your Boat
- When tying to pilings double all lines.
- Rig crossing spring lines fore and aft from a tangential.
- Attach lines high on pilings to allow for tidal rise. Make sure lines will not slip off pilings. Wrap lines twice around pilings making sure they do not overlap. Do not use cinch knots or hitches around the piling.
- Cover all lines at rough points.
- Install fenders to protect the boat from rubbing against the pier, pilings and other boats.
- Avoid tying too many lines to a single cleat. This creates too much stress to the cleat. Do not tie lines perpendicular to the cleat; tie at an angle across the face of the cleat. (More information on securing a boat can be found here.)
While it may take a few days for a storm to reach you don’t wait until the last minute to prepare yourself or to begin stocking up on essential items.
Images and Sources: Mother Nature Network, Thinkstock