7 Severe Weather Safety Tips
NOAA announcement: Tropical Storm Danny upgraded to a hurricane.
While Danny is unlikely to make landfall in the continental US, the NOAA’s announcement serves as a reminder of the threat Mother Nature can pose to our safety. That’s why it’s important that you, your family, and your home are prepared for severe weather, especially strong wind and rain. Take a moment to review our tips and recommendations here and read our in-depth emergency preparedness article to make sure you’re all set.
1. Know Your Risk(s)
Before you prep your home for a weather emergency, make sure you know what you need to protect for. Depending on where you live, you may need to focus on different measures of protection. (If you live on the coast, your home will be more at risk for extreme winds and flooding than homes set farther inland.)
2. Strengthen Your Home
Hurricane-strength winds, which can exceed 156 mph, are capable of doing significant damage. Ensure your doors are properly and securely attached to the frame. If you have a garage door, you may want to consider adding wood or metal stiffeners to increase the strength of the door. Purchase storm shutters for all your windows. High-speed winds and shards of broken glass are a dangerous combination. Don’t forget your roof! Make sure it’s properly fastened to the wall frame.
3. Secure Your Property
Important documents and valuables should be stored in a fireproof and water proof safe or in a safety deposit box.
4. Protect Your Home
A good home security system can be an invaluable tool during a weather emergency. Should you lose power, a system with a backup battery can still operate and help protect your home. With interactive services, you’ll be able to keep tabs on your home should you be forced to evacuate ahead of the storm.
5. Prepare For the Aftermath
Even if your home avoids direct damage, you can still be impacting. Power outages are extremely common during a hurricane and can last days – sometimes weeks. Purchase a backup generator and make sure it is inspected and properly tested and maintained – and that you have plenty of fuel.
Make sure you have a stock of emergency supplies – water, food that won’t spoil (and doesn’t need to be cooked), battery-powered radio, flashlights, and plenty of extra batteries.
6. Prepare to Leave
Depending on the severity of the impending storm, “hunkering down and riding it out” may not be a safe decision. If you have to evacuate, make sure you follow a predetermined plan. And leave early – don’t wait for the authorities to mandate evacuation – you may get stuck if you wait too long.
- Make sure everyone in your family has each other’s contact info on their phones as well as written.
- Designate a friend or family member outside of the emergency zone as a point of contact should you be unable to communicate with family in the area.
- Pick a destination where everyone should head, such as a hotel or friend’s home in a safe area.
- Pick a route – and then find two alternatives – to your destination.
7. Weather the Storm
Once you’re safe, stay informed – keep monitoring radio stations and local televisions for updates on the storm and post-storm damage. If you have to travel during or after the storm, be mindful of your surroundings – watch for downed power lines, glass, unstable structures and steer clear. Loss of power may impact traffic control devices.
After the storm, assess your home and property for damage. If you need assistance or have damage, contact your insurance company immediately. Take pictures and document everything.
Now is the time to get yourself and your home prepared for a hurricane – while there are plenty of available supplies and no panicked crowds. You don’t want to be caught without water or gas in the days leading up to the storm. Supplies, like people’s patience and courtesy, tend to run low the closer a weather system gets. Get prepared early. Make sure your house is secured and you have a home emergency kit prepared.Tags: Family, Hurricanes, Personal Safety, Severe Weather