How to Prepare for a Hurricane: Protecting Your Home and Ensuring Safety

Natural disasters like hurricanes can cause extensive damage and financial loss. As an older adult, it’s important to be prepared and take necessary precautions to protect your home and ensure your safety during hurricane season. In this article, we will discuss some key steps you can take to prepare for a hurricane.

Protecting Your Property

Randy Wagner, a Texas resident, discovered the importance of protecting his property when hurricane season was approaching. Despite the complaints from friends and neighbors, Randy spent $8,300 to buy 400 feet of plastic material to defend his home from floodwaters.During the rainy season, Randy covered his property with plastic, which helped keep it safe and avoid significant losses. His unique strategy of building a 400-foot-long barrier around the perimeter of his land spared him from potentially costly damages of up to $150,000.

Evacuation and Emergency Kit

Knowing where to go and what items are required for evacuation is crucial during a storm. It’s important to become acquainted with local evacuation routes and plan where to stay if necessary. Don’t forget to pack an emergency kit with essentials like a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and any necessary medication.

When an evacuation order is issued, it’s important to comply without hesitation. Even if you are not compelled to evacuate and can stay at home, make sure to have a plan in place. Ensure you have enough food and water to last a few days in the event of a power outage or water loss.Preparing your home ahead of time will also help secure your safety. Prune tree branches near your home to reduce the risk of falling during a storm. Clear debris from gutters to ensure proper drainage. Consider installing hurricane-proof shutters or bracing windows and doors with shutters or plywood for added protection.

Communication and Safety Measures

During an emergency, it’s important to have communication plans in place. Familiarize yourself with your community’s emergency communication systems by exploring the numerous online resources available.Additionally, make sure your family members know how to switch off utilities in an emergency. Stock up on supplies like flashlights and batteries.For those who can afford it, building an above-ground “FEME safe room” or “ICC 500 storm shelter” at an elevated site can provide added safety from heavy winds and rising floodwaters.

Weathering the Storm

The best advice when weathering a hurricane is to evacuate if your local government or emergency services recommend it. If you cannot leave, it’s crucial to bunker down at home and secure all windows and storm shutters tightly. Stay current on weather and emergency service updates.Set your refrigerator to its coldest setting to keep food fresh in case of a power outage. Instead of relying solely on phone calls, establish a dependable communication channel such as text messages or emails. Ensure your emergency kit is well-stocked with necessary supplies.

Monitor local news channels for any updates on authorities’ orders. Encourage your family to be informed about the evacuation plan, and make sure your automobile is fully operational in case you need to flee at the last minute.

After the Hurricane

Returning home after a hurricane requires caution. Never walk or drive across floodwaters as they can be dangerous and contain hidden hazards. Before entering your damaged property, take a snapshot for insurance purposes.

In closing, the 2021 hurricane season has been devastating for many, and our thoughts are with everyone affected. As older adults, it’s crucial to stay attentive and mindful of potential dangers when returning home or assisting others in need. Stay safe!

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