As Hurricane Florence approaches, here are five important tips to get you prepared for this or any hurricane that threatens to make landfall.
Protect Your Property
Hurricane-force winds turn unsecured property into missiles. If you’re on or near Hurricane Florence’s projected path, take the following steps to protect your property, family and neighbors:
- Clear trees on your property of broken or weak limbs.
- Bring lawn furniture, grills, toys, plant stands, bird feeders, etc. inside
- Board up your windows
- Secure your valuables
- Evacuate when recommended by your local authorities.
- Make a video of your property, home and possessions; store it in the cloud
- Back up important electronic data and files
Pack a Go Bag
A hurricane can change direction, spawn tornados, create flash flooding, and worse. Having each member of your household pack a Go Bag is one way to know you can evacuate on short notice and still have the critical things you’ll need. Include:
- Identification and/or driver’s license
- Phone, with a wall and car charger
- Cash and credit/debit cards
- Health insurance ID cards
- Important documents, including your property insurance policies
- Shelf-stable food
- Clothing and other personal items, including needed medications
- Gas cans, which NEVER should be transported in the cabin of a vehicle.
- Comfort items for children
- Pet supplies
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Risk exposures skyrocket with a hurricane. A minor injury literally can become life threatening. Think through the circumstance you might face — wind, water, debris, restricted travel, shortages, power outage — and gather what you might need, such as:
- First aid kit
- Heavy-duty, waterproof boots and rain gear
- Extra food and water
Plan for Communication Outages
Having a communication plan in place with your family, friends and co-workers is a great way to defend against power outages, damaged phones, etc. The most comprehensive communication plans include:
- Making sure everyone is connected to the same social media site, and knows to look there for important information from one another.
- Downloading apps in advance and getting familiar with useful information resources.
- Writing a physical list of cell and landline phone numbers
- Incorporating additional communication devices, should phone and internet service be unavailable: satellite phone, two-way radio, CB radio, HAM radio, police scanner, and more.
Know What You and Your Family Will Do
Putting a plan in place — and practicing it before disaster strikes — is the best way to safeguard your loved ones. Some key pieces of your response plan should include:
- Where you will meet. Identify in advance where you will meet up, should you be separated. A good rule of thumb is to identify one place in town, one place out of town, and one place out of state, each with multiple routes leading there.
- How you will communicate. Rank your communication devices in order of importance. Identify a social media site to use if phone service isn’t available. Know what you will do if you are separated and unable to communicate.
- All evacuation routes. Hurricane Florence is likely to take out her share of roads. Knowing multiple routes to your destination lets you react quickly, if the main road is closed or too congested.