What to do before, during, and after a Hurricane!
Before a Hurricane:
- Take pictures of your valuables and the condition of your home, to show the insurance companies any losses that may occur, or to have a comparison report, Download Arc Home to upload photos or insurance documents for easy access.
- Build a survival kit relative to the amount of people sheltering in your home. For more information, click here: Survival Kit
- Safely trim any large tree branches that are hanging over your home.
- Unclog or clear all outdoor drains, rain gutters and downspouts.
- Protect your windows with shutters, or securely attach 5/8″ marine plywood over your windows.
- Remove and throw away all loose debris
- Bring inside any patio furniture or loose objects that can become a projectile. (pro tip: if you own a pool, you can throw waterproof patio furniture into the water, to retrieve later.)
- Bring in any flags, or ornaments. If possible, disassemble awnings, or tightly secure them to the house.
- Do not park your car under any trees.
- If you have a shed, make sure the doors are securely locked.
- Stock up food and supplies to last at least 3 days.
- Fill up your vehicles’ gas tank, and stock up on gasoline (at least a couple of gallons per vehicle). Try to limit driving after the storm.
- Locate and prepare a “safe room” in your home, preferably an interior room, away from windows, sliding glass doors or skylight. The bathroom or closet may be the safest option.
- Fill up bathtubs and sinks with water to make sure you have extra water for toilets, cooking, etc., in case the waterlines shut off.
- Adjust the refrigerator temperatures to the coldest settings, to reduce the chances of food spoiling in case of a power outage.
- Constantly check with local authorities for information, and to see if an evacuation order is active.
If you need to evacuate:
- Unplug all TV’s, computers, and appliances (except for your refrigerator/freezer, unless there’s risk of flooding) before leaving your home .
- If possible, move important items to a higher floor or a higher surface such as a counter or shelf to protect expensive equipment from potential flooding.
- Remove fuses from the air conditioning system to prevent damage.
- Turn off water to prevent flooding from broken pipes.
- Turn off gas to prevent leaks from occurring.
- Ensure your car is in good running condition and has a full tank of gas, extra emergency supplies.
- Bring at least a weeks worth of clothing and supplies, per person.
- Determine escape routes from your home and a nearby place to meet with loved ones. These should be measured in tens of miles when possible.
- To find an open shelter, you can also text SHELTER and your zip code to 4FEMA (43362).
During a Hurricane:
- Monitor the radio or television for weather conditions and updates.
- Stay away from all windows and exterior doors and seek shelter in a bathroom or basement. Bathtubs can provide some shelter if you cover yourself with plywood or other materials.
- Evacuate to a shelter or a neighbor’s home if your home is damaged or if you are instructed to do so by emergency personnel.
- unplug all major appliances (except for your refrigerator/freezer) to reduce the chances of damage in the event of a power surge.
- If flooding nears your home, turn off the electricity at the main breaker.
What NOT to do during a hurricane:
- Do not handle electrical equipment and do not use the telephone except in an emergency.
- Do not go outside, even if the storm appears to have subsided. The calm or the “eye” of the storm can pass quickly, leaving you outside when intense winds resume.
- Do not use candles during the storm – they could cause a fire. Stick with battery operated flashlights.
- Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Six to twelve inches of water is all it takes to take you down or flood your car.
After a Hurricane:
- When power returns to your home, do not start all major appliances at once. Turn them on gradually to reduce damage to sensitive equipment.
- Avoid downed, damaged or loose power lines and report them immediately to the local police and fire department, as well as to the local transmission and distribution services utility in your area.
- Even if you have ventilation, never use a generator indoors. This includes garages, basements and crawlspaces. Exhaust fumes contain high levels of carbon monoxide, which can be deadly if inhaled. Even when left outside, keep generators away from doors and windows and at least 10 feet away from your home. Also, allow your generator to cool off before refilling it with gas – splashing gas on hot generator components can lead to a fire.
- Do not use electrical or gas appliances that have been wet, and do not turn on damaged appliances because of the hazards of electric shock or fire.
- Never use charcoal indoors because burning charcoal produces high levels of carbon monoxide that can reach lethal levels in enclosed spaces.
- Use only bottled or disinfected water for drinking and cooking until the public water supplies have been declared safe.
- Stay away from flood waters as they can contain harmful contaminates and hide dangerous debris.
- Take photographs of any damage incurred.
- If flooding or water damaged occurred, begin cleaning up and repairs as soon as possible to avoid mold and be sure to wear protective gear.