Hurricane Readiness from an Old Pro

There are many things people tend to think are absolute necessities for hurricane preparedness. Many of these things are nearly useless, and there are quite a few most wouldn’t think of off-hand. The time span that a hurricane generally lasts in your area, type of supplies you do and don’t need are major factors you must take into account when preparing for a major storm. Add to this such things as the type of home you live in, type of vehicle you own, and location you currently reside.

You see and hear it all the time. People taping their windows with duct, scotch, electrical, any kind of tape at all. Criss-crossing every window of any size in the home or business. This may be useful, but mostly for psychological comfort. No amount of taping windows is going to prevent your neighbor of three mile away from allowing their unsecured lawn furniture to come flying by to shatter your heavily taped sliding glass doors.

Taping windows is a very minor help at best. You are much better off risking the look of your home’s exterior and nailing up a few pieces of heavy duty plywood. This helps with structural integrity in a minor fashion, and obviously provides much better protection from light weight flying debris. If you rent and your landlord won’t let you board up the place, suggest that they do it.

If your landlord refuses, then I suggest that you begin seeking a more sensible place to live once the storm is over.

Now, for the obvious things. If you live in a mobile home it is highly suggested that you do leave and either visit neighbors, or relatives with a sturdier home. I’ve survived several storms while staying in my mobile home to no ill effect, but it was still a very wild and scary ride.

One particular item of importance is that you need to acquire some sort of prior pet relocation knowledge. If you have large pets who might be injured, consider finding a pet center, kennel, or a sitter to take care of them. This is especially good advice if you intend to use candles and have cats or free flying birds in your home.

Standard well known staples like first aid supplies, diapers, bottled water, canned food consisting mainly of fruits and vegetables, portable tv or radio , are a must. Other things you might consider would include a good book, and candles. The necessity to keep your mind busy is imperative when riding out a storm than can last a few hours, several days, even a week or longer. Candles can be dangerous if you try to stay in an unstable place. However, unless your house is rocking to the point of pitching over these should be fine and can be left burning to save energy for you emergency flash light. You may also consider the need for boardgames, as those help keep you and your children from going stir crazy in a long storm.

If you have a location where you can keep one, and the means to fuel it, then by all means a small generator can be a thing of beauty when the electricity inevitably goes out for a few days to a month.

Invest in rubber and bungee cord straps from the hardware store. These with a good tarp, can save a lot of time and effort in protecting and securing some of your more vulnerable items that have to remain outside.

If you live in a low lying area, try to get as much of your outside property of value into your home or a storage bin. The water that will fill your yard will be immense. My own yard tends to have a foot or more every time a major storm comes through. This also leads to something else of vital necessity for the longer storms. Buy insect repellents and rubber boots for when you go out to check your property in such an area. If you live in an area that shares it’s habitat with ants, they will cling to anything above the water line, and this will usually be something you brush against.

Mosquitoes, gnats, and other insects will become a major nuisance and that makes the insect repellent necessary.

If you live in a home that has a chance of being heavily damaged in a storm, try and move as much of your valuable property to a safer location, and then follow it there. Nothing hurts more than seeing everything you own washed away by a storm.

When the storm ends, you might want to have purchased a chainsaw. If you own or have access to a decent truck pull-chains. Trees and other debris might have fallen on parts of your home or property that make life difficult. A tree falling across your driveway for instance would be a definite candidate for either a sawing or a pulling possibly both for a very large tree.

The final tips I can tell you to help in this situation are that you should begin acquiring the above mentioned items as soon as possible, changing them out at need, and keep up to date home owner’s and property insurance that includes coverage of wind and storm damage. Though don’t neglect fire damage.

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