A storm is coming. What to do?
Natural disasters and extreme weather events bang our homes and community infrastructure so critical to our way of life. And they're going to continue to happen so being prepared by following a few simple steps can make a huge difference between being inconvenienced, or being overwhelmed. In this blog we will break down our suggestions with a timeline: before, during and after.
So before anything else, make sure you have a...
Preparation for the unexpected begins with an escape plan. For natural disasters, part of that plan is a Survival Kit; a group of portable items packed and ready. It should contain the following:
- Three days of canned or foil-sealed, non-perishable food
- Can opener, either a standalone or even better, part of a utility tool such as a Leatherman.
- First aid kit and manual
- Portable radio and/or laptop or tablet
- Flashlights and battery illumination
- Extra (AA/AAA) batteries
- Smart phone or tablet battery charger; good for a couple full charges
- Bottled water in sealed plastic containers; 1 gallon/person for three days
- Prescription medicines; at least a one week supply
- Personal toiletry kit
- Sealed pet food for your pet(s)
- Extra clothing and blankets
- Cell phone, cash and credit/debit cards (best kept on your person)
PRIOR TO THE STORM
- For tropical storms, know the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning. A hurricane watch means that a hurricane may arrive in 24 to 36 hours (check your Go Bag). A hurricane warning means that a hurricane will arrive even sooner, as in less than 24 hours.
- Plan your evacuation route in advance of the storm. Expect heavy traffic. If your family is in different places, select a meeting place.
- If near the shore, close storm shutters and board up windows.
- Stock up on drinking water and several days of non-perishable foods. Foods should be edible without heating (i.e. tuna fish, protein bars and nutritional supplements).
- Have a supply of batteries, flashlights, and a portable radio in good working condition
- Check your fire extinguishers for location and pressure in case you need them during or after the storm.
- Test your generator if you have one.
- Review how to shut off utilities – water valve, gas main, and electrical panel - with qualified family members.
- Secure all outdoor furniture or move inside
- Fuel your car in case you must leave immediately.
Inside your home, check that doors and windows are closed and locked. Outside your home be sure to bring in garbage cans, bicycles, furniture and grills.
Stay tuned in to the news/weather stations so you are aware of updates, changes to evacuation plans, and any State of Emergency situations affecting your town.
DURING THE STORM
- Listen to the radio or TV while it lasts for important storm information and instructions.
- On your smartphone or tablet, monitor weather intensity. Our favorites for this area are wunderground.com and weather.com. But be realistic about battery usage.
- If you must evacuate, leave as soon as possible and alert someone outside of the storm area where you will be.
- Keep windows and doors securely shut during the storm. Windows open to high winds can literally cause the roof to blow off.
- If at home, stay inside and away from windows, skylights and glass doors. Do not go outside, even if the weather appears to have calmed. The "eye" of the storm can pass quickly, leaving you outside when strong winds resume.
- While phones still work, check in with vulnerable neighbors or friends to keep them calm and assured.
AFTER THE STORM
- Inspect your property for damage. Wear protective clothing and be cautious as debris may be scattered around the property.
- If you have any claims to report, contact Gordon Atlantic by calling (781)-659-2262 or visit http://www.agordon.com/claim to report to your carrier directly.
- Make any necessary temporary repairs to secure your property. Tarp over openings in roofs and windows. Do it yourself if qualified, or hire a contractor if not. Here are some we've worked with: http://www.agordon.com/home-repair-service-providers
- In case water still manages to get into your house by means of wind or flood, move your rugs and drapes off the floor, as wet fabric can lead to mold growth.
- When the weather dries out, open windows and doors and run fans to dry everything; if you have air conditioning or dehumidifiers AND power, run these also for additional drying. Water is the enemy whenever it penetrates the house.
By taking these precautions, you reduce your risk of injury and damage. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.