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Post-Hurricane Preparation – Preparing Your Home/Family for A Hurricane – Part 3

06/6/18

Post-Hurricane Preparation – Preparing Your Home/Family for A Hurricane – Part 3

What we do post-hurricane is equally as important as how we prepare pre-hurricane, to help us get back to normal, daily life. The following are tips to help you, not only during the storm but also, after the storm to help get things back to normal:

Riding Out the Storm

  • Do not go outside until the eye of the storm has passed over and winds blow from the opposite direction.
  • Be aware that tornados can appear anytime during a hurricane. Monitor your local news station and if a tornado warning is issued, take cover in an interior hallway or on the lower level if in a tall building. Stay away from glass doors and windows.  You can also take cover under heavy furniture in the center of the house.
  • Leave the main breaker on unless the electricity goes off. If the electricity goes off, turn off air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, television sets, and computers to avoid the possibility of damage due to power surges or fires caused by stoves being left on.  If the power returns and is steady, these may be turned back on.
  • Use flashlights or battery-operated lighting when the power goes off. Do not use candles or any other type of open flame. The fire department may be unable to respond during a hurricane.
  • Use the telephone for emergencies only. Jammed phone lines may obstruct emergency calls for the police, fire rescue, emergency medical and Red Cross disaster units.
  • Open refrigerator and freezer doors as little as possible.
  • Stay away from the fuse box, main breaker, and electrical outlets in the event of flooding. Normally, the electrical current will fail with flooding.

Retreat to Your Safe Room 

Having a designated “safe room” in your home can help you protect yourself and your family from the dangerous forces of extreme winds.  Keep these things in mind when choosing your “safe room”:

  • A good “safe room” location is an interior room on the first floor of the house.
  • Closets, bathrooms, and small storage rooms with only one door and no windows are well suited for use as a “safe room”. Interior bathrooms have the added advantage of having water supply and a toilet.
  • Keep in mind that the space you select as a “safe room” should be clear of clutter for quick and easy entry so that there are no injuries for trips, falls, etc.
  • Your “safe room” must be readily accessible from all parts of your house.
  • Your “safe room” must be adequately anchored into the house foundation to resist overturning and uplift.

 

POST-HURRICANE…

  • Remain in place until your local emergency management officials give an “off clear”.
  • Check in with friends and loved ones by text, social media to conserve batteries.
  • If you have evacuated, do not return home until local authorities have deemed it safe.
  • Watch out for debris and downed power lines, which may be hard to see. Go outside during the daylight.
  • Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Follow boil water directives, purify as needed and use only uncontaminated water for drinking, brushing teeth, and cleaning contact lenses.
  • Take pictures of damaged areas on your property in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.
  • Asses and photograph the damage to your property post-hurricane – for example, putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.

Protect Yourself

Getting back to normal after a hurricane can take days, weeks – or even years, depending upon how widespread and extensive the damage. Patience is important, especially when conditions disrupt normal routines and power may be out for an extended period.  Pre-hurricane planning for these situations will aid in recovery after a storm.

  • Use gas, propane, and charcoal grills outdoors only, as they can cause fires and produce deadly carbon monoxide gas.
  • After power is restored, leave the main circuit breaker off until water has receded. Do not turn on appliances which are damp or wet. Leave air conditioner off until the power has stabilized.
  • Use extreme care with generators. Be aware of carbon monoxide that may come from your own or a neighbor’s generator, especially through nearby open windows.
  • Avoid downed wires and debris that can cause injury.
  • Only use equipment, such as chainsaws, that you know how to use. Request assistance to avoid injury to self or others.
  • Follow boil water directives, purify as necessary and use only uncontaminated water for drinking, brushing teeth and cleaning contact lenses.

 

 

Hurricanes are unpredictable, but proper preparation and planning, both pre- and post-hurricane, dramatically increase your chances of safely riding out a storm and recovering as quickly as possible.

For additional information about seasonal storage in our category five hurricane-rated facility, call Bellissima Luxury & Fine Art Services!

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