Protecting Your Family and Home
from Hurricanes and Severe Windstorms
If you own a house that is located along the ocean, bay or within
a coastal county, your home may be vulnerable to wind damage caused by a hurricane
or Nor' Easter. It is important to take preventative measures to help protect
your family, home and possessions. Here are some things you can do.
Protect Personal Belongings and Important Documents:
Jewelry and collectibles. Valuables should be inventoried
and stored in a secure location (such as an inland bank safety deposit box). If
off-site storage is not possible, then place these items in a waterproof
container and store in an interior closet.
Personal documents. Keep all important papers such
as legal papers, birth certificates, marriage license, financial papers, and
insurance policy information in a bank safe deposit box or other off-site
storage, or in waterproof containers.
Damage Prevention Steps When a Storm Approaches:
Clear loose objects. Bring outside patio and lawn
furniture, potted plants, and outdoor bicycles and toys indoors. Help your
neighbor bring in their backyard items as well so these items do not become
flying objects that impact your home. Be sure all awnings are closed and
secured. Tie down any other loose items that may become projectiles in a high
Reinforce windows & doors. If your windows and doors
are not wind and impact resistant, plywood can be used as last minute protection.
However, be sure it is strongly secured.
Reinforce your garage door. If you do not have a storm bar
or other garage door reinforcement, you may want to back up your car against
the inside of your garage door to help prevent it from "twisting" due
to high winds.
Move furniture and household fixtures. Move
them away from exterior door and window openings. If possible, elevate these
items and cover them with plastic.
Secure household appliances. Appliances, including personal
computers, should be unplugged and stored away in cabinets or interior closets.
Test and refuel your backup generator. If you've installed a
gas-powered generator as a backup power supply in your home, regularly test it
to ensure that it is operational at the time you need it. When a storm
approaches, run another quick test and make sure that plenty of fuel is
Preparing an Emergency Supply Kit:
Assemble and maintain an emergency supply kit throughout the hurricane season.
Items should be stored in a watertight container.
Water-minimum 1 gallon per day, per person for one week is needed. Two
quarts are for drinking and 2 quarts are for food preparation or sanitation. When
a storm approaches, fill empty containers and a bathtub with water as an
additional emergency supply.
Food-a one-week supply of non-perishable food. Remember a non-electric
can opener, cooking tools, camping stove, paper plates, and plastic utensils.
Remember special dietary needs for infants, the elderly or pets.
Clothing -rain gear, sturdy shoes.
First aid kit - painkillers such as aspirin or ibuprofen,
an assortment of bandages and gauze pads, antiseptic, latex gloves, first aid
cream, scissors, tweezers, and a thermometer. Also include a two-week supply of
Flashlights and batteries - using candles for light can
pose a fire hazard.
Battery-operated radio - to help you stay informed of
severe weather updates.
Bleach & antibacterial soap
Toilet paper and personal hygiene items
Plastic bags and tarps
Pillows and blankets
Store your kit in a place commonly known to all family members.
Replace and/or refresh items in your kit every six months.
Prepare an "Action Plan" in the Event of an Evacuation
Become familiar with your community's disaster preparedness plan and
know your evacuation route. Check with The American Civil Defense Association for the
safest escape route in the event of a flood warning.
Have a predetermined destination in mind so you can quickly
relocate to a shelter or relative's house. Select a common meeting place or
single point of contact for all family members in case you are separated
through the evacuation process.
All vehicles should be fueled well in advance of evacuation. Gas
will be hard to come by. Power failures will render gas pumps inoperable.
Make sure your cell phone has a full charge, and bring along the
Always stay informed of approaching storms by monitoring local
television and radio stations for severe weather updates.
If You Are Unable to Evacuate
Identify a "shelter" room in your home. This enclosed
area should be on the first floor, in the central part of the house and with no
windows. When the storm gets bad, go there. Avoid all unprotected windows and
doors until the storm passes.
Remain in contact with neighbors. Others who are riding out a
storm may need your help and you may need theirs.
Use your emergency supply of water or boil any water before
drinking, until official word is given that the water is safe.
After the storm passes, beware of loose or dangling power lines
and report them immediately to the proper authorities.