It’s That Time of Year: How Do You Protect Your Home and Family?

Increase your awareness and protect yourself, your family, home and property from harmful hurricanes by taking note of important hurricane information the NOAA provides.

If the area in which you live is prone to hurricanes follow these hurricane safety tips:

  • Learn safe routes inland
  • Determine ahead of time where official shelters are located for emergency evacuation
  • Develop a family hurricane plan
  • Keep all emergency equipment in good working order. These include emergency power generators, flashlights, radios, batteries, tarps
  • Stock up on non-perishable food and water supplies – consider investing in a water system tank
  • Keep gardens well maintained with trees and shrubbery trimmed
  • Have plywood on hand to protect doors and windows
  • Know your community’s hurricane safety plan
  • Review insurance policies to determine if you’re covered in the event of flood and wind damage

Hurricane Safety – Before the Hurricane Hits:

  • Keep photos or video of your home, its contents and other personal property in a separate location, such as in a safe deposit box
  • Photocopy personal IDs, credit cards, insurance policies and other important documents and keep them in a watertight container with your emergency supplies
  • Fuel and service family vehicles and consider investing in a fuel transfer tank
  • Prepare to cover all windows and doors with shutters or plywood
  • Secure or bring in lightweight objects such as garbage cans, garden tools, toys and lawn furniture
  • Keep extra cash on hand for emergency purposes
  • Develop a family emergency plan, detailing how family members are to evacuate the house and where to meet
  • Plan to leave immediately if you:
    • Live in a mobile home (unsafe in high winds, even if securely fastened to the ground)
    • Live on the coastline, on an offshore island or near a river or flood plain
    • Live in a high-rise building (hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations)

The key to minimizing hurricane damage to people and property is being prepared and knowing what to do. Follow these hurricane safety tips to protect your family and your property.

Hurricane Safety – During the Hurricane Storm:

  • Listen closely to a radio tuned to NOAA Weather Radio or official bulletins for hurricane information
  • Evacuate to a safe location when instructed by officials
  • Notify neighbors and family members outside the warned area of your hurricane evacuation plans
  • If you have NOT been ordered to leave and remain in your home:
    • Turn refrigerator to its coldest setting and keep it closed
    • Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances
    • Fill bathtub and large containers with water for sanitary purposes
    • Stay in a small interior room or closet, ideally without windows

Hurricane Safety – After the Hurricane Storm:

  • Listen to the radio for weather, road conditions, updates and instructions
  • Return to your home when instructed to do so by authorities
  • Do not attempt to drive through or across flowing water, or cross areas where water is flowing (moving water as little as 6″ deep can sweep you away)
  • Stay away from standing water (it may be electrically charged from downed power lines)
  • Take pictures of the damage to your property and notify your insurance company
  • Have utilities like gas, water and electric inspected by professionals
  • Use tap water for drinking and cooking only when local officials say it is safe to do so
  • Use a battery powered spotlight or flashlight for emergency lighting. Never use candles or open flames indoors.
  • Keep your spirits up. The situation may seem bleak, but things will improve.

Home Emergency Preparation Equipment:

  • 3-day supply of water
  • Non-perishable food
  • Change of clothing and shoes
  • Prescription medicine
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency tools
  • Extra set of car keys
  • Batteries and radio
  • Emergency generator
  • Extra cash, credit cards
  • Flashlights and spotlights
  • Special items for infants, young children, elderly or disabled family members

If your home is damaged due to a hurricane, high winds, or flooding: