Before the Hurricane
- Carry out a full inspection of your home. Ensure all doors and windows can fasten securely. Check your home's electrical system, including electrical cords, surge protectors, power plugs and outlets.
- Keep tools such as a hammer, saw, ladder, extra nails and lumber for makeshift repairs, if needed during the season.
- Confirm that your home insurance plan is up to date and you are fully covered for events such as flooding and property damage. Now is also a good time to check your auto insurance plan.
- Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall. Trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe. Contact us at 626-9000 to report trees which have power lines running through them.
- Prepare an emergency supply kit. This kit should include first aid supplies, surgical alcohol, essential medication, prescription medication, battery-operated flashlight, extra batteries, rain gear and a non-electric can opener.
- Develop an evacuation plan and ensure that your family knows what to do. Family members should know how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water. Teach children all of the necessary emergency contact numbers and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
- Know the difference between Hurricane Watches and Warnings. A hurricane watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours. A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions (winds of 74 miles per hour or greater, or dangerously high water and rough seas) are expected in 24 hours or less.
- Ensure cupboards are stocked with the necessary nonperishable food items: canned food, dry goods, baby formula and adequate drinking water for all family members and pets. Make sure you have enough food and water stored for 3 weeks
- Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of an evacuation. Remember, if it isn't safe for you, it isn't safe for your pets. Note that not all shelters accept pets, so it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time:
During the Hurricane
- Do not attempt to go outdoors to remove fallen tree branches or debris from around the home during a storm or hurricane.
- Turn your fridge and freezer to their coldest settings; this will help keep food fresh longer in the event of a power outage. Limit the number of trips to your freezer/fridge to maintain the cold settings for as long as possible. Do not overstock your refrigerator or freezer
- Turn off your circuit breaker's main switch when winds reach high speeds, if there are severe lightning conditions, or if water gets into your house. This will protect your electrical circuits and equipment from damage. Make sure family members know where the main breaker is located in case you need to turn off the power.
- If you need to evacuate your home, have bags with essential items at hand. This includes food supplies, clothes, identification and other important documents, medicines and emergency supplies.
After the Hurricane
- Do not touch fallen or hanging wires, or anything which might be in contact with them. Stay clear of puddles where downed wires may have landed. A seemingly harmless wire may still be energized. Ensure that children do not play near wires.
- Remember, it can take weeks and even months for life to return to normal after a hurricane. Think about what you would do if your home was without electricity, running water or telephone services for more than a few days. Make sure you have enough food and water stored for 3 weeks.
- Do not connect generators directly to household wiring unless a licensed, qualified electrician has installed an appropriate transfer switch. Without the proper transfer switch, power provided by the generator can "back feed" along the power lines, creating a significant electrocution hazard for anyone coming in contact with the lines, including linemen making necessary repairs.
- Never operate a generator inside your home or in any other enclosed—or even partially enclosed—area. Generators very quickly produce carbon monoxide, which can easily enter your home. Place the generator on a dry surface under an open, canopy-like structure. Do not operate generators in wet conditions or where there is standing water.
- After the storm passes, residents should be extremely careful as they sort through the wreckage to assess the damage. Storms with extensive rain and high winds can cause severe damage and create hazardous conditions such as fallen trees and other types of dangerous debris including downed power lines, broken glass, small pieces of buildings, commercial signs, and road signs.