A single storm can change your life. Preparing for it today can help you regain control of your life more quickly after it hits.
In extreme cases, hurricanes can threaten lives and damage property. These hurricane preparation steps will help you prepare for the storm so you stay safe during it and can easily regain control once it passes.
Check your insurance.
The damage to your home could be expensive, even with preparations. Having a good flood and storm insurance policy will go a long way toward helping you recover after the storm is through. Ask your insurance provider or check your policy for the answers to these questions:
- Is your home covered for storm damage and flooding?
- Is your car covered for storm damage and flooding?
- Do you have coverage for living expenses during the recovery time?
Inventory your possessions.
Having a detailed inventory of your possessions will make filing insurance claims faster and easier should you need to.
- Take digital pictures and create a detailed record of each item.
- If possible, make a narrated video recording of everything in your house.
- Gather receipts for high-ticket items.
- Don’t forget items in cabinets and closets. Little things add up!
Gather essential documents.
Round up any and all important paperwork. Make sure you have physical and digital copies if you need them. Seal them in plastic bags and clearly label them so you can grab what you need in an emergency. Here is a good place to stash some spare cash to live on right after the storm. This kit should be easy to grab and go in the event you’re forced to evacuate the area.
- Personal identifiers
- Birth certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Military documents
- Social Security cards
- Photocopies of driver’s licenses
- Front and back of all credit cards
- Phone numbers of friends and relatives
- Home documents
- Mortgage papers
- Car titles
- Insurance policies
- Appraisals of valuables
- Personal processing papers
- Living will
- Estate planning papers
- Medical paperwork
- Insurance cards
- Prescription records
- Doctor contact information
- Locations of hospitals
- Bank account statements
- Tax records
- Stocks and bonds
- Retirement fund account numbers
- Pet paperwork
- Shot records
- Veterinarian information
Prepare your property.
While property damage during the hurricane cannot be avoided, you can minimize its effect.
- Anchor or remove items that could blow away.
- Purchase hurricane shutters for windows.
- Install hurricane straps or clips for your roof.
- Trim trees to lessen wind damage.
- Move valuables to a windowless room or closet.
Equip yourselves for evacuation.
Protecting your family may mean leaving your home. If you need to evacuate, having an evacuation plan in advance will help alleviate any panic from the process.
- Find your evacuation route. Prepare for roads to be closed.
- Instruct everyone to follow any directions given by officials.
- Choose a family member outside of the hurricane area for everyone to contact if you get separated. Let them know what your evacuation plans are and that they are the point person.
- Identify a meetup spot away from the hurricane area.
- Create a channel for family and friends outside the warning zones to communicate with you.
- Send your individual plans to someone outside of the hurricane’s path.
- Charge your cell phone, laptop, and any other devices.
- Purchase extra batteries for your phone and laptop.
- If you have pets, write down locations of pet-friendly shelters.
Build your emergency supply kit.
Plan for the electricity to go out, stores to shut down during flooding, and roads to be blocked when a storm comes through. Include enough of the following supplies to last you at least 3-4 days. If your kit can handle it, more is even better.
- Water for each person and pet
- Food for each person and pet
- Manual can opener
- Essential medications
- First aid kit
- Battery-powered flashlights and lanterns
- 5-gallon bucket with tight lid
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio
- Extra batteries in all sizes
- Your important documents