Hurricane season is less than a month away, and after all the unusual weather phenomena and unexpected changes to our nation’s normal climates, it’s impossible to know what the next six months will hold in store for those of us on the East and Gulf Coast, the target areas for almost every tropical depression that forms in the Atlantic basin. As always we will watch and wait as any number of storms build up, take course and fade out, hopefully before causing any significant losses of lives or property. We all know that the damage caused by hurricanes can easily reach into the billions and can take several years to fully overcome. Some, unfortunately, may never overcome from the more violent examples of Nature’s potential for destruction. But if there was ever one good thing that could be said about a hurricane, it would have to be that it gives us sufficient warning and ample time for emergency planning before it arrives. You already know if you live in an area where hurricanes are likely to occur, and you and your fellow residents should follow these tips during the calm before the storm to be sure that your family and your investments are as safe and sound as possible.
Obviously, you’ll want to watch the weather and keep track of the storms that appear to pose the most immediate threat to your region. Many local businesses begin to offer free hurricane tracking maps during this time of year for that exact purpose. Track the storms as their courses progress, and plan accordingly. Have an evacuation route in place BEFORE you evacuate. Anything you can do to eliminate stress, confusion, and unnecessary congestion on the road during a mandatory evacuation will go a long way in getting you, your family, and everyone else to safety as smoothly as possible. Have a predetermined place outside of the evac zone to meet up with other family or friends who live in your area, and keep in touch with your out of state family and friends to let them know that you’re safe and to stay with them, if necessary.
Have an evacuation kit assembled for each member of your family. You should include enough clothes for several days, non-perishable food and bottles of water, along with enough cash to get you by until power and credit card services are restored in the area. There are so many of us nowadays who hardly ever carry cash that this is an easy but extremely important thing to forget. Also be sure to bring along your insurance information, ID cards and any other important documents for each family member, and don’t forget to pack enough supplies for your pets.
If you live in area where hurricanes are frequent, you should already have installed storm shutters for such an event. If you have not, you should seriously consider it, or be prepared to board up your doors and windows with plywood, and don’t forget about reinforcing the garage door as well. If you do indeed find yourself in the hurricane’s trajectory, take some time to secure and move in any lawn furniture or other loose items that could be carried away by severe winds and cause even more damage to you and your neighbors’ property. Your roof and the framing of your home itself should also be reinforced to sustain hurricane force winds.
When you’ve addressed all these areas, the final and possibly most important thing you should do before the storm is to secure a water restoration professional. This will save you precious time and resources after the storm. While others are still trying to track down a reputable company amidst a sea of out-of-town scammers and getting placed at the bottom of an extremely long waiting list, you could have done your homework during the fair weather days and already have restoration taking place! A professional water restoration company like ECS is local, reputable, certified, open 24 hours a day and offers same day emergency services ranging anywhere from carpet cleaning to full-blown water removal, demolition and mold remediation. These types of companies often offer programs during the hurricane season in which you can contact them ahead of time, and your information is saved so that you’ll be at the top of their list when the storm passes.