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With the threat of Hurricane Florence looming ahead of us this week, many of us have at the forefront of our minds, “how can I prepare for this storm?” Meteorologists have offered their advice that Florence may be detrimental not only to those living in coastal areas, but to us here inland as well due to the fact that it may stall over land.
With that knowledge of the forecast in hand, it’s imperative to know how to be safe and ready for a storm as hefty as Florence seems. Not to worry, though–we are here to help and give our tips!
1. Have an evacuation plan, even if evacuation doesn’t seem like a possibility. Keep watch on news and weather channels or apps, or check up on local government websites to continuously watch to see if you end up in an evacuation zone. While evacuation orders in inland areas such as ours are not likely, it’s still important to stay on top of safety information coming through at all times, especially during high profile hurricanes such as Florence. Go over plans with your family prior to the storm. Often one of the biggest worries with hurricanes coming inland is not wind or storm surges, but rather immense flooding, which can force people out of their homes and cause damage very quickly.
2. Make a storm readiness kit. Stocking up on essential supplies is easy to do prior to a large storm and can prove very handy if you find yourself unable to leave your home. Basic needs in a kit should include bottled water, food (preferably non-perishables), blankets, and clothing. You can go the extra mile and fill up your kit with supplies such as a first aid kit, batteries, flashlights, a portable radio, a whistle to signal for help, small fire extinguisher, local maps, multitool, a 7-day supply of medications, duct tape, rain gear, and an emergency ladder. You can find many of these items right here at BRBS!
3. Double check your insurance coverage. Is your home protected against possible flood damage? Most basic homeowners and renters insurance plans do not include flood insurance in their coverage; this is something you must usually ask for. Many of us believe that if we do not live in coastal areas or near a body of water that our homes cannot flood, but not so fast: if there’s rain, your home can flood, period. Make a call today to make sure you are properly insured!
4. Make copies of important documents and lock them up in a water-tight safe. This is often an overlooked precaution, but you will thank yourself for making those copies in the event that significant damage is inflicted on your home and you lose those documents. Make copies of documents such as proof of ownership of any property (e.g. homes, cars, boats), birth certificates, passports, social security documents, medical documents including prescriptions, and any other paper documents that you would not want to lose.
5. Inspect and protect your home. Prior to a storm’s arrival, check your home to ensure that there is no damage that a hurricane could further exacerbate, such as loose shingles, damaged roofs, or leaks where flooding could occur. If you have a yard, be sure to secure any objects thats could become projectiles during high winds. Sand bags to help block water and plywood to cover windows and doors during high winds are also extra precautions that can be taken.
6. Back up your electronics. Don’t lose your data! Be sure yours is safe and backed up to a cloud or other off-site location so that it can be recovered in the event that any electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, or phones are damaged in a hurricane. It’s also a good idea for businesses to back up information to a remote site as well.
7. Other helpful tips:
Learn more about hurricane preparedness at National Hurricane Center.