The 2019 hurricane season is here, and it’s not a matter of if — but when — the next strong storm comes along. Just last year we saw the devastation that Hurricanes Florence and Michael caused across the U.S.
We can learn from these storms that personal preparedness is key. You may have already assembled an emergency kit for your household. Now it’s time to plan ahead for your home. You can’t control Mother Nature, but you can work to minimize the damage she causes.
Here are 7 tips to prepare your home for hurricane season:
• Review your homeowner’s policy to make sure you have adequate coverage. Most home insurance policies do not cover flooding, but flood insurance does. You can find more information about flood insurance at https://www.floodsmart.gov/.
• Take inventory of your belongings using photos or video in case items are damaged or destroyed during the storm.
• Secure important documents like social security cards, birth certificates and insurance policies in a safe place.
• Trim trees away from power lines and discard old, dead branches to prevent them from becoming a hazard during the storm.
• Identify a place to store loose items like garbage cans, lawn chairs, grills and other outdoor equipment that could become flying debris in a storm.
• Install permanent hurricane shutters or purchase plywood – before the storm is imminent. Cut the boards to fit your windows and label them for faster installation when the time comes.
• If you live in an area prone to flooding, know how you can obtain sandbags to block water from seeping into your home.
• If you own a generator, remember, NEVER use it inside a home, garage or partially enclosed area. Identify a dry area outside at least 15 feet away from windows or entry ways to prevent carbon monoxide from coming indoor.
For more tips on how to protect you and your family this hurricane season, visit www.redcross.org/hurricane.