If you’re in the path of a hurricane and your area has not been evacuated, it’s important to take safety precautions. Here are some tips in the event of a hurricane:
- Make sure everyone is forewarned and ready to move to shelter when necessary.
- Have working flashlights with spare batteries on hand and ensure that everyone knows how to safely get to a flashlight if the power fails. Verify availability and location of candles and lanterns in case power outages last for an extended period.
- If anyone in your household relies on electrical medical equipment such as an oxygen machine, arrange for backup power from a generator.
- Set aside several gallons of drinking water in case water supplies are interrupted.
- Make sure you have a battery-operated radio with good batteries so you can stay informed of developments even after the power is out.
- Where flooding is possible, move valued possessions to higher floors.
- Have extra buckets, trays and plastic sheeting on hand to deal with potential leaks.
- Unplug all electronic equipment from wall outlets. All electronic appliances can be damaged or ruined by electrical surges associated with storms.
- Make a quick survey of your trees. Note any dead trees or branches. If there is no time to have them taken down by a professional before the storm, avoid threatened parts of the house during the peak of the storm. Be sure to have the trees trimmed after the storm.
- Close hurricane shutters if you have them. Screw plywood sheets over unshuttered windows or crisscross the glass with masking tape. The tape won’t reduce breakage, but it may prevent glass shards from becoming lethal projectiles.
- Tie down or move indoors all unanchored play equipment, trash cans, outdoor furniture, umbrellas, etc. You’ll not only prevent their loss, but also prevent them from becoming dangerous wind-borne projectiles.
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If Your Home Is Already Under Construction
- Complete or reinforce any work that may become detached during high winds.
- Spread out or lower any tall piles of dirt or fill to prevent sandblasting.
- Remove unfastened roofing tiles or plywood from unfinished roofs.
- Secure roof trusses that have not been sheathed by adding additional bracing.
- Complete or brace unfinished high masonry construction.