Anyone who has watched the news over the past few days knows Hurricane Florence is on it’s way. Even though the Triangle area is inland, we can still see quite the impact from tropical storms – just ask anyone who was here during Fran in the 1990’s. Unfortunately, we have no control over where the storms go. But we can control how we respond. Here are a few tips to prepare for the storm.
Buy Supplies – you would be amazed at how quickly stores run out of items such as water and batteries. Shop too late and you’ll likely be waiting in long lines and find many of the items you need are no longer available.
Fill Up Your Tank – gas pumps don’t work when the power goes out. The closer we get to landfall the longer the lines at local gas stations will be and some may even run out of gas. Also, don’t forget to buy what you need to run your generators.
Clean and Prepare Your Grill – if the power goes out, changes are you wont be able to use your stove or oven. While PB&J’s are great, after a while you’ll rue the day you ever heard of Peanut Butter. Fortunately, your grill doesn’t take power to run and it’s an excellent alternative to cooking inside – sometimes the food even tastes better! But, it does you no good if you don’t have fuel to run it, so make sure to pick some up when you buy your supplies.
Make Copies of Your Important Documents – if you keep important documents such as proof of ownership, insurance information, passports, etc., in your home, make sure they are stored in a flood proof safe. It’s always a good idea to make copies of your important documents and store them off site in the event something happens to the originals. In today’s electronic world, consider scanning your documents into your computer as another form of backup. Don’t forget to make a list of important contacts. Don’t assume your phone will work. Write down a master list of those you may need to contact after the storm – i.e., insurance agent, family, friends, etc.
Prepare Your Home – before the storm hits, inspect your home to ensure that there is no existing damage that could be made worse by the hurricane. If you see loose shingles or damage anywhere, fix it now! If you have a yard, make sure anything that isn’t nailed down is either secured or brought inside. You’d be amazed at what wind can make fly! Living inland most of us don’t need to board windows, but it’s always a good idea to secure storm doors and screened in porches.
Look at Your Trees – if you see dead trees or hanging branches, now is a good time to take care of them. The closer a storm comes, the less of a chance you’ll have of finding someone who can help care for your trees. It’s always a good idea to keep your trees happy and healthy throughout the year to prevent last minute emergencies.
Back Up Your Electronics – aside from keeping extra batteries and chargers on hand during a hurricane, you’ll also want to consider backing up your devices such as computers and phones. You’ll want the back-up files stored offsite. If the documents are not of a personal nature, backing up to Google Drive or similar software that can be accessed from any device is always a good idea.
WATER!!! – sometimes power outages and flooding can result in loss of water as well. There’s no telling how long you may be without water. Always have drinking water on hand – they say 4 gallons per person for 5 days. Consider filling your bathtubs with water, which can be used to flush toilets. It’s also a good idea to fill freezer bags with water and freeze them. You’d be surprised how long water can stay frozen. Not only will this help keep your perishable food fresh, but it can also be used as another source of drinking water.
While we’re all still hoping to avoid the full brunt of the storm, preparing up front can go a long way to lessen the effects of a hurricane. When you bring an umbrella it never rains, right???