Hurricane season is upon the United States once again and it is time to ensure you are prepared in case a hurricane, even a small one, comes to pass. Hurricane preparation is nearly a required activity for those that live in the south and the east.
Hurricane preparation can be broken down into some critical activities that you can accomplish over the week.
Check Your Insurance Coverage & Video Your Belongings. First, check your insurance coverage for hurricane and flood insurance for total coverage, deductibles, and maximum coverage. This is to ensure that you have sufficient coverage to cover home, automobiles, valuables, and belongings. If you have adult children, make sure that they have renters or property insurance. Next, video your entire house from bottom to top including opening closets and cupboards so all your valuables and belongings are recorded. For cars, computers, and high cost items, make sure you record the model, serial number plates, and other distinguishing items that will help insurance adjusters to determine the precise value. Finally, save the video to multiple locations in the cloud so if your phone and computer is lost, you still have the video.
Prepare “Go” Bags for Everyone to Evacuate Quickly. Second, everyone needs to have a packed, closed, and ready to use “Go” bag. The purpose of the “Go” bag is to let you and your family leave immediately with everything that they need. The bags should be packed with 2-3 complete outfits, walking shoes, medicine, preserved food, water, rain jackets, important documents, a laptop computer, and cell phone chargers. Importantly, critical medicine, food, and water should be in every bag so even if one bag is lost, the family has everything they need.
Consider a Generator and Extra Gas Cans. In an evacuation, gas becomes a critical point to ensure a timely and immediate evacuation. Having gasoline, even five gallons, can make leaving the immediate hurricane impact area faster and easier. Store gasoline in only approved, heavy duty containers, and make sure that it is stored in cool, well ventilated areas. A small generator is also a solid investment if your home loses power frequently during major storms. A generator that can run a refrigerator, radio, some fans, and charge cell phones not only makes a house without power livable, but it can save hundreds of dollars to save food that would spoil in a power loss. Generator safety is critical. Generators need to be operated outside, in a dry area, an area well ventilated, grounded, and use heavy duty extension cords rated for the generator output.
Secure the Exterior Around Your House. Securing and preparing the exterior of your house is critical. The vast majority of injuries and damage come from items being blown into people and property. Move lawn furniture, cars, and heavy items into the garage. If an item is too heavy to move, find a way to secure it with rope or chain so it cannot be blown away. Finally, pre-measure and buy plywood to cover windows to prevent interior storm damage if a window shatters.
Create an Interior Safe Room with Supplies. Sometimes, a storm comes too fast or changes course at the last minute to prevent safe evacuation. Have a windowless safe room with extra food, water, medicine, sleeping bags, flashlights, fans, and a quick hookup to a generator (if you have one). The safe room is a back up plan in case you cannot evacuate.
Look Out for Others. Make sure that you check around with neighbors, family and friends to ensure others are preparing. Help out neighbors, especially older people or families with young children, they will appreciate your concern and attention.
Hurricane season preparation is a critical event where even a minute of preparation can make hours of difference. Take the time today to ensure you are prepared for hurricane season,
Share Your Opinion – What Are Your Tips to Prepare for Hurricane Season?
About the Author: Chad Storlie is a Retired US Army Officer, the author of Combat Leader to Corporate Leader and has published over 400 articles in over 200 publications on military veterans, career advancement, business, leadership, strategy, education, financial planning, and national security topics. Chad excels as an author, mentor, speaker, and teacher showing business leaders and military veterans how military skills make lives, careers, and businesses better. Chad is an adjunct Professor of Marketing at the University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management. Chad has a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from Georgetown University. Follow Chad @CombatToCorp and www.CombatToCorporate.com.
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