Here are some tips on how to prepare yourself for a storm:
Before the Storm
- Look for any potential problem areas, especially along your roof, windows, doors and garage doors.
- Remove tree branches that could harm utility wires or home.
- Clear debris from gutters and spouts.
- Secure or bring outdoor furniture or other items inside. – The Halloween decorations will have to come inside!
- Go shopping: nonperishable items such as canned food, granola bars, dried fruit, nuts, ready-to-eat cereal and snacks, crackers, and peanut butter are best.
- Set the refrigerator to its coldest setting. If the power goes out, the food won’t spoil as quickly.
- Charge your cell phones fully.
- Move valuables to the upper floors of your house, away from areas that could potentially flood.
- Check your sump pumps to make sure they are operational. If you don’t have one, and if time allows, install a battery operated back-up in case of a power outage.
- Keep a list of emergency numbers by the telephone. This includes your insurance agent’s phone number – you may have to turn in a homeowner’s claim.
- Take inventory of your possessions. Your insurance adjuster will need this if there is damage and your contents need to be repaired or replaced.
During the Storm
- Stay inside and off the roads.
- If you absolutely must be on the roads, don’t attempt to drive through flooded areas.
- If the authorities tell you to evacuate your home – do it! Don’t be stubborn. Be sure to take all of your important documents with you.
What if the power goes out?
- Report outages to your power company immediately. Don’t assume your neighbors have already called.
- Be sure that ovens, ranges or heaters that may have been on before the power went out have been turned off.
- Don’t use candles. They can be a fire hazard. Use flashlights instead.
- Unplug appliances and electronics that can be damaged when the power is restored.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed. Each time you open the door, a significant amount of cold air is lost. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold safely for about four hours. A packed freezer will keep food safe for 48 hours; you have 24 hours if the freezer is half full.
- Don’t risk eating spoiled food. When in doubt, throw it out!
- Keep generators and fuel outdoors.
- Keep your doors closed to prevent warm air from escaping.
And if it floods?
- If you’re outdoors, move to high ground.
- If your basement floods, turn off your pilot light for your basement gas appliances.
- Turn off the electrical panel box if you can do so safely. Don’t touch electrical switches if they (or you) are wet.
- Stay away until the floodwaters have receded. Don’t enter your home or attempt repairs until you’re certain it’s safe.
- Contact a certified restoration contractor and your insurance agent as soon as possible. A fast response to property damage lessens the amount and severity of potential secondary damage.
If you have suffered any storm damage to your property or are currently experiencing flooding, please do not hesitate to contact us here for a free inspection.