With the start of hurricane season just a couple weeks away, there is no better time than now to start getting prepared. While the chances of a hurricane affecting our area in any given year is low, we have had our fair share of tropical weather the last couple years. Here is what we have learned about hurricane preparation in the aftermath of Matthew and Irma.
1. Prepare before the storm
The single most important item in your hurricane preparation is to get prepared well before a storm is coming our way. Most people wait until the last minute to start preparing and that is when supplies become scarce. Save yourself some anxiety and be prepared and ready to go while everyone else is playing catch-up.
2. Food, water and supplies
Have enough food (non-perishable), water, medication and any other necessities to last you about 3-5 days. Hurricanes tend to knock out power and tap water could become unsafe to drink for several days. Make sure you can be completely self sufficient during this time as grocery stores and restaurants will not be open. Be aware of the tax holiday on certain items related to hurricane preparation and take advantage of the tax savings while it is available.
3. Find a hotel or shelter early
Referring back to number one above, do your research now to determine where you can evacuate to if needed. If you have special needs or pets, do not assume that all hotels or shelters can accommodate you. Find a few hotels in different areas of the state that will work for you and keep their information handy. When a storm is approaching, book your reservation early as hotels will fill up extremely fast.
4. Get your shutters ready
If you have hurricane shutters for your home, make sure they are functioning properly and that you have all the necessary tools and hardware needed to install them. If you do not currently have shutters but want to get them, do it now. When a storm is approaching, all types of shutters and associated hardware sell out quickly. Hardware stores will be very crowded, lines will be long and supplies scarce.
5. Preparing your home and yard
Pruning trees and bushes strengthens the plants and gives them a better chance of surviving strong winds. It also prevents dead or weak limbs from flying into your house or your neighbors house. Also, make sure your fence is secure and there are no loose pickets or posts. In addition, check the shingles on your roof and the gutters around your house. If any of them are loose, have them properly attached by a contractor.
Be sure that your home is covered by insurance and that your insurance premiums are paid. Once a hurricane watch has been issued for your area, insurance companies may not issue new policies or change your coverage. Be sure your policy covers these types of events, you have an adequate amount of coverage and that your premiums are paid on time.
Brent Burns is a REALTOR® with the Carpenter | Kessel Team at Dale Sorensen Real Estate Inc. Brent serves clients in Indialantic, Melbourne Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, Satellite Beach and surrounding communities.