Do you live in a region of the United States that’s especially prone to hurricanes?
If so, you know that knowledge is power. It’s important to know not only what to do during a hurricane, but also how to prepare beforehand and handle the aftermath once it’s over.
Don’t be caught off-guard without ways to protect yourself. Today, we’re sharing a complete guide that covers the steps to take before, during and after a hurricane.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.
What to Do Before a Hurricane
You’ve watched the weather forecast and you know that a hurricane could be approaching. There is one major decision to make at this point: Will you stay put or evacuate?
If You Evacuate
You might decide to evacuate on your own will. Or, local authorities might order you to do so. Either way, there are several stepsto take to make sure you leave your home as protected as possible.
Begin by unplugging all of your appliances and connected devices, including your televisions. If you’re currently storing valuables or other important items at or below ground level (as in a basement), try to move them to a higher position, such as on a table or kitchen counter.
Then, you’ll need to disconnect certain connections. Turn off your water and gas to prevent flooding and dangerous leaks, and take the fuses out of your air conditioning system. These could surge when the power comes back on, causing serious damage.
If you have time to plan before you evacuate, make sure your car has a full tank of gas and make any necessary repairs to ensure it’s in good running condition. Stash emergency supplies in the trunk, along with a change of clothes.
If You Stay Home
Before the hurricane makes landfall, there are certain steps you can take to safeguard your home. If you plan to stay put, bring in all lawn equipment and ornaments to prevent them from becoming airborne during the storm.
This can range from decorative flags and planters to sculptures, portable fountains and more. Also, remember to check your pool covers and shed doors. Both should be tightly secured.
If you haven’t already, go ahead and put all of your important documents in a weather-proof container that will protect them from water damage. Then, move all valuables to the highest elevation possible.
Finally, don’t forget about your cars! If you park outside, move them from underneath trees if possible. Otherwise, bring them inside the garage.
Keeping Your Pets Safe
Regardless of whether you decide to stay or evacuate, make sure that your pets are micro-chipped and have identification tags. These will be invaluable if you become separated.
If you’re evacuating, remember to pack a bag for Fido, too.
Inside of it, include all important medications, records, food, and leashes. Keep it nearby for quick access.
What to Do During a Hurricane
If you decided to ride the storm out from home, you’ll need to take special precautions to stay as safe as possible.
Under no circumstance should you handle electrical equipment, such as your stove, hairdryer, or television. If you need to use the phone, do so quickly and only in an emergency.
If the power goes out during the storm, resist the urge to light every candle in the house. These could knock over during the commotion of the hurricane and pose a fire risk. Instead, stick with battery-operated flashlights.
Finally, don’t assume the storm is over just because the rain subsides or the wind dies down. Remember, the eye of the storm is often characterized by a short-lived period of calm. Soon thereafter, the weather pattern picks back up. If you’re outside when it happens, you could be in the middle of the chaos.
Along the same lines, don’t underestimate the power of floodwaters. It takes less than a foot of fast-moving water to knock you off your feet during a hurricane. Resist the urge to walk or swim in the water, and never attempt to drive through it.
What to Do After a Hurricane
The storm is officially over, power is restored, and you’re left to assess the aftermath. If your home is intact, remember to turn on your appliances slowly, one at a time. Powering them up all at once could create a damaging surge.
If your power is still out, an outdoor generator positioned at least 10 feet away from your home can help you access critical appliances. However, remember to never use one indoors, even in a basement. The exhaust fumes they generate can lead to high levels of carbon monoxide, a toxic gas that can be deadly to inhale.
Then, you can check your property inside and outside for hurricane damage, taking photos of any evidence you encounter. If you notice any downed power lines along the way, report them to local authorities, being careful to stay far away from them. Also, keep far away from floodwaters and dangerous debris.
Protect Yourself and Your Valuables Today
Still wondering what to do during a hurricane? One of the most important steps you can take is to have an experienced and certified insurance adjuster on your side.
If you experience water damage to your property, you deserve to restore what you lost.
We understand that the claims process can be confusing and overwhelming, and we’re here to help.
As Orlando’s premier hurricane damage adjusters, we’re dedicated to making sure you receive the maximum compensation you’re due. We’re experts in this field and we’re ready to work with you every step of the way.
Contact us for a free case evaluation today and let us take it from there.