Myth: There is nothing we can do. If a hurricane comes, it will blow everything away. Fact: Protect your home and chances are you will suffer less damage during a hurricane. Shutter windows, brace the garage and entry doors and bring in yard items. These steps could be the difference between destruction and minor damage. Keep in mind wind accounts for only three percent of a hurricane’s energy. Prepare for rising waters from flooding and storm surge as well.
WHEN THE STORM THREATENS:
Refill special medications.
Get cash (ATMs may not work for days after). Don’t charge credit cards to the limit; you might need extra cash after the storm.
Get supplies. Follow instructions in this guide for food and water.
Don’t fill gasoline cans until right before the storm; they are a fire hazard.
Fill vehicle fuel tank. Gas stations could run out and some will not have power to run pumps. Check your car’s battery, water, oil. Make sure you have a spare tire and buy aerosol kits that fix and inflate flats.
Check fire extinguishers.
If you own a boat, make necessary preparations.
Prepare your pool. Don’t drain it.
If you own a plane, have it flown out or secured.
WHEN THE STORM IS APPROACHING:
Get shutters, storm panels or plywood in place on windows. If you haven’t installed sockets, attach with wood screws; they’re better than nails and do less damage.
Don’t tape windows; tape can create daggers of glass and in the heat can later bake onto panes.
Remove swings and tarps from swing sets. Tie down anything you can’t bring in. Check for loose rain gutters, moldings.
Move grills, patio furniture and potted plants into your house or garage.
If you do any last-minute pruning, take clippings inside so they don’t become hazards in the wind.
Disconnect and remove satellite dish or antenna from your roof.
Check your mailbox. If it’s loose, secure or remove it.
Remove roof turbines and cap holes with screw-on caps. Unsecured turbines can fly off and create a large hole for rain to pour through.
Prepare patio screening. It usually is built to sustain tropical-force winds, but with higher winds, it can separate from the frame. Officials recommend you remove a 6-foot panel on each side to let wind pass through. Pull out the tubing that holds screening in frame to remove screen.
Secure and brace external doors, especially the garage door and double doors.
Move vehicles out of flood-prone areas and into garages if possible. If not, park cars away from trees and close to homes or buildings.
Don’t turn off your natural gas at the main meter. Only emergency or utility people should do that.