I hope you and your family are doing well. Below are some final day preparation tips as we get ready for Hurricane Irma. Hopefully some of them will be helpful to you and your family.
1. If possible, have one source of light for every person you’re staying with. If the electricity goes out and your house is boarded up, it will be almost impossible to see.
2. Document everything you own. Take pictures of all electronics, furniture, etc. Everything valuable should have a photo of it uploaded to some sort of cloud based storage before the hurricane hits.
3. Another thing to take pictures of is all of your important documents and uploading them. A good spot to store documents and other valuables for protection against theft and water is inside the dishwasher.
4. Preserve valuable information on your phone. Make sure that your contacts and photos are uploaded to the cloud in case something happens to your phone. If you don’t know how to do that, you can text or email them to a friend.
5. Secure valuables such as pictures or photo albums in double plastic bags.
6. You can’t have too many plastic bags or duct tape. Secure documents in Ziploc bags. Secure larger items in trash bags cocooned so the opening of the first bag is in the bottom of the second bag. Put some clothes in plastic bags in case you get a roof leak. Duct tape bags closed. Put valuables on a high shelf in a closet.
7. Take steps to protect your vehicles. If you can find a parking garage that is ideal. In a low-lying area or under a tree is the worst. A storm can easily damage or ruin your vehicle. Protect it! Next to a building on the downwind side gives you the best chance if you have to leave your car outside.
8. Make sure all of your laundry and dishes are done before the storm hits.
9. Once you’ve placed your documents and valuable in plastic bags, the safest place to store them is inside the dishwasher or washer/dryer.
10. Another use for Ziploc bags is to keep things cold in your freezer. Fill them ¾ full of water and put them in your freezer. The less open space you have in the freezer, the longer it will stay cold.
11. It is easier to place a call out of the area than inside the area during a storm. Make sure everyone in your party has an out-of-town contact that you can check in with to make sure you know everybody is safe and accounted for.
12. There are important things to look into If you live in a high rise. Make sure you know what the procedures are for building. Will the building be evacuated? Will the water continue to work? Will elevators work? What is on a generator? If you can stay in the building (if it’s away from the water) find an interior hallway on a low floor where you can set up camp during the storm. It will not be safe to be on a high floor or near windows, even with modern hurricane impact windows. A hallway surrounded by concrete is your best bet.
13. Set-up a comfortable area with everything you will need. If you are stuck in one spot for a long time it is important to have easy access to your food, water, communication, and any sort of entertainment you have to pass the time.
14. Your cellphone should not be relied upon for communication! When Harvey hit Texas as a Cat 4, it knocked out the mobile phone system. Your battery may also run out quickly with no way to recharge it. In any case, it’s essential you have a portable AM/FM radio that you can leave on so the entire family can hear what’s going on with the storm.
15. Remember, its always important to prepare for the worst. Have an escape route set up and a meeting place for you and you family if you are separated. Make preparations with clothes, food, valuables, and documents in case you must evacuate quickly. With all of the traffic and driving hazards, time is of the essence.
We are all hoping that Irma turns early or otherwise weakens or stays away, but the odds don’t favor that at this point. The hurricane is most likely to have some effect on a significant part of the state, and damaging impact on the lives of many people. Therefore, we are confronted with an indisputable fact: What you do before the storm has everything to do with how you and your family will fare after the wind stops blowing. Today, you are in control. Take action calmly but resolutely. Don’t set yourself up to be a victim. Your full attention is required immediately.
ReNu Insurance Group