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How To Prepare for Severe Storms and Hurricanes

When a hurricane threatens, your primary concern is for your family’s safety. The key is to make plans and provisions to protect your family and home long before the threat of a hurricane.

Hurricanes pose both wind and flood damage potential so make sure your doors and windows are secure. Remember, despite your best attempts at protecting your home, damage may still occur. Take a look at your insurance policies to make sure you're adequately covered. Keep lists or video tapes of your belongings as documentation for the insurance company.

Prepare Your Roof

  • High winds could blow items off your roof, leaving a gaping hole through which heavy rain could come into your home to do damage. If you have an television antenna, roof turbine, or otherwise you may want to disconnect and remove it.
  • Check for loose or damaged shingles, and seal around flashings, chimneys or vent pipes if necessary.
  • Check for loose and clogged gutters and downspouts. Backed-up gutters can send water flowing into your home in the event of heavy rains.
  • If your roof is damaged in a storm, use tarps secured with ropes and nails to cover it as soon as you can. Heavy rains usually occur during and after a hurricane, and water can cause devastating damage to the interior of your home.
  • If you live in an area vulnerable to hurricanes, consider installing storm shutters. They are available in several different types, and will go a long way toward keeping the damaging wind and rain from entering through your home's windows.
  • Secure The Doors

  • Double doors and French doors are most vulnerable to high winds. But no matter what type of door you've got, a hurricane panel is your best option to keep damage at a minimum. You can also nail plywood over your doors for protection and to help keep out water and debris.
  • Bolts which secure the door into the framing at both the top and bottom greatly increase the door's strength. Wedge sliding glass doors with a dowel or piece of broom handle to prevent them from jumping their tracks when the wind howls.
  • Provide stiffening support for garage doors. Make your own vertical supports by nailing two 2x4s together and attaching them vertically to the inside of your garage door with "L" brackets. Use as many as you feel are necessary to support your door.
  • Tidy Up the Yard

  • Lawn furniture, toys, grills, potted plants, and anything that can't be brought in should be tied down should be taken inside if possible. Items like sheds, swing sets, should be secured with tiedowns, cables or stout rope.
  • Flailing tree limbs may pose a danger in high winds. Trim trees to avoid the possibility of large limbs, dead, or damaged branches doing damage to your house. Selectively thinning out the branches to allow wind to more easily pass through and will reduce the potential for damage to the tree itself.
  • Cars, Trucks & Boats

  • If you live in a low-lying area, move your car, truck or boat to higher ground, preferably to an enclosed garage or warehouse.
  • If you must leave a boat behind, don't leave it in the water. Anchor the trailer tongue of a trailered boat to a firm spot on the ground and lash the boat to the trailer, letting some air out of the tires.
  • Stow all loose gear (outriggers, canvas tops, etc.) and remove electronics and other valuables to avoid damage and theft. Cover the boat to keep additional water and debris out.
  • Get every member of your household involved. Set aside time for a family meeting to discuss the following:

    An Evacuation Package

    Personal items you'd hate to lose, things insurance could never replace. Place them in a water and fire proof container along with important family documents, such as birth certificates and insurance policies. Make sure everyone knows where the package is kept and assign a family member responsibility for it in case you need to evacuate.

    Safety Kit

    Put together a safety kit including a first aid kit and essential medications, fire extinguisher, packaged or canned non-perishable food items and a non-electric can opener, water in a non-breakable container, protective clothing, rainwear and blankets. Make sure everyone in the household knows where this kit is kept.

    Emergency Contact

    Pick a friend or family member out of state in case a hurricane hits or you need to evacuate. This contact can be the person who lets others know where you are and that you're safe so you won't have to spend precious time doing so.

    Insurance Policies in Case of Natural Disaster

    Your family is the most important thing - Alliance Mutual Insurance is here to make sure your family, your home, and precious belongings are covered and cared for in case of natural disaster.