Homes By Vanderbuilt: Hurricane Prep Guide
“…to be prepared is half the victory.” ~ Miguel de Cervantes
The North Carolina Coast is prone to hurricanes, so planning for them may seem obvious. FEMA, Ready.gov and the National Hurricane Center offer a myriad of tips, but Homes By Vanderbuilt has compiled a list of our own simple tips that can help you weather the storms:
Have A Plan:
Make a family emergency plan, which includes identifying an out-of-town contact, making sure all family members know how to text-message, and making a contact card for each member of your family. Have them keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse or backpack, etc.
You should ask about emergency plans at places where your family is likely to be: work, schools and church. If no current plans exist, consider volunteering to create one.
Keep spares of any personal toiletries and prescription medications.
Make sure your cell phone is charged. You might want to buy a portable power device, which you can charge in advance and plug your phone into later.
Assemble a disaster supplies kit with food, water, medical supplies and a battery-powered radio. Include batteries, flashlights and other items. You should have enough to get through three days after a hurricane hits. The National Hurricane Center has a printable checklist here. You might want to keep a similar kit in a backpack or tote bag if you’re told to evacuate.
Have a full tank of gas in your vehicle, cash, and your disaster supplies kit ready to go.
How To Prep Your Home:
Batten Down The Hatches
Make sure your important documents (including birth and marriage certificates, social security cards, passports, wills, deeds and financial and insurance records) are in a flood and fire proof location or safe deposit box.
Make sure your freezer is at 0°F or below and the refrigerator is at 40°F or below. If your power goes out, open and close them sparingly. Have coolers and ice available in case the power is out for more than four hours.
Lower your storm windows. If you have shutters that can be closed, close and secure them.
If you know the water in your home stops running if the power goes out, fill your bathtub and other large containers, such as pots or mixing bowls, with water for bathing, flushing toilets and cleaning. Do Not drink this water.
If your smoke and carbon monoxide dectectors are hard-wired, make sure you have battery backups. If your detectors are normally battery-powered, test them to check that the batteries still work.
Cover your windows with plywood if you think your home could be in danger of flying projectiles.
Garage doors are often the first feature to fail in a storm. Reinforce all garage doors.
How To Prep Your Yard:
Trim any weak, dead or overhanging branches from trees and bushes.
Clear rain gutters and downspouts.
Secure your lawn furniture, planters and other outdoor items, or bring them inside.
Turn off propane tanks. Shut off other utilities if emergency officials advise you to do so.
If you have a gas grill, the most important thing is to separate the propane tank from the grill. Bring at least the propane tank inside or store it in your garage. If you can’t bring the entire grill inside, make sure you tie it down.
If You Are Ordered To Evacuate:
Turn off all utilities if authorities advise you to do so.
Leave immediately. If you think there might be a chance you’ll be evacuated, pack in advance.
Stick to designated evacuation routes. If you need help, this is the most likely place to find it.
What To Do During The Storm:
Do not go outside, even in the storm’s early stages, due to the potential for flying debris.
Close all doors, stay clear of windows, and keep curtains and blinds shut.
Be aware that a sudden lull in the storm could just be the eye of the storm passing over. The storm will resume.
What To Do After The Storm:
Be careful when you go outside — watch for downed power lines, broken glass and damage to building foundations.
Do not attempt to walk or drive through water. Standing water may be electrically charged from power lines, and moving water only six inches deep can sweep you off your feet.
Don’t drink tap water until you know it is safe.
If you have property damage, contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
Standard homeowners or renters insurance generally covers damage from wind and rain, but they generally don’t cover problems from groundwater. Keep in mind that most insurance companies require flood insurance to be purchased at least 30 days in advance before that portion of the policy is activated. Consider purchasing flood insurance so that you’ll be covered for next time.
Homes By Vanderbuilt builds custom modular homes that are stronger than site-built homes. We primarily build on the most hurricane prone area of the country; Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. For more information on Homes by Vanderbuilt, please visit at Homes By Vanderbuilt.