The tips below are from FLASH (the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes). Surprisingly, they recommend NOT taping windows. But very few people on this island, if any, are going to have hurricane shutters on their houses, and given we didn’t know this was going to be a Hurricane until today, it’s unlikely that many people are going to have time to use plywood…. –ADM
Now is the time to prepare your family and home for Iselle and Julio before time runs out. The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® offers the following 13 tips for residents to prepare for severe weather conditions.
Protect Your Home
1. Check your hurricane shutters to make sure they are working properly and fit securely to ensure proper protection.
2. Go Tapeless! Never use tape on windows. If you do not have shutters, install temporary plywood shutters. Learn how to properly measure and install them.
3. Secure or relocate outdoor items such as trash cans, grills, toys and potted plants. Remove any dead tree limbs carefully, if time permits.
4. Make sure all doors and windows are properly caulked and/or weather-stripped to reduce potential water intrusion.
5. Replace rocks in your landscaping with fire treated shredded mulch or other lightweight material if time permits.
Prepare Your Family
6. Heed all evacuation orders and have a plan in place.
7. Make sure your 72-hour emergency kit is complete. Include:
- Enough food and water for all members of the family, including pets
- Extra cash
- A battery powered NOAA weather radio or download the FLASH Weather Alerts App
- First aid kit and toiletries
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- Blankets, pillows, extra clothes, toys and games to keep the family comfortable and occupied
- Special items for babies, pets and family members with special medical needs
8. Gather and store important paperwork like insurance papers, mortgage documents and marriage certificates in waterproof containers. You can also scan copies and store them on a USB drive or take photographs with a smartphone. Include these in your emergency kit.
9. Fill your gas tank; gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.
If You Lose Power During the Storm
10. Do not run a generator inside a home or garage. Use gas-powered generators only in well-ventilated areas.
11. Connect only individual appliances to portable generators.
12. Don’t plug emergency generators into electric outlets or hook them directly to your home’s electrical system – as they can feed electricity back into the power lines, putting you and line workers in danger.
13. If you have space in your refrigerator or freezer, consider filling plastic containers with water leaving about an inch of space inside each one (water expands as it freezes, so it is important to leave room in the container for the expanded water). Place the containers in the refrigerator and freezer. This chilled or frozen water will help keep food cold if the power goes out by displacing air that can warm up quickly with water or ice that keeps cold for several hours without additional refrigeration.
For more information on protecting your home from hurricanes visit the Great Hurricane Blowout preparedness campaign.
Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)®, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is the country’s leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. FLASH collaborates with more than 120 innovative and diverse partners that share its vision of making America a more disaster?resilient nation including: BASF, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Division of Emergency Management, The Home Depot®, International Code Council, Kohler® Generators, National Weather Service, Portland Cement Association, RenaissanceRe, Simpson Strong-Tie®, State Farm™, USAA® and WeatherPredict Consulting Inc. In 2008, FLASH opened the interactive weather experience StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes® in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Learn more about FLASH and gain access to its free consumer resources by visiting www.flash.org or calling (877) 221- SAFE (7233). Also, get timely safety tips to ensure that you and your family are protected from natural and manmade disasters by subscribing to the FLASH blog – Protect Your Home in a FLASH.