Preparing for a hurricane? We’ve got your home covered with these top tips.
As you’ve probably gathered, the southeastern coast of the U.S. is bracing for Hurricane Florence. Some are calling this current Category 4 hurricane “the storm of a lifetime.” While the most recent projections indicate that the DC will not experience a direct hit, we should expect to feel the major effects of the storm early next week.
All local jurisdictions have declared states of emergency. Certain models predict more than a foot of rain could fall in parts of Virginia. This amount of rain, combined with our already saturated grounds, means significant flooding, downed limbs, and power outages for our area.
Our advice? Take action now. Preparing for a hurricane with these guidelines will help to ensure that your family members, home, and valuables are protected in the days ahead.
Steps in Preparing Your Home for a Hurricane
- Test your sump pump! With the amount of rain the DC area is expecting, a working sump pump is a must. Check that gutters and downspouts are clear as well.
- If your home is prone to flooding, place sandbags around your home’s vulnerable areas. Many local jurisdictions, Alexandria and Fairfax County, for example, are giving them out to residents. Click here for an excellent guide to sandbagging your home.
- Make sure all garage floor or driveway drains are clear and flowing as they should.
- Check your homeowners/flood insurance policy to make sure they are up to date and coverage is sufficient.
- Check the trees in your yard for any broken, dead and damaged limbs. Such branches can become extremely dangerous weapons in a storm like Florence.
- Secure any outdoor items such as patio furniture, grills, etc.
- Nail or caulk any loose roof tiles or shingles on your roof.
- Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors in your home. Photograph and document your valuables.
- Gas up your cars now – potential power outages make gas pumps inoperable. Also, withdraw some cash now to have on hand as well.
- Stock up on essentials like water, toilet paper, non-perishable foods, batteries, flashlights, and first aid supplies. Refill any required prescription medications now.
- Consider purchasing a generator (check out Consumer Reports Generator Buying Guide).
The Bottom Line
It’s never too early to start preparing for a massive storm like Florence. Take action now to prevent major damage and lots of headaches later. Listen to the authorities to keep yourself and your family safe.
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