The Atlantic hurricane season runs June 1st to November 30th. Hurricanes and tropical storms can happen up and down the eastern seaboard and Gulf of Mexico and can affect areas more than 100 miles inland. STS Impact Windows & Doors is a local family-owned company that is part of the community. We would like to help our neighbors prepare for hurricane season by providing a hurricane preparedness guide.
Hurricane season begins on June 1st, so we suggest preparing prior to the start of the season. The hurricane preparation tips list you’ll find below can help anyone prevent damage during the next major storm, no matter how much or how little experience you’ve had enduring a hurricane. When the next big one approaches, you will be ready!
2020 Hurricane Preparation Basics
- Know Your Evacuation Zone
- Learn your evacuation zone, route, and plan for an alternate location to stay
- Include pets when planning to evacuate
- Practice your plan
- Assemble Disaster Supplies
- Gather needed supplies for at least 10 days
- Make a kit for emergency needs (e.g., water, food, medications, hygiene, power devices, pet needs)
- Keep cash in your emergency kit
- Make sure your home is in good repair and meets local hurricane building codes
- Having hurricane impact windows and doors gives you the protection you need, without the hassle of putting up shutters or plywood
- Declutter drains and gutters, trim trees, secure loose outdoor items & secure doors
- Know a safe location to move your car during a hurricane
- Exchange contact information
- Make sure they have a plan for before and after a hurricane
- Write down your hurricane plan & share it.
- Make a plan of how you will get in touch with others before, during, and after.
- Take photos of important documents and store them in a secure place.
- Take pictures of your house, specifically your roof and windows, for insurance purposes.
Basic Disaster Supply Kit
Here are some guidelines and suggestions made by Ready.gov in regard to assembling your kit. Make sure your items are sealed in a water-proof fashion, and that your entire kit can fit into one or two plastic bins or duffels. A basic disaster supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water – each person should account for one gallon of water per day and have enough for at least three(3) days; make sure to include any pets in the total “person” count!
- LifeStraw or similar product
- Food -10 day supply of non-perishable food (minimum)
- NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, or any battery-powered/hand-crank radio
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Generators for when the power goes out
- Extension cords to power your fridge and lights
- At least 4 red gas cans filled and stored in a hurricane safe exterior structure (2-5-gallon capacity)
- Fill up all your propane tanks for grilling with no power
- Water-proof matches or lighter
- Sandbags if you are in a low-lying area, flood zone, or an area prone to flooding
- Tarps to protect your home after the storm if your roof gets damaged or non-impact window gets broken
- Whistle to signal for help
- Mask with respirator feature to help filter contaminated air
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Additional Emergency Supplies
- Prescription medications
- Over the counter medications
- Glasses and contact lens solution
- Infant necessities
- Pet food
- Always get cash from an ATM early, as power-outages may affect their operation
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account records saved electronically and/or in a waterproof, portable container
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket (1/person)
- Complete change of clothing and sturdy shoes
- Alternate ways to disinfect water
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Paper cups, plates, paper towels, and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Maintaining Your Kit
After assembling your kit, remember to maintain it, so it is ready when needed. This requires making sure all of your non-perishable goods are stored in a cool, dry place. Any food stored in boxes should be placed in plastic or metal containers. Any items not used at the end of the season should be used throughout the rest of the year, and subsequently replaced at the beginning of next year’s season. Be sure to service your generator at this time as well. Use gas at the end of each season.
Additional Hurricane Preparation Tips
Anything that is not tied down outside of the home has the potential to cause harm to people and property alike. This includes outdoor furniture, potted plants, and even loose tree branches. Any of these items can act as projectiles during a storm.
Check on neighbours, friends, and loved ones to see if you can help with any last-minute hurricane preparation once you are done with your own. Make sure everyone has a plan in place and that you’ll know how to locate each other after the storm passes. Having an out of town contact in place is always a good idea. Texting apps such as walkie-talkie services are also available for times when means of “normal” communication might be ineffective, such as in the event of power loss during a hurricane. Do not forget to include your pets in an emergency plan.
Always take evacuation orders seriously. If you remain in your home or building and it becomes flooded, always try and get to the highest level possible, but not into a closed attic as you may become trapped. Avoid wading through floodwater.
Make sure to safely run generators away from any and all windows and doors. Never touch any electrical equipment if it is wet or in standing water. Only if the situation is safe, turn off electricity to the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock before plugging in any device.
Your Safety is Important
DO NOT go outside during the storm. One benefit of installing hurricane impact windows and doors is that you can see out of your house mitigating the risk of harm to your family or property. Boarding your windows with plywood will leave your home in darkness, but DO NOT leave off panels even if you think openings may be protected between houses. If you stay in the impact area, the only safe way to observe the storm is from a designated shelter or from the safety of your home equipped with hurricane impact windows and doors and a good roof, or at minimum shutters or plywood covering openings.
Please remember, if told to evacuate, the safest possible place to observe a hurricane is on the news where the hurricane isn’t going to hit, please listen to all local and state official warnings.
Remember: take photos of your home before the storm hits, and then document any damage afterwards by taking photos as well. Consult your insurance company for further guidance.
Have a hurricane disaster plan, supplies, and kit prepared and finalized BEFORE hurricane season
Disasters don’t plan ahead, but you definitely can. Let STS Impact Windows & Doors help you stay one step ahead! Schedule a free consultation today and see how adding hurricane impact windows and doors can strengthen your home and your peace of mind this hurricane season!
This plan is a guide, not advice. Please research and come up with your disaster plan to meet the needs of your specific situation.