If Hurricane Matthew is your first encounter with a South Florida storm, then you’re in for the ride of your life. Hurricanes can be a fun when it’s all over (hurricane party, anyone?), but they can also be extremely dangerous, and unexpectedly destructive.
As a homeowner, you’re more acute to the risks – damage to your home, roof, landscaping, and fencing are all a serious consideration. The risks are heightened the closer you are to the coastline, including the intracoastal, and flood zones. You’ve undoubtedly heard all about “hurricane preparedness”, a term of art for the South Floridan native. But how about a preparedness guide for the Palm Beach County homeowner from our Realtors who have seen more than one hurricane, and lived to tell about it?
Well, here it is! But first, some basic preparedness tips are in order, these courtesy of ready.org and the National Hurricane Center, an operation of the NOAA.
Create an family emergence plan – This is document that you complete and keep somewhere safe, but obvious and accessible, in the house. It lists things like next of kin contact info, evacuation information, and important medical information. Download the template here.
Have a basic disaster supplies kit handy – Consisting of basic necessities, the disaster supplies kit contains everything you need to survive in the worst-case scenario, such as a downed power grid, and no running water for days, or weeks. Included is gallon water jugs, nonperishable canned food, battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries, plenty of garbage bags for sanitation, and a first-aid kit. If you have pets, stock up on extra canned or dry food.
Hurricane Preparedness Tips From Our Realtors
Here are some hurricane preparedness tips you may not be thinking of as a homeowner. First, clear all the clutter and debris from your yard, and that include storing loose items such as lawn chairs, tiki candles, and string lights. And yes, the latest forecasts show that as of 8:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2016 when this blog post goes live, Hurricane Matthew is threatening enough that your shutters need to be put up.
On to some of our more unique preparedness tips from your local Realtors!
Tracie Copeland – Do not underestimate the importance of understanding your homeowner, flood, and wind insurance policy! Pull out the documents, dust them off, and read through them. If you need to, call your insurance agent up. Make sure your covered not only for your structure, but your contents inside the home as well. If 10 inches of water creeps into your home, your drywall may be covered – but not your furnishings. You may still have time to add to your policy now, before the hurricane hits.
Stephanie McAlister – Make sure you have at least a gallon of water per person in your household, which should last at least 2-3 days. That means you’ll want at least two gallons per person, per week. Don’t under-stock – it doesn’t cost much or take up much space to buy a couple extra gallons. If you have a large detached freezer, turn it into a makeshift ice cooler when the power cuts out by freezing a 6-8 gallons now, and leaving them there throughout the storm.
Regina Yagudina – One tip that people don’t think of often enough is having extra cash. If power is down, credit card machines don’t work, and you can’t buy supplies. Stock up on cash while you can.
Ana Fernandez – Duck!!! Just kidding – put extra chlorine in your pool. You probably won’t be getting into for awhile anyway (unless you have a covered patio), and you never know what you’re going to find floating in your pool when the storm is over, including deceased animals.
Tom Copeland – Guys, get your grill in order. If it’s a gas grill, inspect your lines for leaks, and make sure your equipment is in safe, working order. To test for leaks, run some soapy water along the lines, and look for bubbles. If you find any, you still have time to replace the line. For propane grills, make sure you’ve got plenty of gas. If it’s been awhile, it may pay to go ahead and just swap it out for a fresh tank now. Keep grill lighters handy, as igniters commonly fail, especially after extended exposure to heavy rain. If you have a charcoal grill, well…don’t forget to buy plenty of charcoal, alright?
Jennifer Booker – Take picture of all your most valuable stuff now. Insurance companies love to deny claims based on lack of evidence that your things were in insurable order prior to a storm…and that especially includes your vehicle and your roof. Document the proof now.
Do you have some hurricane preparedness tips we forgot? Add them to the comments below!