In light of Hurricane Sandy, I wanted to build a list of steps to take to prepare for the next big storm or hurricane. Hopefully, we will not experience another Hurricane Sandy for a while.

          Keep indoors, in a safe shelter, and hopefully, you have all the supplies you need to wait out this storm. My heart goes out to all the families affected. Stay safe!

-Here are some steps to take before a hurricane hits:

-Clear gutters of leaves and debris, the aim is to allow rain and flood waters to pass through as freely as possible. This includes roof gutters and storm gutters on the street.

-Build an emergency kit make a family communications plan.

-Know your surroundings, in case power goes out, you want to conserve candle and flashlight batteries, so if you can still see your surrounds, conserve your expendable lighting sources as much as possible.

-Learn the elevation level of your property and if it’s in a flood zone and if the area floods easy. Know how storm surge and coastal flooding affects your area.

-Identify levees and dams in your area and whether they pose a hazard to you.

-Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you need to evacuate.

-Make plans to secure your property.

-Cover all of your home’s windows. Either install permanent storm shutters, which is an expensive option, or, board up the windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Have screws and drill, fully charged (wired drill set may work better, depending on how many windows you have to board up, you may either need a bunch of fully charged battery packs, or just one really long extension cord and a wired drill set.)

-Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure, reducing possibility of roof damage.

-Trim trees and shrubs around your home, to make them more wind resistant and also, the decrease possibility of close-by, weaker limbs damaging your home.

 -Reinforce garage doors: if wind gets inside a garage, it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage. Also, as far as entrances go, the garage door would be the vulnerable entrance of most homes.

-Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans, and anything else not secured and could possibly turn into a missile hazard with the high winds.

-If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter below the 10th floor.

-Know where the most “safe” room in the house is, such as the most central room, with no winds, etc. Plan to stage all emergency supplies inside the safe room.

-Consider installing a generator for emergencies.

             Hopefully, these suggestions help out in your emergency planning! No one wants to experience an emergency situation, but by being prepared, when it happens, you have peace of mind knowing you did all you can do to be setup for success. Any questions, comments, feel free to post!

Source: with some of my own ideas added.

Windy Key West Morning(118263)
Credit: Noble Dave