Prepare now for future weather issues.

Tips to help prepare before emergency evacuation

For peace of mind during an emergency such as a hurricane, try to complete as many of these tasks as possible, while it’s still safe to do so, before evacuating your home.

Document your belongings. FEMA suggests taking photos or video of what’s in your home to provide useful documentation if you must make an insurance claim. Take pictures of each room from different angles, individual shots of valuable items, and in the case of electronics, a shot of the model number and the serial number.

Clear your yard. Make sure water can flow away from your home by storing loose debris like patio furniture, grills, bikes, and planters inside. You don’t want anything to become a projectile or potentially blocking storm drains because any water buildup could cause your home to flood.

Brace every opening. Cover all your home’s windows. Additionally, seal any cracks around windows and door frames. Open holes in a house during a hurricane can cause depressurization – the calm air on the inside meets a whirlwind on the outside – which can cause a house to collapse.

Elevate items that rust or corrode. Unplug appliances and move any portable appliances and electronics to higher ground. TVs, speakers, and generators need to be several feet off the ground, such as on counter tops or on the second level of your home in case of the ground floor floods.

Turn off the power and water lines. FEMA recommends shutting off the electricity and main water valve if you can do so safely before evacuating. To turn off power, find your circuit breaker panel and set the main circuit switch to off. To shut off the main water valve, find the water meter typically mounted on the side of your house, then the water main valve below it, connected by a pipe. You may need to use a wrench to turn the valve clockwise to shut off the water supply.

For more assistance and advice see FEMA website and WordPress posts.

 

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