12 Ways to Prep Your Home for Hurricane Season

Make a basic storm kit

Items for emergency on wooden tableAlex Kosev/ShutterstockA basic storm kit is designed to get a family through 48 hours without electricity and basic services. Your basic storm kit should include whistles, blankets, garbage bags, batteries, a three-day water supply and two days worth of food. Get the complete of items here and what to include in a three-to-four day kit and a week or more kit.

Fill gas containers

Portable electric generator running in the cold winter.Spok83/ShutterstockA 5,500-watt generator will run about eight hours on 5 gallons of gasoline, so gas management is critical if you want to be prepared for an extended power outage. That may mean running your generator for shorter periods and coasting on things like refrigeration. Find out more tips for preparing your home for a hurricane

Start moving stuff

Large back yard with grass and covered patio with fire pit.Artazum/ShutterstockBring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys and garden tools, and anchor objects that cannot be brought inside. Learn how to prepare your yard here.

Review evacuation plans

Depressed young woman near window at home, closeupAfrica Studio/ShutterstockYou and your family should pick two locations to go to for safety in the event of an emergency. Choose one out-of-town person as an emergency contact and create a list of emergency contacts that can be kept in a safe, readily available place. For a complete list of how to prepare an evacuation plan, go here.

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Locate water, gas, and electricity shut-offs

Man opens or closes the gas valve. A gas meter in the private house, counter for distribution domestic gas. Selective focus.Yevhen Prozhyrko/ShutterstockFinding the water, gas and electricity shutoffs should be among the first things you do when you move into a new home. They should be near the top of your list at locating when a hurricane is forecasted. Wait to turn off your gas until local officials tell you to do so. Don’t miss what those hurricane categories really mean

Prepare windows, doors, and garage doors

Broken windowSeDmi/ShutterstockIf you live in an area susceptible to hurricanes then it’s best to prepare the home for those conditions with shutters. Brace your doors and secure your garage door, which has a likelihood of blowing away in a storm. Prepare for unexpected disasters like floods and fires by following these tips.

Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest setting

Hand rotate temperature adjuster of refrigeratorshowcake/ShutterstockThat way if the power does go out your food will stay cold a little longer. If your fridge is on the fritz, check out these quick fixes you can do yourself.

Unplug electrical appliances if power is lost

woman unplugging electrical cords on whiteEHStockphoto/ShutterstockUnplugging your appliances will prevent any potential damage from a power surge once power is restored. Do you know you can save hundreds of dollars by unplugging these you don’t use frequently?

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Gather insurance documents

Blue ballpoint pen, two antique brass keys and a home insurance claim from on a plywood clipboard. A blank form is waiting to be completed and signed by a policyholder or an insured person.William Potter/ShutterstockYour home insurance documents and other important papers should be part of your storm kit and readily available in the event of a disaster because you will need that proof for claims and assistance. Know what your policy will cover, homeowners insurance has covered some incredible things like blue ice falling from airplanes.

Determine what to do with pets

Male Golden Retriever sleeping on his dog bedYobab/ShutterstockNot all emergency shelters will accept pets through their doors so it’s important to have a plan for your pets. Before storm season arrives, locate shelters that allow pets and contact them. Keep a picture of your pet if it gets lost or have them microchipped if you haven’t already. Try these tips for keeping your pet safe during a natural disaster.

Elevate furniture, if there’s time

Beautiful modern living room with grey sofa and floor lampAfrica Studio/ShutterstockIf there is time before the storm hits your area, it’s a good idea to move furniture to higher ground, but only if you have time. There are certainly far more pressing tasks in a time of crisis.

Keep flashlights and extra batteries in dry areas

Tactical waterproof flashlight with water drops and fognevodka/ShutterstockStore them in containers to make sure they will work if need be. Better yet, make a flashlight glow in the dark so it’s easy to locate.  Next, try these ways that you can help after a natural disaster (hint: it’s rarely donating clothes).

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