Today marks the first day of Hurricane Season, which runs until November 30th. Those of you who were here in 2017 might remember what it’s like going through a hurricane. We sure do! Several of us here at APPD/APFD rode out Hurricane Harvey together.
Although it is predicted to be a less active hurricane season….All it takes is one, to be a BAD hurricane season.
So as we continue to prepare as a community, I would like to offer some reminders for your personal preparation. As I think many of us learned during Harvey, you may not have much time to prepare yourself and your family, so that time is now.
Protect Your Personal Documents and Special Items
- Collect and safeguard critical financial, medical, educational, and legal documents and records.
- Back up all documents in a waterproof bag and store electronic copies.
- Take a video “tour” of your home to document all belongings and the home’s current condition. In case of an evacuation, you should be able to pack all your valuables within 15 minutes.
Build Your Disaster Evacuation Kit
- Plan for your entire household, including children, the elderly, those with special needs, and pets.
- Medical supplies: Be equipped to tend to any current or unexpected medical conditions your family may have.
- Tools and safety items: Small items like matches, flashlights, a multi-purpose tool, and a whistle can make a huge difference for your family while weathering the storm.
- Food and supplies: Have at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water for your family. Remember to pack anything specific to your family’s needs, such as infant formula.
- Gather food, water, medical supplies, and documentation for your pets.
- Most homeowner insurance policies will not cover flood loss. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is available from an insurance agent or the NFIP.
- If your home was rebuilt through the Texas General Land Office’s Homeowner Assistance Program and is located in a floodplain, flood insurance generally must be maintained in perpetuity to be eligible for future government assistance.
- Shut off the main circuit breaker to prevent appliances from short-circuiting and eliminate the threat of electrocution.
- Keep gutters and drains free of debris.
- Stockpile emergency protective materials such as plywood, plastic sheeting, and sandbags.
Develop a Family Evacuation Plan
- Pack a “go bag” including items you need to take with you if you evacuate. Remember, these plans may change quickly, so be prepared. A “go bag” should be easy to carry and kept in a place where you can grab it quickly.
- Make sure your family is familiar with evacuation routes.
Safeguard Your Home
- Cover doors and windows
- Reinforce garage doors and tracks or replace them with a hurricane-rated door.
- Doors may be shuttered, but one entry should remain easily accessible.
- Trim trees, shrubs, and any dead limbs, especially close to home.
- Secure any loose items in your yard and on your property ahead of the storm.
- Inspect your roof for loose or damaged shingles.
Here are a few helpful resources and references:
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