How Can We Prepare for a Hurricane?
Hurricanes are one of the most powerful events nature can throw at us. If you are a renter in a hurricane prone area, you need to know some basic things you can do to protect yourself and your rented home against the threat of a hurricane. Hurricanes tend to have their way with us, and there is only so much you can do, but taking a little extra precaution beforehand can help limit your risk when a hurricane hits your home town.
- Bring in all outdoor furniture and anything else that might get picked up by hurricane winds whenever a watch is in effect.
- During hurricane season, keep your trees closely trimmed and do not let them grow out of control. This will prevent branches from being ripped off and potentially causing damage to your home or others.
- Keep a close eye on your roof and gutter systems. These systems can be overwhelmed by the massive rainfall that accompanies a hurricane. Make sure your roof stays clear of any and all debris, and that any leaks are repaired immediately. Keep your gutters clear of debris and free of leaks. Help them to do their job by making sure they work properly and are not being impeded.
- Talk to your landlord about installing hurricane shutters for your windows. If you do not go this route, use plywood to cover all windows prior to the arrival of a hurricane.
- Put together a firm disaster plan. Understand where you should go for shelter and have phone numbers ready for disaster response.
- Have a disaster kit ready. Keep sleeping bags or blankets for everyone in your household in an easily accessible place. Also keep flashlights with good batteries, candles with matches or a lighter, a battery powered radio with a good battery, a stocked first aid kit, non perishable food, and bottled water to sustain your family for at least a few days.
- Get flood/hurricane insurance. A standard renters insurance policy will not cover hurricane or flood damage, but you can get a rider or a separate policy giving you this kind of coverage, depending on the area where you live and the company you are working with. This policy will set you back a few dollars, but it will be worth it if you ever have to file a claim.