Hurricanes are a risk that all southern and eastern coastal communities are in danger of. The storms can form and can strengthen rapidly leaving little time for proper preparation. This list details things you can do within a week to help get your family and your home ready for the impact.
Pull out your insurance documents. Make note of your coverage limits and your deductibles. Consider how much you’d need to cover the cost to replace your home’s structure, your personal belongings and your automobile. Call your agent(s) to confirm that you understand everything correctly.
Make a video inventory of your entire house including inside drawers, closets, etc. For higher priced and valuable items make sure to get the make/model, serial number and any other information that would be required to prove the value. Upload the video(s) to the cloud.
Extra Tip: Anyone with a child renting their own place should make sure that they have an active renter’s insurance policy and that they follow these same steps.
Much like an emergency kit but not in place of, pack everyone in your household a bag or suitcase with everything they would need for 2-3 days such as outfits, chargers, weather gear, etc. Critical medicine, food and water should be in every bag in case one gets lost. Don’t forget to pack one for your animals!
Make sure everyone has a phone list of emergency contacts (at least each other, a local contact and a contact that is out of the area). These should be programmed into phones and a printed copy should be in every bag with instructions on where to go if you get split up. You should have a safe place planned locally and another safe place to meet should you have to evacuate.
Extra Tip: When cell service is bad a text message may go through when a phone call won’t. Plan basic, short text messages to be shared among your emergency contacts such as “Safe. At Mimi’s”.
Take any movable items outside your home and move them inside. For items that are too heavy or large to move in, use cables or chains to secure them down so they can’t be blown around.
Consider purchasing a heavy-duty gasoline container to be filled and stored it in a cool, well-ventilated area. You don’t want to wait for an evacuation order to start running vehicles and gas cans to the station. Not only could the station run out of fuel before you get there, waiting would take precious time from other preparations and delay your departure.
Prepare to board up. Measure all window and glass door openings (include the framing). Purchase plywood pieces and pre-cut them to fit your measurements. Some lumber stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s may even have a panel saw and can cut them for you. Grab a box of screws and a drill if you don’t have one.
Extra Tip: Consider purchasing a generator. If you do purchase one, first test all your carbon monoxide detectors, then pick a safe place that you’ll be able to run it. The running place should be outside in a well ventilated are (no garages or basements!), that is dry and where you can quickly connect to it. Watch this video by Lowe’s for some other important generator tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaLamTvTQc0
Questions? Concerns? Recommendations? Give us a call or send us an e-mail. We’re happy to help!
We can smell the Turkey already! Within the hustle and bustle of planning your Thanksgiving holiday celebrations and Black Friday shopping lists, work in these maintenance items to stay on top of your game.
Daylight savings ends this month. Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you change your clocks.
Shut off outdoor water spouts and empty hoses for storage.
Make sure everyone in the household knows where the main water shut-off is and how to use it.
Drain or stabilize the fuel from your gas powered lawn equipment that you won’t be using for the winter season and test your winter equipment.
Inspect your automatic garage door opener and lubricate it according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Reprogram your thermostats for the winter season and reverse the direction of your ceiling fans.
Clean your refrigerator inside and out removing all food, shelves, trays and old ice from the ice maker. Replace the baking soda.
Restock and update your severe weather emergency kit. Check expiration dates on first aid and supplies.
Back-up your computer files either on the cloud or on an external hard drive that you keep in a weather tight place.
June is recognized as the month for National Home Safety. Participate with us by committing to being prepared, informed, and living well.
A popular part of living well in June is enjoying the great weather! Breaking out the grill is one of my favorite ways to celebrate the coming of summer. Remember before kicking off a great barbecue:
Propane and charcoal grills are for outdoor use only!
Avoid grilling close to your house, railings, or overhanging branches. Smoke damage can be quite an extensive project to tackle. Read more about smoke damage clean up.
Maintain a clean grill by proper heating, scrubbing, and cleaning the grease tray often.
Make sure to never leave the grill unattended while in use, and don’t forget to shut the propane off when you’re done.
To check for leaks in the tank hose, use a light soap and water mix. If you see bubbles after applying the solution to the hose, don’t light that grill! Have it serviced first.
Always let coals cool completely before disposing of them in a metal container.
Of course, accidents do happen, so have a plan in place for prompt response if you have an emergency. If you are local on Cape Cod, read about Whalen Restoration’s emergency response services.
This June, work on preventing household injuries by addressing factors in and around your home.
As included in most of our safety tips, have an emergency safety plan. Keep it simple so that all ages of your home will know what to do, but include enough to cover most of the common disasters your area may encounter in a year.
Keep an emergency kit handy in the event of a natural disaster and/or loss of power. Make sure you have the essentials to last a few days including water, first aid, flashlights with extra batteries, and nonperishable food. More in depth details of what you should have and how to assemble a kit can be found at http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit
Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms yearly, and test them often. Make sure there is one on every floor of your home and near fire hazards.
Be sure to have emergency telephone numbers handy for accidents. Poison control and other emergency contact numbers are great to have posted on the refrigerator for quick access.
Make sure any toxic products and medications are stored in childproof areas.
With those safety and prevention tips in mind, another very large part of home safety is making time to care for you. Nothing should interfere with having a balanced diet and good exercise habits. That doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in strawberry short cake at the cookout or take a day’s rest from the gym, but it does mean that you should be regularly eating clean, getting sufficient exercise, and regular sleep. Luckily, the urgency to adapt these great habits is becoming one of today’s most popular topics, creating an amazing variety of options to suit everyone’s needs. By caring for yourself you’ll be preventing household injury by keeping a clear mind and stronger body.
Pledge to honor this National Home Safety month and reap the benefits all year long. I wish you all a safe, happy, and healthy Summer.