Spring brings heavy storms to many regions of the country. Protect your family by getting your home ready with these storm supplies and preparation tips.
In 2017 there were six major hurricanes, 10 hurricanes and 17 named storms in the North Atlantic hurricane season.
And, because of climate change, these storms are getting worse each year. So it’s more important than ever to know how to prepare for a storm.
You need to know what storm supplies you need and how to prepare your home before storm season hits. Well, you’re in the right place.
Read on to find out our top tips for getting storm-ready!
Invest In Flood Insurance
If you’re in an area that is prone to storms then flood insurance is a must! Since 1980, hurricanes have caused around $862 billion worth of damage across America.
Hopefully, you won’t need to use this part of your storm kit, but if you do you’ll be happy you have it. When you’re recovering from a bad storm the last thing you want is to panic about the financial fallout.
Flood insurance will make sure you can get back on your feet as soon as possible.
Don’t assume that your homeowner’s insurance includes this either! Most policies don’t cover flooding. So you’ll need to take out flood insurance under a separate policy.
These are fairly easy to find just make sure you get on top of it as soon as possible. Some insurance companies will take a while to get back to you. Even after this, there can be a wait before you are actually covered.
And make sure you don’t get caught out by small print or technicalities. Take photos of your property before a storm hits and once it’s past. This will ensure you have photographic evidence of the extent of any damage.
Get a Home Generator
Any hurricane survival kit wouldn’t be complete without a home generator.
As the weather begins to worsen, power outages become more frequent. In fact, power is usually one of the first things to go. And depending on the severity of the storm it can take a long time for companies to repair the lines.
Meanwhile, you won’t have any power. This means losing heat, electricity, and lighting.
If this happens then a home generator could be your best friend. It will come on automatically when your power cuts out.
Home generators won’t be able to fully power your house because they’re not big enough. But they will supply energy to the parts of your house that need it the most, like your refrigerator.
Usually, they run on natural gas, liquid propane gas, or diesel. So a power outage won’t affect them.
They should be able to provide you with power for several days. This will give the power companies time to carry out any repairs and restore your service.
To add one to your home survival kit, check out these generators for sale.
Remove Potential Hazards
Getting your home ready before storm season can minimize damage when a storm hits.
Make sure your gutters and drainage systems are clear and undamaged. They will take a battering during a storm. So they need to be in the best possible condition.
Blockages during a storm stop them from working and might leave you in danger of flooding. Repairing any damage before a storm hits will avoid this.
While you’re doing this, check over the rest of your property too. Any loose roofing might leave you exposed to damage or danger during a storm.
All your windows and doors need to be properly sealed. In particular, take time to check the skylights before storm season. These are easy to forget about but are easily hit by a storm.
Check over your house for signs of damage or weakness. Things like cracks and holes might not seem like a big deal in the height of summer. But they’ll leave your vulnerable if a storm rolls in.
Remember that it might take time to get repairs done. So make sure you check over your property in plenty of time to allow for this.
And check the environment around the house as well. Trimming tree branches back reduces the amount of potential debris in the area.
If possible, try not to leave property outside the house during a storm. If you can’t bring it in or secure it in a garage, make sure it is secure. This will prevent it from getting damaged and stop it from becoming hazardous debris.
Prepare for Flooding
You might have flooding insurance, but that doesn’t mean that a flooded house wouldn’t be a problem.
Flooding can cause extensive damage to the foundations of your house. And it will ruin any property it comes into contact with. It can often carry bacteria as well which isn’t something you want to introduce to your home.
Sandbags can help to keep flood water out of your house. Or you can use them to redirect flood water.
If your house is likely to flood, you might want to install a sump pump. This will pump water away from your basement. If you already have a sump pump, make sure it’s working before storm season arrives.
Protect Yourself Against Power Surges
Storms can also affect power supplies by causing power surges.
This is a spike in the electrical current running through your house. It can damage your electronics or appliances.
You can protect against this by installing power surge protectors. Or some power strips come with built-in surge protectors. You might also need to get protection for your heating and air conditioning systems.
Make Sure You Have Enough Food and Drink
An emergency storm kit is a must have for any household that is likely to experience flooding. And an important part of this is sustenance to keep you going.
This should contain enough food to keep you going comfortably for several days.
Water is a must-have. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends having at least one gallon of water for each person for each day. You might need more if you live in a warmer climate, with children or with anyone who is breastfeeding.
If possible, use bottled water that you haven’t opened. Keep this stored in a cool, dark area.
You’ll need enough food to last you for at least three days. Canned food or food that won’t go off quickly is best.
Avoid any food that contains too much salt as this will make you more thirsty. There’s also no point in putting food your family doesn’t like into your survival kit.
Make sure your food is properly sealed. If it comes into contact with flood water you shouldn’t eat it. This could contaminate it and make it dangerous to eat.
And don’t forget to pack utensils for eating with! You’ll definitely need a can opener, so make sure you don’t get caught short.
Other Storm Supplies for Your Kit
Your emergency storm kit should also contain things to keep you safe and comfortable until the storm passes.
A first aid kit is vital. This should include plenty of medical equipment, like bandages and dressings. Things like rehydration sachets might also be useful.
If there are a lot of you in your home, you might need more than one kit. This means you will have plenty of medical supplies to hand if you need them.
Power outages often mean you lose light, so make sure you have a flashlight and plenty of batteries. Camp lights are sometimes easier to use as you don’t need to direct the beam of light. Other options would be a Black Oak Led worksite lite that can run off of a battery pack. And it’s always worth having a hand-crank powered torch in case you run out of batteries.
You might also pack some candles and matches but be careful when using these.
Sleeping bags and blankets are really important, especially if you live in a cold part of the country. It might also be worth packing some extra foil blankets for emergencies.
You will also need basic supplies for hygiene. Sanitary items, toothpaste, and antibacterial hand gel are all good ideas. You can dilute chlorine bleach in water in order to wash your cleaning utensils properly.
Maintaining good hygiene during a storm is important. If you are stuck for any period of time you don’t want to be fighting bacteria too.
Finally, make sure you’ve got some cash on you. Power outages will also affect ATMs and cash registers. You don’t want to come out of a storm only to find you can’t buy any more supplies!
Don’t Risk Getting Bored!
Waiting out a storm can take time. And it can be frustrating for everyone involved. This is even harder if you’re waiting out the storm with kids.
If you lose power or are using a generator, you can’t rely on things like TVs or screens to keep everyone entertained. So including some activities in your survival kit can help keep the boredom at bay.
For adults or older children, books and puzzles are a great way to pass the time. Or get the board games lined up and the time will fly (provided they don’t cause arguments.)
Preparing for a Storm
Your survival kit should contain a wide variety of storm supplies. And you can also prepare for a storm by ensuring that your house is in the best shape possible to withstand it.
And for tips on getting the inside of your house in order, check out our self-storage solutions.