As Florida residents prepare for the arrival of Tropical Storm (or perhaps Hurricane) Dorian, it is very important to take all of the proper precautions to be ready for the storm. These tips are designed to reduce the stress of last minute supply scrambling, help to protect you and your loved ones, and minimize any potential damages that may be sustained. Follow these pointers to ensure your readiness for this storm if it hits:
Plan an evacuation route
Evacuation could be necessary if Dorian is headed for your area and you reside in a mobile home or a coastal region. Instructions will be provided by the respective authorities if problems arise. Having an evacuation plan prepared prior to these warnings is always a good idea, though. This approach allows you to locate the nearest shelters first.
As part of your plan, you should always know what you will do with your pets when an evacuation takes place. Not all shelters allow pets.
Be Sure to Have Essential Supplies on Hand
Once a tropical storm warning is issued, this is when individuals start to search for essential supplies. This can get rather frustrating when time is of the essence. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until the last minute. This decision could leave you without adequate supplies. That’s why the following essentials should be prepared beforehand:
• Lamps with candles and fuel
• A water-tight container full of matches
• Tools and materials for emergency home repair
• Prescribed medications for you and your loved ones
• 3 days’ worth of drinking water – at least 5 gallons of water per person
• Clean water containers
• Supplies to ensure water safety (chlorine bleach or iodine tablets)
• Food that does not require preparation
• A first aid kit
• Fire extinguisher
• Weather radio (NOAA)
• Pet food (for families with pets)
• Enough baby formula or food (when needed)
• Extra blankets/sleeping bags
• Hand sanitizer
• Baby wipes
Prepare an Inventory
The items that belong to you should all be listed ahead of time. This allows for insurance claims to be processed much faster. The inventory serves as a handy guide for substantiating any losses. Keep the inventory in your important documents folder once it has been prepared.
Get The Insurance Policies Reviewed
Take a look at your insurance policy or policies and have them professionally reviewed at your earliest convenience. This is a great way to avoid potential disputes. The home insurance policy should cover the cost of repairs caused by tropical storm damage, required living expenses, etc. It does not cover flood damage, though. Flood insurance coverage must be obtained as well.
Take Necessary Home Protection Actions
Assuring home safety is also a crucial aspect of tropical storm preparation. Here are some crucial precautions to take before Dorian hits your area.
• Get rid of weak trees and branches so that the roof remains safe.
• Install storm shutters to prevent window breakage.
• Protect exterior doors from tropical storms (have deadbolt locks and hinges installed).
• Use shutters to cover sliding doors (or plywood).
• Replace old garage doors; use a garage brace or lock if you have one.
• Seal outdoor electrical outlets, other wall openings and vents.
• Mobile homes must be secured so that they can withstand high winds. The insurance policy of the mobile must also be reviewed.
• Be sure to bring furniture indoors and clear the yard of other objects that may become airborne in the storm.