Over the last three decades, warmer oceans have increased water vapor levels by 15% in the North Atlantic. This has led to a massive 50% increase in the severity of storms over the same period according to a recent study by MIT’s Kerry Emanuel. The last three hurricane seasons have been the most devastating in recorded history. If you are facing a big storm this summer, there are ways in which you can reduce damage to your property and keep your family safe.
Most of these preventative measures need to be taken now. Waiting for a storm warning may mean you don’t have enough time to complete all the preparations you need to do.
- Prepare an emergency evacuation plan for your home. This will stand you in good stead in any emergency. Discuss with your family ways in which they can exit the house no matter which room they are in. Discuss evacuation procedures in different scenarios.
- Have an emergency meet up point. If an emergency occurs when you are away from your home, discuss with your family the best place for you all to meet up. Contact your local authorities to see which buildings are designated shelters and are on higher ground. Make sure that your family members know how to get to the shelters. If you have pets, find motels nearby which take pets as most shelters do not allow animals.
- Share emergency phone numbers. Program all relevant emergency contact numbers into your family phones and leave a copy of the numbers near the phone. Make sure the same emergency contacts are listed at your work, your children’s schools and with their caregivers.
- Check your hurricane shutters or buy OSB wood panels to board up your windows. Keep these on your property with the tools you need to secure them to your window frames.
- Trim branches and trees near you home and keep your gutters clear of debris.
- Check that your home and car insurance are up to date.
Preparing for High Wind Events
- Bring in all your outdoor equipment including barbecues, lawn furniture and planters. Secure your garage door.
- Board windows and secure all doors.
- Ensure that your car is fully fuelled and that your emergency kits and important documents are in an easy-to-reach place.
- Check that your pets have collars and identification tags in place.
- Pack an emergency kit with three days’ worth of food, water and clothing along with blankets, a first aid kits, flashlights, extra batteries, pet food and any specialized medications family members may need.
- Prepare your battery-operated appliances and check that you have batteries and fuel for camping stoves, lights and generators.
- Track storms here and keep up to date with all the latest weather news.
Being prepared will mean that when disasters strike, you have everything you need to make it through safely. Keep informed by tuning to local broadcasting stations and keep a close eye on the progress of storms. Take evacuation warnings seriously and follow the instructions of your local authorities.