Being prepared for the worst is something no one wants to do, but it could save you big in the long run. At A+ Heating & Cooling – Electrical, we know that hurricanes can hit Carolina’s coastal cities especially hard. We want to ensure that all of our customers know how to prepare their house for a hurricane before the next big storm hits. Having a plan in place will provide you with peace of mind when things look their worst.
Having a plan in place for hurricanes isn’t just good for your well-being, but for others as well. Be sure to check in with elderly loved ones and neighbors to ensure their safety. When making a plan, be sure to include children and pets in your planning process. Communicate with family and friends in the need for an evacuation so they know how to find you.
Clear your gutters of debris, and make sure downspouts are flowing properly. While you’re up on your roof, inspect the trees near your home. Most hurricane damage isn’t from the hurricane itself, but from falling or flying objects. If you see any dead tree limbs or trees that are growing very close to your house, be sure to trim them to eliminate potentially damaging branches.
Take into account any patio furniture, outdoor decor or large toys in your yard. Move these items inside, or securely anchor them down.
If you have storm shutters, now is the time to use them if a storm is on its way. If you do not have storm shutters, consider fitting your windows with plywood. If your area is prone to flooding, stock up on sandbags, and place them in front of doors and other entryways. To protect your garage door, brace it using a garage door bracing kit.
When the power goes out, it can impact your phone and internet connections. If you anticipate a storm coming, make sure all of your cell phones, laptops, external battery packs and other devices are fully charged.
The power rarely goes out at a convenient time. If you have a standby generator, make sure it is full of gas and is working properly. If you have someone that relies heavily on electricity for medical reasons, consider investing in a whole-home generator from A+ Heating & Cooling – Electrical. A generator will run big appliances such as your fridge and sump pump.
A good rule of thumb when preparing for a storm is to have a three-day supply of food on hand for each person. You should also have 1 gallon of water per person per day to cover drinking and sanitation. Having a first-aid kit, flashlights and extra batteries on hand is always a good idea.
Although we never want to evacuate our homes, sometimes we have to. When learning how to prepare your house for a hurricane, making an evacuation plan needs to be one of those steps. Monitor local media and government warnings to know when to leave.
Before you leave your home, take pictures of every room in your house. If your house is damaged, having these pictures will come in handy when reporting claims with your insurance company.
Birth certificates, social security cards, deeds, insurance policies and other important papers that are difficult to replace should be kept in a water-tight container for safe keeping. Don’t forget to take these documents with you if you need to evacuate.
FEMA recommends shutting off your electricity, water and gas to your home before leaving it. This will prevent additional dangers, including flooding, fire and explosions. If you’re unsure where these shut-off valves are, contact your local utility company first.
Call A+ Heating & Cooling – Electrical to learn more about hurricane preparedness. After the storm, return to your home with caution. If you find that your heating, cooling or electrical systems aren’t working, contact us. Our professional technicians will have you back up and running in no time.