Be pre­pared for hur­ri­cane and storm emer­gen­cies

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Front Page -

(State­Point) Hur­ri­cane sea­son is in full swing, run­ning from June through Novem­ber. Un­for­tu­nately, no one can stop a trop­i­cal storm or hur­ri­cane from hap­pen­ing and both types of weather events are in­creas­ingly im­pact­ing larger por­tions of the U.S. How­ever, there are steps you can take that will help you weather a storm and bet­ter en­sure the safety of your fam­ily.

The ex­perts at Fred­die Mac rec­om­mend do­ing the fol­low­ing.

• Know where to go in the event of a lo­cal area evac­u­a­tion. Your area’s emer­gency man­age­ment agency can pro­vide this in­for­ma­tion.

• Gather and pro­tect im­por­tant house­hold doc­u­men­ta­tion, in­clud­ing birth cer­tifi­cates, pass­ports, mar­riage li­censes, mort­gage state­ments, deeds, in­sur­ance poli­cies and med­i­cal files.

• Pro­tect your valu­ables and fam­ily me­men­tos by stor­ing them in a safety de­posit box, fire– and wa­ter– proof safe or mov­ing them to higher ground where they are less likely to in­cur dam­age.

• Down­load an app for your smart­phone that al­lows your friends and fam­ily to know if you are safe. The Amer­i­can Red Cross has a free hur­ri­cane app as do many for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions. Other apps that are avail­able in­clude weather track­ing apps, and apps that can help vic­tims of storms find each other to pool re­sources and of­fer one an­other as­sis­tance. Be sure to keep your phone fully charged as long as your home has power and con­sider hav­ing an ex­ter­nal bat­tery pack on hand as well.

• As­sem­ble an emer­gency sup­ply kit that in­cludes wa­ter, flash­lights, non-per­ish­able food, first-aid sup­plies, bat­ter­ies, a ra­dio and med­i­ca­tion.

• Cre­ate a fam­ily emer­gency plan and make sure ev­ery­one knows what to do and when.

• Pre­pare your home for heavy rain­fall and strong winds by clean­ing up lawn de­bris, loose fur­ni­ture and lawn items that will not be able to sus­tain strong winds. Se­cure loose rain gut­ters and en­sure all gut­ters are clear from de­bris to keep wa­ter flow­ing and pre­vent fur­ther dam­age.

• Con­sider build­ing a safe room, if you are a home­owner, that meets Fed­eral Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency cri­te­ria to pro­vide at-home pro­tec­tion dur­ing ex­treme weather.

More hur­ri­cane tips and in­for­ma­tion can be found at fred­diemac. com/blog.

The dev­as­ta­tion of last year’s hur­ri­cane sea­son was an im­por­tant re­minder that be­ing pre­pared for a worst-case sce­nario is cru­cial. Be­fore the next storm heads your way, be sure your fam­ily and home are pro­tected.

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