Hurricanes can be a devastating event. Flooding, high winds, and debris that becomes projectiles create a threat to your church, camp, school, and well-being. From June through November, storm after storm comes and causes millions of dollars worth of damage to communities across the eastern United States and Hawaii. Days before a storm hits, buildings are boarded up, coastal areas evacuated and shelves cleared at stores. So the question arises, how do you best prepare for hurricanes?
Develop an Emergency Plan
During these months, you want to make sure that your emergency supplies like food, water, and first aid are always well stocked. If you live near a flood zone or are in the direct path of the storm, make sure that you fill up your vehicle with gas in case you need to evacuate. Make sure that you’re listening to local authorities for updates on the storm.
Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit
In the event of power outages or if the flooding from the storm contaminates the community’s water supply, you should consider having the following:
- Non-perishable foods (canned meats, juices, and vegetables; high energy foods; nuts)
- Water stored in a clean plastic container (2-liter bottles are suggested; do not store in cardboard containers or milk jugs as they can provide an environment for bacterial growth)
- NOAA weather radio
- An ample supply of batteries
- Fire extinguisher
- Personal hygiene products
- Warm bedding, sleeping bags, and extra clothing
Learn more about building a basic kit at Ready.gov.
Prepare Your Building
- Do a photo/video inventory of your property: Go through each room of the property and do a quick scan of the area to create an inventory of what all was present prior to any claim event. Also, back up the video to the cloud or send to a friend for safekeeping in the event your phone is damaged.
- Secure any outdoor property or move inside the facility: basketball hoops, umbrellas, picnic furniture, grills, etc…
- Help minimize water damage by:
- Removing any window AC units
- Shutting and securing all windows and doors.
- Remove items from the basement
- Ensure gutters and drains are clean from debris.
- Fix any damaged gutters or downspouts that would prevent clearing water away from the foundation.
- Check the sump pump and battery backup to confirm they are in working order.
- Review tree proximity:
- Trim tree limbs within 10 feet of the building
- Check for damaged or splitting trees
- Remove dying trees or dead limbs.
- Strengthen exterior structures:
- Install hurricane straps to reinforce roof-to-wall and wall-to-foundation connections
- Retrofit soffits to help ensure they remain in place in high winds
- Properly brace roof trusses.
- Confirm your employee contact lists are up to date.
- Make sure all important records are protected and duplicated. There are several mobile applications available that can convert documents to electronic files via camera phone if a scanner or copier is unavailable.
These are just a few recommendations to help you prepare for extreme weather. If you’d like more tips or resources on how to better prepare for hurricanes or tropical storms please contact a member of the NCG team, and we would be happy to share additional resources at 1-800-456-6624.
Information sourced from Brotherhood Mutual.