Prepare Your Home For Hurricane Irene
We may not feel the worst of Irene's wrath, but we still need to be prepared. Here's how.
While you may not choose to put plywood on your windows, there are many other tasks that you should do before the storm hits. Since our area will start to see Irene’s impact Saturday, today would be a good day to make your preparations.
Put away everything that could be tossed about by high winds. Imagine a 90-mph wind and what it might pick up and hurl toward you, your cars, your house.
Items to put away might include:
- Garden tools that you’ve left leaning against the house
- Porch furniture, including tables
- Building materials
- Lawn ornaments
- Window boxes
If you have not cleaned your gutters recently, clean them now.
Also, make sure that any loose siding or roofing, any loose shutters or decking is secured.
Water: Buy or bottle plenty of water for drinking. Fill your bathtubs with water for flushing toilets.
Food: Have on hand food that you can eat without cooking. Power could be out for days, so be prepared. Don’t count on being able to buy anything at the grocery store after the storm.
Medicine: Make sure your prescriptions are filled, and that if you leave the house, you take them with you.
Lights: Have candles, kerosene lanterns, flashlights, camplights, etc. Be sure you have batteries for all these items, and that they are working.
Information: You can buy radios that work on batteries, or solar, or which can be hand-cranked. These will be your best source of information if the power is out, so you might want to invest in one. Remember that you can also use your car radio. Oh, and don’t forget to download the Patch app for your smartphone: iPhone or Andriod.
Pets: Have a plan for your pets. Some shelters will take pets, but they must be in crates. Other shelters will not accept animals. If your pets are on medicine, make sure that it accompanies them wherever they go.
Money: Get cash. If the power goes out, ATMs will not be working, and banks might very well not be open.
Cars: Make sure the cars are running well, and are parked in a place where falling trees will not hit them. Fill up the gas tanks. If the power is out, gas pumps will not work.
Valuables: If you have a safe-deposit box, now is the time to store your valuable jewelry and papers.
Mementos: “If I lose that, I will be heartbroken.” If you feel this way about anything, take it with you, or put it in a safe place now. The photographs and scrapbooks in the basement, the vase from your grandmother, the kids’ report cards and baby shoes – if you honestly can’t live without them, get them somewhere safe before the storm hits. Anyone who has lived through a flood or hurricane or other disaster will tell you that it’s losing this stuff that hurts most.