This post, courtesy of Robert Dandrea of Century 21 in Tarpon Springs, is a great reminder for those of us living in hurricane prone areas. Being prepared makes all the difference in the world!
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(ARA) - Hurricane season is well under way, and experts agree that the 35 million-plus Americans living in areas at risk of hurricane damage should keep their guard up - at least until the season ends at the end of November.
"History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters," the National Weather Center says on its website. "By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster."
Hurricanes can cause millions of dollars in damage and threaten lives in coastal states. Even inland states can feel the effects of a hurricane's power when people in coastal states who lose their homes to storms turn to their neighbors for aid.
Fortunately, you can take steps to prepare your home to weather the rest of hurricane season. Lou Manfredini, Ace Hardware's home expert, offers some safety tips for anyone living or traveling in hurricane prone areas.
* Stock up on non-perishable food such as canned condensed milk, vegetables, soup and fruit to have on hand before, during and after a storm. If you plan to stay and ride out the storm, keep two weeks worth of food. If you'll evacuate as soon as possible, keep three days worth. Also, have at least one gallon of water per person, per day.
* Block entryways to prevent flood waters from getting in. Manfredini recommends using a specialized product like Hydra Barrier Home Sandbags. Durable and easy-to-use, the sandbags are also eco-friendly and re-usable. Place a single layer of sandbags along the door jams on the inside and outside of doors. This can help prevent minor flooding and help brace the door during strong winds.
* Place storage items off the ground and on shelves in the garage or basement. Place personal items on top shelves in closets - the highest point in the home if floodwaters rise.
* Keep important documents like birth certificates and insurance policies safe in plastic, zip-top bags to keep them dry and place them in a secure location where you can easily reach them if you have to evacuate quickly.
* If you can't or won't evacuate, gather everyone in an interior room without windows, like the basement or a hallway. When the storm arrives, don't open windows or go outside. Use a battery-operated radio for storm updates and safety advisories. Solar-powered options, like the Eton American Red Cross Dynamo Solar Crank Emergency Radio, work when the power is out. The radio even has a USB port that you can use to plug in and charge a cell phone.
* Make a family evacuation plan. Research evacuation routes and shelters, and be sure everyone knows how to reach safety if you are separated when a storm hits. Since most evacuation shelters can't allow pets, make sure to create a secure location within your home where your pets can ride out the store safely.
* If you're traveling in a hurricane-prone area during the storm season, check with your hotel to see if they inform guests when a hurricane is expected. Ask what their refund policy is. You may also consider traveler's insurance to ease your mind.
* When you check into your hotel, ask about the hotel's hurricane safety plan. How will hotel staff alert guests if a hurricane is coming? Where in the hotel should guests gather to be safe?
For more weather safety tips and advice, visit www.acehardware.com or stop by your neighborhood Ace Hardware Store.
Courtesy of ARAcontent and Rob Dandrea, Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Bay West, Tampa, FL 33626