Prepare your Home or Business
- Declutter drains
- Bring in outside furniture
- Consider hurricane shutters or impact resistant windows
- Unplug electronics even if you have a surge protector. This is the best protection against surge-related damage.
- Check for leaks. Check doors, windows, and walls, such as areas where cables and pipes enter, for openings that could allow water to penetrate.
- Prepare for long-term outages. Consider purchasing a generator. It doesn’t have to be the pricey, whole-house version. Even one that’s big enough to run a refrigerator and plug in a few essentials can really make life easier. Consider what you can’t live without if you were to be without electricity for a few days – such as a sump pump or well pump – and select a model that best fits your needs.
- Trim trees and shrubbery. Trim back any branches touching your home. If they rub your roof, they could pull parts of it off in a storm. Keep trees well pruned to allow wind to pass through with minimal damage and debris. Consider re-grading around trees to strengthen the ground and give roots something to cling to.
- Clean gutters. This could prevent potential roof damage and flooding inside your home.
- Clear clutter. Prevent items from flying off to Oz. Get rid of items you are no longer using, which can turn into projectiles. Bring lightweight outdoor items such as patio furniture, plants, toys, and trashcans inside.
- Secure your home. Highly recommended are window shutters (not the pretty ones – the ones that protect your glass), roof clips (to hold your roof on – it is NOT too heavy to fly away), and garage door braces (to keep your garage door from blowing away). Anchor fuel tanks as well. Ensure all items are professionally installed.
- Verify insurance coverage. Avoid the wind and water debate. Check your homeowner’s policy and purchase additional flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program to ensure you have adequate protection if necessary.
- If your organization is vulnerable to hurricanes, it is important that you understand your risk, develop a preparedness and mitigation plan, and take action. Doing so will not only increase the safety of employees and customers, but it will help you remain in business after disasters, such as tropical storms and hurricanes, strike. Maintaining business continuity is important. When you are able to continue operations after a disaster, you also improve your community’s ability to recover.
- Experts estimate that 75 percent of businesses without continuity planning will fail within three years of a disaster. The Ready Business Program offers information to complete continuity planning, including resources from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Business Continuity Plan website.
For more information about the Ready Business Program, please download this toolkit.