Damaging winds, storm surge, and flooding are the destructive forces behind hurricanes like Hurricane Florence even if your Virginia and Maryland property is not directly in its path.
Preparing for a hurricane to hit is essential to limiting property damage and staying safe.
Here is a hurricane preparedness checklist:
- Declutter drains and gutters. Give the massive amount of water a free flowing place to go. Backed up drains and gutters will force damaging water behind siding and around the foundation where it can cause leaks and cracks.
2. Check windows openings where water can get in. If you find gaps you can use silicone caulk to seal them. Ill-fitting windows can allow water to seep in or wind to damage them.
3. Fix doors. Storm doors and front doors should fit and lock tightly. If your door is compromised make sure to either repair or replace it. Close all interior doors during the storm event.
4. Install fresh batteries in your sump pump.
5. Remove area rugs from the floor so they won’t get wet and grow mold.
6. Trim landscaping, especially any weak tree limbs that are at risk of falling onto your home.
7. Secure outdoor furniture and toys.
8. Secure and seal your roof. Inspect your roof well ahead of hurricane season so you can feel confident that your roof system is in good condition. Missing shingles or a failed roof deck will be no match for hurricane winds and rain.
9. Move cars into a garage or higher ground to lower risk of flooding and overturning. Remove boats from a marina or ensure they are securely anchored.
10. Consider installing a generator for backup power generation.
11. Create a list of valuables and insurance policies and store it in a safe, dry location. Having adequate coverage ahead of any disaster will help you recover more quickly from it.
12. Know where your shutoff electrical and gas valves are and how to use them.
If your home sustains any damage during this hurricane season give a call at 888-696-7105. We’re happy to help.
Most important is your safety. Here are some communications tools to keep you informed in an emergency:
In Montgomery County, MD. be sure to sign up for Alert Montgomery, the official emergency communications service for Montgomery County, MD. Here government officials will send updates, warnings, and instructions directly to any of your communications devices.
In Baltimore County, MD. the Baltimore County’s Emergency Notification System is used to inform citizens of emergencies.
In the Richmond, Va. region the CodeRED Emergency Notification System is used to send emergency messages including evacuation notices.
In Virginia Beach, city officials use VBAlert to send out notifications to landlines within the city. You must register your mobile device to receive texts or emails.
Wireless Emergency Alerts sent from local and national officials are automatically sent to WEA-capable devices and there is no need to subscribe.
If you have become separated from your family contact the American Red Cross.
September is National Preparedness Month. You can find planning and preparedness tool at the Department of Homeland Security website.