With Hurricane Irma quickly on her way to hitting the US and a few tropical storms and hurricanes under my belt from living in Charleston, I wanted to share a few tips for any first timers out there!
Close all Interior Doors
This is recommended after lots of testing by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety and helps compartmentalize air pressure inside the home and keep your roof intact. A small thing that can help keep your house together? Sold.
Pack up any Valuables
What you may consider a valuable may vary, but anything of importance should be carefully packed up and put in your car to evacuate with you, or stored in a high & dry area. I like using extra plastic bins, which we have plenty of from the recent move. I usually pack up any family heirlooms, irreplaceable photos or items and put things on beds or even in the bath tub for safe keeping.
Make Copies of Important Documents
Bring the important documents with you in a ziplock bag like passports, house deeds, homeowners insurance paperwork, social security card, etc. I also like to make a copy of anything just in case. It’s even better if they’re available digitally so you can access them from a phone or computer in case of emergency.
Stock up on Water
If the power & water go out you will want to have plenty of safe drinking water on hand. Have bottled water on hand or even fill up your bath tubs, sports water bottles, pots, etc with water that you know is safe to use.
Freeze a cup of water and place a coin on top and place in your freezer so you can easily see if the power went out and anything in your fridge / freezer is safe to eat if you aren’t at home to know!
Put Sandbags in Front of Doors
Many towns will give out free sand bags (check out Mt. Pleasant locations for these here). Take advantage of this and place them on the outside in front of doors to help prevent water from getting in. If the water level is high, do NOT open the door. Wait until the water recedes so nothing comes inside.
Bring in any Loose Outdoor Items
This includes hanging baskets, lights, plants, furniture, etc. Anything that you can move, hurricane force winds can as well. You also don’t want your flag & flag pole flying toward a window in the middle of the storm.
Help your neighbors bring in any of their items too – they could fly into your home and it’s always good to work together!
Heed Evacuation Orders
If your area issues a mandatory evacuation order, LEAVE. There’s a reason they’re issuing it and while traffic could be long, it’s better to be safe than sorry. It may sound cliché, but it’s true! We usually stay for category 1-2, it depends on 3 and get out for 4 or 5.
Create a Hurricane Kit
I have a smaller plastic container that we fill with our important papers, batteries, medicine, my epipen, lighters, scissors, flashlights, spare keys, and head lamps. If we stay or go, everything is in one place that will stay dry. Test your flash lights and make sure they work. Have candles & candle holders ready.
Other handy resources can be found through your state. You can find South Carolina’s 2018 Hurricane Guide here.
We’re continuing to watch Irma’s path and will be deciding what our plans are today / tomorrow. We have been prepping our house for the storm each night so we’ll be ready to weather the storm or quickly evacuate.
Stay safe everyone!