Hurricane Season Is On Its Way | Best Storm Preparation Tips
Here in New Jersey, we’re used to damaging storms, but there’s actually a lot we can do to prevent hurricane and storm damage to our homes and families.
In order to get prepared for the hurricane season ahead, we’re sharing some of our favorite storm preparation tips.
We don’t want anybody to lose their homes, belongings, or lives due to a stormy weather, so we are vigilant in informing our customers about ways to stay safe.
Hurricane Season – Storm Preparation Tips
Although some of the strongest storms of the year occur during Atlantic hurricane season, it’s a good idea to begin your preparation tips now. As you know, NJ experiences its fair share of strong winds, heavy rains, and costly and deadly flooding. In the event of another superstorm, follow these tips to protect your home and family:
- If your home is prone to leaks and flooding, have a professional analyze your home and foundation to recommend the best ways to prevent water from entering the home.
- Go over your safety plan with your household. Make sure everyone knows local hurricane evacuation routes and where to meet in the case of an emergency. If you don’t know your evacuation route, contact your local emergency management agency.
- If you decide to stay at home, make sure you have the necessary supplies and power to survive at home. If you don’t have a backup generator, consider investing in one. If you do have a generator or are thinking of installing one, remember to keep it at least 20 feet away from the home to ensure that there is no risk of carbon monoxide dangers.
- Inspect your disaster supply kit and make sure it includes a flashlight, batteries, medical supplies, cash, and copies of important documents (birth certificates, Social Security cards, wills, licenses, insurance, stocks, etc.).
- Stay on top of storm news by signing up for Google Alerts and other local emergency notifications. Search for your county or city followed by the word “alerts.” Make sure everyone has emergency phone numbers in their contact list and write them down next to any landlines you may still have.
- Fallen tree limbs and other debris cause a lot of the damage associated with hurricane season, so if you see any weak tree branches, have them trimmed or removed before June.
- Inspect your gutters and downspouts and make sure they are cleared of any debris and securely fastened to your fascias. Use fascia hanger brackets to secure loose gutters. If water is leaking behind your gutters, you should check to see if there is flashing behind it. Use gutter aprons (bent flashing) to place behind under the shingles and behind your gutters. For more gutter fixes, read the guides on familhandyman.com.
- Inspect your roof, garage doors, windows, and doors for damage and repair all damages as soon as possible. Consider outfitting all of your windows with impact resistant glass. If there is a storm warning in effect, close and cover your windows and shutters and stay away from the windows.
- Consider building a storm shelter to provide near-absolute protection from storms using the guidelines outlined by FEMA.
- Have a working fire extinguisher and make sure everyone knows where it is and how to use it.
- If a storm is on its way, bring in your outdoor furniture, garbage cans, toys, tools, and other items or anchor them to the floor. Light items can quickly become projectiles in the event of a storm or hurricane and cause damage to your home, HVAC system, or god forbid a person or animal.
While some storm preparation tips are easy to employ yourself, other things, like waterproofing your home and basement require the help of a professional, such as Gold Medal Service:
How to Protect Your HVAC System
- If you have a portable, window A/C unit, unplug it and remove the unit from the window. Close the window and don’t put the air conditioner back in until the storm has passed.
- We also recommend turning off your central HVAC system from the breaker box to prevent any possibility of power surge damage.
- If you have central air conditioning, protect your outdoor heat pump from flying debris with a store-bought or DIY HVAC cover. You can make your own cover with some tarp and plywood, but make sure it is securely fastened down with hurricane straps. Remove the cover as soon as the storm is over so that moisture, debris, and other things aren’t trapped. Your outdoor unit is meant to withstand extreme weather, but sometimes in hurricane situations, it can get damaged from falling tree limbs and other high-impact objects.
- Before turning your air conditioner back on, do a quick inspection for damage. If you are unsure about using your electrical, plumbing, or HVAC system after a storm, contact your local technician for a professional inspection.
If a Storm Hits
- If a hurricane or storm is in your area and you were not evacuated, plan to stay indoors and let your close family and friends know where you are.
- If you do have to evacuate, know where your water meter, electrical panel, and gas valves are located so you can turn off the gas, water, and electricity before you leave.
- Try not to drive anywhere as power lines, tree branches, flooded roads, and weakened infrastructure create very unsafe driving conditions.
- Close and secure all windows and and doors, and stay away from them as flying glass could cause an injury.
- If there is a risk of losing power, turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting and only open it when absolutely necessary.
- Tune in to the Internet, TV, or radio to stay up-to-date on weather reports and emergency protocol.
For more hurricane and storm preparation tips, visit ready.gov (FEMA) for a wealth of information.
After a Storm
After the storm subsides, it’s a good idea to do a post-storm inspection of the inside and outside of your home. First, make sure that all of your family and friends are safe and then take a walk around your property. You’ll be looking for:
- fallen or loose power lines
- gas and plumbing leaks
- structural damage
- HVAC damage
- spoiled food in the refrigerator
- backup generator damage
Gold Medal Service experts can help NJ families make any needed repairs after a hurricane and restore the home back to pre-storm conditions.
- $250 Off Basement Waterproofing
- $200 Off Home Generator
- FREE Service Call
For more storm preparation tips, contact Gold Medal Service – 800-576-GOLD. The safety and comfort of our customers is our top concern.