Many in Wilmington and surrounding areas took quite a hit when Hurricane Florence rolled through in September of 2018. With the most active period of hurricane season approaching, we at Sweyer Property Management would like to remind everyone of some hurricane prep best practices to employ as you ready your homes and yourselves for any severe weather events that may occur over the next few months.
When to Begin Making Preparations
You should begin to closely monitor a storm's projected path and strength as soon as there is indication from meteorologists that it may be heading towards southeastern North Carolina. Even if an approaching storm is being forecast to land as tropical storm or a low-grade hurricane, it can still pack quite a punch – remember, Florence made landfall as a Category 1.
As the storm’s path, projected arrival time and strength become clearer, start making a plan for where your family will ride out the storm. Are you planning to stay in your home, or will you evacuate? Where will you go if there is a mandatory evacuation order? Do you know where area shelters are located? All of these things are important to keep in mind and have a plan for well ahead of a hurricane making landfall.
Gathering Supplies and Readying Your Home
Whether you’re a seasoned hurricane veteran or fairly new to hurricane prepping, there are some things you should consider when readying yourself, your home and your family:
- Secure outdoor items such as furniture and trashcans or bring them inside if possible. Strong winds can quickly turn items such as these into projectiles
- Be sure all windows and doors are locked and secured
- Be sure to know the locations of important documents and take them with you if you're evacuating
- If evacuating, follow the posted routes and leave as early as possible – traffic will only get more congested as the storm approaches
- Have enough of your prescription medications on hand to last at least a week
- Fill up your vehicle with gas – if power is out for an extended period of time, there could be limited access to fuel
- Consider building a hurricane kit. Government experts recommend getting a few items for your kit every pay day and storing them in airtight plastic bags. You can find more information on what supplies to include here.
It is also always a good idea to make someone else aware of your plans whether they be family members, friends or coworkers. Plan to check-in with each other whenever possible during and after the storm to ensure everyone has made it through safely.
Insurance, Repairs & Preventative Maintenance
If you are a homeowner, you could be faced with property damage after a severe weather event. This of course will mean dealing with insurance agents, deductibles and lots of paperwork. By having a few things ready before a storm is ever forecast to be heading our way, you can get a jump on repairs and insurance claims should they be needed:
- Be sure you’re covered – talk with your insurance agent about the coverage you have on your property and find out if there is any additional coverage you should look in to adding. Many people found themselves without proper coverage after last year’s storm and ended up having to pay out of pocket for some big repairs
- Make sure you have your insurance documents handy – it will be much easier to contact your agent, adjusters, etc. post-storm if you know right where those documents are located
- If your property is governed by an HOA, find out what types of damages are covered by their master policies and if they are responsible for any preparation work
- Preventative Maintenance – Things like keeping tree limbs trimmed away from your home and having your gutters and downspouts regularly cleaned throughout the year can make your home less vulnerable to flooding or falling limbs when a hurricane comes through
Historically, September is the most active month of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. By taking the necessary steps now to ready your home and your family, you can ensure everyone’s safety, reduce stress and hopefully minimize hurricane-related damages to your home.
For updates on our business hours and other related information in the event of a storm, please visit our extreme weather website.