North Carolina is a wonderful state that all natives have grown to love. However, North Carolina is often affected by hurricanes. Since 1851, we have experienced 83 hurricanes and tropical storms but only 13 have been category 3. It is predicted that in 2019, it will be an average season, but there is a 30% chance it could be slightly busier than normal. It is so important that your family knows the proper precautions to take before, during and after a storm hits.
When a major storm or hurricane is coming, you should be sure to prepare for it by making a plan. This plan should include an escape route, a meeting rendezvous point, or even a place to find the first aid kit. We have been taught this since we were kids, but how many of us actually follow it? When developing a plan for you and your loved ones, make sure to have a designated location that’s easy to identify and reach in case you get separated.
You should be sure to have a disaster kit that has plenty of supplies in case tragedy hits. Most of the items in these kits can be stowed away for future use, but perishables like water and some foods should be added in when there is a potential reason for use. You should include one gallon of water per person for at least three days along with three days of food for each person. When thinking of what foods to include, pack things that do not need to be refrigerated or heated up, canned foods are best. In addition, your disaster kit should have batteries, flashlights, a first aid kit, cell phone and charger, an emergency whistle, garbage bags, pliers, a manual can opener and any medications you might need. You may want to put all your important documents in a waterproof container for their protection. In today’s world some people call these kits go-bags or bug out bags because they have living essentials for yourself for at least 3 days.
When it comes to protecting your home, make sure that your windows are secured – some homes have hurricane shutters, if not you may want to board up the windows to prevent hail, wind, and rain damage. Be sure to move all outdoor furniture and lawn equipment inside as well – as these items can become projectiles injuring others or doing significant property damage.
Fill your gas tanks as soon as possible because gas is something that can run out during a storm. It may even be a good idea to get a 5-gallon reserve tank too in the event you can’t get to a station for a while. You can also fill your bathtub with water because it will hold for a few weeks in case of an emergency. That is a great way to have flushing or drinking water fast.
Actions To Take During A Storm
A hurricane can also bring strong winds, copious amounts of rain and possible tornadoes. For these reasons, it is important to take the necessary precautions.
- If you are staying in your home, stay away from all glass openings like windows, skylights, and doors.
- Take shelter in an interior room like a bathroom on the lower level of your home.
- If there is a possibility of flooding, turn off your electricity through the main breaker. If you lose power, turn off all major appliances like the air conditioner to reduce possible damages.
You might think that you will be fine if you go outside, but we cannot stress this enough; stay inside. Even when you think the storm has passed, it might just be a break followed by strong winds causing debris which can be deadly. Also, lightning can cause major damage, so avoid showing or using the phone during a storm. This is something we are taught early on, but it is easy to forget how lightning looks for grounding, and electronic devices are a great way to find that grounding.
Post Storm Actions
Only go outside once you have the official “all clear” from the news reports. When you do venture outside, beware of debris and hanging wires – especially if they are near puddles. If you notice downed power lines, broken main breaks, or any potentially dangerous situations call the police or utility companies immediately so they can put a warning out to others in the area while they repair the problems.
Finally, check your refrigerator for spoiled food if you lost power. Spoiled food is the main source of sickness for up to a week after a major storm. Any meats that have been defrosted for more than 48 hours should be tossed. Do not attempt to cook them as they are likely to contain bacteria that will cause illness.
Most importantly, be sure to be aware of your surroundings post-storm, check for hanging wires that might cause electrical currents through standing water. Take a look at your home to make sure it is still in good condition making sure to check for missing siding, missing shingles, or broken windows or doors. If you believe you have a roofing problem post-storm, give us a call at Carolina’s best Roofing and we will get out there as soon as possible to begin the process of restoring your home. Typically, we start by laying tarps over the affected areas to prevent further water damage. Then the insurance company will come out to assess damages and get quotes for repairs. We walk you through the whole process because we know how scary these storms can be.