The following includes information regarding damage control immediately following Hurricane Sandy. Erik Braunitzer is a writer for Douglas Elliman, brokers for NYC, Long Island and Westchester Real Estate.
When hurricane warnings begin on the news, being prepared comes with a bit of uncertainty. Most people wonder if a storm really is as bad as the weather forecaster’s hairdo, but everyone should always have a plan for the worst case scenario. Hurricanes are often unpredictable, but as devastation unfolds from Sandy and the memory of Katrina shows, the lack of hurricane preparedness can be fatal. So if you have never sat down and created a hurricane preparedness kit, all of the information to get started is right here.
1 Safe and Secure Home-Proofing Your Historic Home
Historic homes tend to be much more fragile and prone to danger due to their age. Prior to a hurricane, it is important to ensure that the value of your estate is not hindered. You can do several things to help protect your home before a hurricane and take precautions just before the storm to ensure that your home is secure. If you have multiple trees near your home, consider cutting the tree limbs back or removing hazardous trees altogether. You can install hurricane shutters on your windows and invest in reinforced, impact-resistant garage doors. You can also invest in impact-resistant windows as well. If hurricane warnings are threatening, make sure to remove any valuables from the garage in case of flooding and place in the attic. For rooftops, use a premium flooring adhesive that you can find in home improvement stores and with a caulking gun, glue down your roof along where the support beams meet. All outdoor furniture should be brought or secured safely. If you suspect anything outside can fly into the windows of your home because of high winds, secure it inside.
2. Stocking Up on Supplies
Creating a “kit” is actually a bit different than the plan. You want to create a kit prior to the hurricane warnings so that you are ready. By stocking up on water, medical supplies, batteries, canned food and other non-perishables, you can save yourself from dehydration and starvation should a power outage leave you trapped in your home. Evacuation kits are different. These should be small enough to carry with you as you leave the home. Important documents, clothing, important family heirlooms, bottled water, canned food and medical supplies are some of the things that people fit into their kits. Medical supplies are key if you live with someone who has an illness or disability, so make sure your kit is ready to go beforehand.
3. Planning Saves Lives
If the time comes to evacuate, do you know your city’s evacuation plan? Mandatory evacuations are often issued for certain areas during storms, but if you have children, elderly or disabled persons living in your home, even evacuation warnings could mean severe dangers. Every city has an evacuation plan, usually you can find this online through your city’s website or even log on to the local news website. With that in mind, answer a few questions with your plan: how will you leave, what will you take, where will you stay and do you need medical assistance? Your plan should provide a way out of the path of the storm, proper food and medical supplies, shelter and other items to secure yourself during the event of an evacuation or power outage.