June 1st marks the first official day of hurricane season, and this year, experts are predicting above-average storm activity. While a typical season sees 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes, for the 2022 season, scientists at Colorado State University say we may have as many as 19 named storms and nine hurricanes, with four of them being a Category 3 or higher.
As is the case with all hurricane seasons, it’s best to start preparing sooner rather than later. Here’s a look at some of the top things you can do now to make sure you’re ready before the time comes.
1. Make Your Evacuation Plans
You never know exactly where a storm will land and it’s all too common for a hurricane to shift its path with little notice. Waiting until the last minute to decide how you’ll handle an evacuation can create unnecessary danger.
Instead, decide on your evacuation plan now. Make sure you know where the closest shelters are located and whether they’ll accept your pets. If you think you’ll leave the area, plan out your route ahead of time and make sure everyone in your household knows where to meet in case you get separated.
2. Stock Up on Emergency Supplies
When a storm is on its way, shelves quickly go bare, and people start to panic. Save yourself the frustration by stocking up on non-perishable emergency supplies. This includes plenty of drinking water, food, flashlights, batteries, and first aid supplies. If you don’t already have enough plywood to cover your windows, consider stocking up on this as well.
Also make sure you have at least a two-week supply of any prescription medication for all family members and pets, as well as plenty of pet food and baby formula, if needed.
3. Install Surge Protectors
Power surges are common during large storms and can instantly damage your electronics and appliances. Adding a surge protection system to your electrical panel can help decrease the risk of surge damage and protect expensive equipment like your HVAC system.
4. Clear Out Clutter
Lawn furniture, kid’s toys, and low-hanging branches or limbs can turn into flying missiles during a hurricane. You can prevent unnecessary damage by doing some simple yard maintenance and getting rid of any outdoor items you no longer need. Minimizing outdoor clutter now will make it much easier to bring any remaining items indoors when a storm is on its way.
5. Secure Your Home
There are many steps you can take to secure your home ahead of hurricane season. This may include installing storm shutters and hurricane-proof windows, adding roof straps, and reinforcing your garage door. While these upgrades do require a bit of an investment, they’ll offer far more protection now and well into the future.
6. Plan for Power Outages
Hurricanes and tropical storms can create long-term power outages. Not only is this uncomfortable and inconvenient, but in some cases, it can also be downright dangerous. If you can afford a whole-house generator, you’ll be able to continue on with your life as if nothing ever happened.
If you’re looking for a lower-cost option, consider a simple backup generator and a transfer switch. This will provide enough electricity to run the items you can’t live without, so you and your family can be safe and comfortable until power is restored.
7. Review Your Insurance Policies
It’s a great idea to take an inventory of the valuables in your home and review your insurance policies to make sure everything is covered. Also, remember that a standard homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover flood damage. If you live in an area where water damage is a possibility, you may want to consider purchasing an additional flood insurance policy.
As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Taking the time to prepare yourself now will allow you to enjoy peace of mind during this year’s busy hurricane season.