You’ve probably seen how hurricanes can completely wreck homes, cause injuries, or even deaths. A majority of affected families never quite recover from its effects. Below are 5 measures Rebecca’s Realtor suggests, you can take to keep your family out of harm’s way during hurricanes.
1. Keep Up With Updates
Make sure to keep up with the current news to hear weather reports. Find out what the predictions of the weather are, and if there is any looming hurricane.
Most of the hurricanes that have happened before were reported, but some people either ignored the warning, or did not respond appropriately. Make sure to stay informed at all times.
2. Effectively Planning
If you find out that there is an impending hurricane, then what’s next? Plan for where you and your family can take refuge. Constructing a storm shelter is advisable.
More families opt to build their own home shelters, due to the fact that it is the easiest and most convenient method of riding out a storm.
According to statistics, around 50% of hurricane victims meet their deaths while trying to move around during hurricanes. Shelters provide you with safety in the comfort of your own home.
There are several laid out standards as to how to construct a storm shelter. You should hire a professional to guide you on this, and also advise on what type of shelter is ideal for your home area.
Nevertheless, you can construct a temporary shelter (berm shelter) as you arrange for a more permanent solution.
Basic Considerations For Storm Shelters
The two main types of storm shelters are above ground, and underground. The type you will construct is dictated by the environmental conditions of your area. For example, underground shelters are not recommended in ‘flood zones’ and ‘storm surge zones’.
After establishing the best type of shelter, you can go ahead and lay its dimensions.
A storm shelter should be big enough to accommodate your whole family, and maybe a few extra heads. Five sq. ft. per person is very adequate. A food and safety items storage area should also be included.
This is where you can store canned foods, clean water, toiletries, emergency kits, etc. You should also store provisions for family members with special needs. Though not a must, a toilet within the shelter is necessary.
A Berm shelter should not be completely underground, so that you can access the door from the ground level. The excavated hole should be greater than the actual space to cater for its walls. The shelter’s concrete foundation should be 5 inches thick.
You can build its frame using steel, fiberglass, or wood, depending on how resilient you intend the shelter to be. The frame should be reinforced with a wire mesh, lined with a waterproof material, and poured with concrete.
A storm shelter should also have a steel door, and a waterproof material on the roof. After all the work is done, you can finish off the interior, according to your preferred tastes, making it more comfortable.
3. Consider Alternative Plans
If you are not in a position to construct your own shelter, there are other options available. You can board up all the windows in your home, and reinforce certain areas that may be vulnerable to destruction, or that may allow for people to be hurt.
You could also identify a suitable public shelter close to your home. It should be in a location that is accessible within minutes.
Alternatively, you can find out if a friend or family member built a shelter in their own home, and request that they help accommodate your family, in case a hurricane strikes.
4. Get Your Family On Board
Inform your family of where you have decided to take refuge in case of a hurricane. In addition, put in place procedures of what to do, and ensure each of your family members is on board.
In case you have children, use a language that they can best relate with. If possible, conduct a mock storm drill to familiarize them with the process. Do not forget to plan for eventualities, such as if you are separated on that day.
5. Put Aside Funds
Hurricanes can, and do result in extensive damage to properties and people’s livelihoods. You can plan for a soft landing by setting aside some funds to cater for damages, in case you are caught up in a hurricane.
Alternatively, you can take up an insurance policy to cover you and your family. Insurance policy providers may not directly offer you a hurricane policy, but instead provide a combination of insurance products that play the part.
Consult them on which plans that will best suit your needs. Insurance policies make sense if you live in a hurricane-prone zone.
Many victims who’ve lost their loved ones to hurricanes live with regrets, wishing they would have done something different. Do not be among them. Use the above tips to keep your family safe and sound.