The NOAA Climate Prediction Center expects this year’s hurricane season to be a “near-normal”. That means approximately 10 to 16 named storms, including four to eight hurricanes, one to four of which may be severe.
So it is worth preparing your home for a “near-normal” hurricane season if I live in Connecticut?
Dennis Feltgen of the National Hurricane Center in Miami has warned that there is no way of truly knowing what the true impact of the Hurricane season will be.
He says notwithstanding predictions of a “slow” season:
“it takes only one storm hitting your area for it to make it a bad year, regardless of the number of storms that are forecast in the seasonal outlook.”
That being said, let’s take a look at some ways to keep yourself protected this hurricane season.
1. Review Your Insurance Policies
Firstly take an inventory of your property, so you know exactly what you need to replace and how much it’s worth.
After that, do some research into your homeowners insurance, because many standard plans do not cover damage suffered from hurricanes or floods, especially in Connecticut. It is important to also note that, home insurance covers the value of your home, but does not take in account the cost to rebuild. Also take particular note of the limitations of your coverage. For example, some policies do not cover mold and mildew damage. Not sure how to research or do not have the time – contact a local Pawson agent and we’ll talk you through your policy – Call: 203-481-8898
2. Prepare an Emergency Kit
The kit should include:
- bottled water,
- non-perishable food
- a first aid kit
- supplies your family or pets
Don’t forget extra clothes, flashlights, a radio, batteries and disposable dishes. Keep these supplies in a specific spot in your home that everyone can get to quickly and easily. When a storm is announced, double check any emergency electronics to ensure they work, and keep spare batteries handy.
3. Maintain Outdoor Area
If you have tree branches near your home (more than four to five feet long), they should be cut down so they do not fall and damage power lines or your property.
Check your gutters to see if there is any build up, if so clear them out so water can drain properly. Pick up any debris, lawn and patio furniture that may be blown away or toward your house. Ensure all trimmings and debris are properly disposed of and don’t fall into the street where they can affect traffic or stormwater drainage.
4. Prepare Basement
Firstly, remove any extension cords or other electrical cords and electronics that you have on the floor. Raise up any valuables or furniture that would be damaged by a flood.
Lastly, stack sandbags or bricks in front of your basement door to create a barrier to help prevent water from getting inside.
For a more detailed list on how to prepare your basement please check out more information at CT.gov
5. Develop an Evacuation Planment
Identify someone, perhaps a friend or family member who doesn’t live in an evacuation zone or unsafe home, and make a plan with them to use their home as your evacuation destination. Be sure to account for your pets, as most local shelters don’t accommodate pets. Put the plan in writing and share with loved ones.