Preparing for the Next Hurricane

None of us want a repeat of Hurricane Harvey. There are several families in our community who have yet to recover much less make preparations from another hurricane. We encourage you to reach out to your neighbors if you were in a zone that was affected and see if there is anything you can do to help. That was the only pleasant surprise from the storm was that our community did reach out to help during and directly after Harvey but let’s keep that spirit moving.

To prepare your home and your family for a hurricane, we have gathered advice from several articles and blogs and combined them as a checklist for you to protect yourselves and protect your home from high winds and flood damage.

For you and your family:

  1. Know your risk, especially if you are new to the area. Are you in a flood prone area? Of course, a lot of people found out the hard way that even though they weren’t in a flood zone, they still got flooded because of the high amount of rain, river banks flooding and Lake Conroe releasing water.
  2. Develop your Evacuation Plan. Know how you will leave and where you will go. Have several contingency plans in different directions. For some of us who went through Hurricane Katrina, we remember that I 45 was a parking lot. Here is a link for Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management where you can sign up for emergency notifications. http://mctxoem.org/
  3. Establish a Communications Plan. Know how you will be in contact with family members and establish early how you will reunite after an emergency.
  4. Plan a Go Bag. Water, medicines, important paperwork, pet food and bowls and carrier and an emergency kit.
  5. Keep your car filled with gas. It’s a good idea to keep your tank at least half way full.

For your home:

  1. Buy Flood Insurance. Check with your carrier to see if homes in your area made claims in the last flood due to water. Consider your options for flood insurance. Review your coverage carefully. In some instances water intrusion isn’t classified or covered with flood insurance. Blowing rain from tropical storms and hurricanes can cause water damage but will not be considered flood damage.
  2. Retrofit to Protect against Flooding. Consider adding additional drainage, changing elevations around your property and additional flood proofing methods. Clean out your gutters and downspouts to keep them clear.
  3. Protect from Wind. Consider changing out doors that can take the punishment, switching out windows for stronger hurricane rated ones, adding shutters. Fortify your garage door with a vertical bracing system. Add wind straps to your roof.
  4. Remove or Secure Wind Borne Objects. Store trash cans, BBQ grills, lawn furniture. Remove trees that endanger your home or trim them if they are too close to your roof.
  5. Install and Use Generators Safely. It’s never a good idea to try and buy a generator at the last moment. There won’t be any and they will be expensive. Make sure it’s installed by a professional and that you understand, in advance, how to use it. Be sure if you install or currently own a generator that it has been maintained and in working order.  Most people that have generators find that when they need them the battery is dead or there is another problem caused from inactivity

Be safe neighbors! At S. Gentry Custom Homes, we are proud to be a part of our community! If you would like to learn more about our method of building your custom home or renovating your current one, reach out to us http://www.sgentrycustomhomes.com/contact.htm

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