Staying Safe and Smart in Hurricane Irma
Florida residents are no strangers to hurricanes and the massive damage that they can cause. With Hurricane Irma looming, it’s difficult avoid the memories of past hurricanes that left homes in shambles. Devastation is something that sticks with a family. Nevertheless, if the rebuilding efforts after monster storms like Hurricane Andrew taught us anything, it taught us to prepare, prepare, and then prepare some more. While its exact path is still unknown, there is no way around the fact that Hurricane Irma is going to be a seriously catastrophic storm. At this point, emergency plans should already be in place as you prepare your home and your family for the massive hurricane heading our way.
Weather experts have warned that wind, not flooding, is going to be the main concern this weekend. As such, the following steps should be taken today and tomorrow to ensure that you and your family stay safe and smart in Hurricane Irma:
- If you have an evacuation plan, now is the time to set it in motion. Map out your route and hit the road as soon as possible.
- Make sure your gas tank is full.
- Get water (1 gallon per day per person), non-perishable food items (enough for 3-7 days), and flashlights.
- Keep all important documents (insurance policies, passports, birth certificates, Social Security cards, emergency contact phone numbers, health insurance cards, and any other important identification, financial, or property paperwork) in a waterproof safe box or some type of protective case.
- Photograph every room and valuable item inside of your household, as well as the entirety of the outside home. Photographs will be critical when filing insurance claims after the storm.
- Put up your shutters now, before the rain starts to come down.
- Run a load of laundry and dishes today before the power goes out.
- All patio furniture must be brought inside.
- Secure your garage door.
- Trim any branches or damaged trees that look like they may fall once the winds pick up.
Do not forget to prepare your pets for the storm. In addition, make sure that your first-aid kit is handy in addition to toilet paper, medications, cash, and fully charged electronics. Hurricane Irma is likely going to cause major destruction to South Florida homes. The focus right now must be safety for you and your family. If you have any questions, please reference local news stations or the NOAA Weather Radio for updates. Good luck to all and remember that SERVPRO is here for all of you during and after the storm!