How To Make Your Home Safer This Storm Season

How To Make Your Home Safer This Storm Season

Severe weather has been hitting all over the country, and now storm season is here — with harsh storms, hurricanes and tornadoes bringing threats to homes and families. It’s important to plan ahead and properly prepare your house. If you wait until a storm is bearing down on the neighborhood, stores may be out of the items you need most. Here are some suggestions to keep you and your home safer during storm season, which runs from June until November: {{more}}* Ready Your House: Prepare your home by taking note of where wind can enter. Install hurricane shutters or purchase precut half-inch outdoor plywood boards that you can quickly put up to protect windows. Install anchors for the plywood and predrill holes in it so you quickly can hang it before a storm. Make sure both your roof and exterior siding are safe and well-secured. * Make a Supply Pack: Assemble an emergency kit containing first aid supplies; essential medications; a minimum of three gallons of water per person; canned food and can opener; protective clothing, bedding, or sleeping bags; a battery-powered radio, flashlights and extra batteries. Remember to replace your batteries every six months, as you do with smoke detectors. * Get a Weather Radio: Consider getting an NOAA weather radio — a radio that receives weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. These radios have special scanners that pick up signals in the VHF public service band. * Batteries, Batteries, Batteries: Make sure you have enough batteries to power all emergency devices you will need. Remember, you may need to use these devices for extended periods during weather emergencies. Most flashlights and radios use C or D batteries. Choose high performance Alkalines or Heavy Duty batteries from a leading brand, such as Panasonic, which offers a wide variety of batteries at value price points. Such batteries offer more power for your dollar, so you won’t hurt your budget to be well prepared. * Secure Landscaping: Trim shrubbery and trees around your house, removing dead limbs so they can’t become airborne and damage your home. Also strategically remove branches to allow wind to blow through. * Install Emergency Lighting: When harsh weather causes blackouts, it helps to have a nearby, instant light source. Emergency lighting devices can help, such as the Panasonic Emergency Light or similar wall-mounted units. These lights are used in hospitals and nursing homes, because they’re easy to find in the dark and turn on automatically when removed from their mounts. Most importantly, they provide 18 hours of continuous light on alkaline batteries. For information on emergency lights, visit www.panasonic.com/BF541. * Move Quickly: As soon as you hear of an oncoming storm, secure outdoor objects, such as patio furniture, garbage cans and hanging plants. If they’re not secured tightly, bring them indoors. Preparing for storms is about more than just batteries and bottled water. You need to be prepared for lashing rain, harsh winds, airborne debris, flooding, and even lack of access to water and food.