A Few Steps Can Go a Long Way to Protect Your Family
September is National Preparedness Month and Hurricane Season is still in full swing, which runs until November 30. While this season has been relatively quiet, with the Atlantic only having five named storms so far, it’s still best to always be prepared.
The key to disaster preparedness is having an emergency plan in place before disaster strikes. The following simple steps can go a long way to protect your family and your property in a weather-related disaster.
Build Basic Emergency Supply Kit
A basic kit should be stocked to supply you and each of your family members with water and food for at least three days. Consider including food for pets, as well as any necessary medications in your kit. Recommended emergency supply kit items include:
- Water (one gallon/person per day)
- Three-day non-perishable food supply
- Manual can opener
- Battery-operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather radio
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust masks or bandanas
- Local maps
- Important documents, such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
- Matches (in a waterproof container)
Make Family Emergency Plan
You may not be home or with family when disaster strikes. Plan in advance where you will meet and how you will contact each other. Visit ready.gov to access a Family Emergency Plan template to assist in your planning.
Learn the elevation level of your property
This will help you know how your property could be affected by heavy rainfall and whether it is prone to flooding. Know your community evacuation routes and determine where you would go and how you would get there if evacuation becomes necessary. Finally, listen to local authorities for direction.
Prepare Your Property
In the event of a hurricane or severe storm, you may need to prepare your home for impact. You can do this by covering all of the windows in your home. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with plywood. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking. Keep trees and shrubs around your home trimmed to make them more resilient in high winds. Clear any debris from gutters and downspouts. Secure all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and any other items not secured.
Establish a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for Your Business
SERVPRO developed the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Program to help business owners create an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for their facility, at no charge. You will work with a SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West to gather and document important information about the facility which will become critical if a disaster strikes. Once the ERP is created, business owners have access to their information 24/7 online and by using SERVPRO’s free smartphone app.