If you live in Raleigh, Lillington, and their neighboring areas in North Carolina, hurricane preparedness for homeowners can be a life-saving investment. The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and lasts 5 months, ending on November 30. Typically, peak storm season is in August and September. Having your family prepared in advance of a hurricane will give you peace of mind, and having your home prepared will help avoid costly repairs. We have a helpful hurricane preparedness guide for you to prepare your home and belongings in the event of a hurricane.
Hurricane Damage To Your Home
The major causes of hurricane storm damage are high winds and torrential rainfall that can result in flood damage. When high winds cause damage to the home (such as broken windows and doors, holes in your roof, or large tree branches landing on your home) your home then becomes even more vulnerable to water intrusion from the heavy rainfall. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage and protect your home from the worst of hurricane weather.
Preparing Your Home For Hurricane Weather
It’s a good idea to pay extra attention to these steps when a hurricane’s path is projected to travel through your area. Most hurricane path forecasts are accurate 2-3 days before landing in the projected area. So, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the forecasts, and have these steps complete well before the hurricane moves into your area.
Hurricane Preparedness Checklist
Here is our North Carolina Hurricane Preparedness Checklist:
- Empty your gutters so water can move quickly through them and away from your home.
- Trim tree branches that are overlong, breaking, dead, or near the windows or roof of your home.
- Make sure your roof is in good condition with no holes, leaks, or loose shingles.
- Bring inside your unsecured outdoor furniture, kids’ toys, and other items that could become projectiles during heavy winds.
- Use plywood that is at least ⅝-inch thick to board up your windows (if you live in a coastal area).
- If you live near a potential flood zone, consider using sandbags near entrances (such as doors, garage doors, sliding glass doors, etc) where water can creep in—or create a barrier around the entire perimeter of your home.
- Fill your car’s gas tank if there is a possibility that you might need to evacuate.
- Make a plan for evacuation and a plan in case family members are separated.
- Store valuables in waterproof containers.
- Review your insurance information. If you do not have digital copies of your home or renter’s insurance information, seal your paper copies in waterproof containers.
- If you don’t already have them, take pictures of your home and valued belongings. Keep them in a digital file online in case you need to recover loss.
- Turn your freezer and refrigerator onto their coldest setting to delay food loss if the power goes out.
- Consider investing in a portable generator! Generators are a great way to avoid food loss (by providing emergency power to your refrigerator) and help you keep a phone charged in the event of long power outages. Learn how to safely operate a generator to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Find the “safe zone” in your home.
- Bring your hurricane supplies to your “safe zone.”
- Charge all of your electronic devices.
- Fill your bathtub with water for flushing toilets or cleaning.
Prepare Your Hurricane Supply Kit
Prior to the start of North Carolina hurricane season, you want to check your hurricane supply kit. Make sure any food or drinkable items or batteries are not expired. Replace expired items and then make sure you have the items you need for at least 3 days without power or water.
Here is our suggested Hurricane Preparedness Kit:
- Non-perishable food
- Coolers, ice packs, disposable plates and utensils
- First-aid kit (including prescription medications for people and pets)
- Personal hygiene items and sanitation items
- Pet supplies and baby supplies
- Flashlights (have extra batteries on hand) and candles
- Battery operated radio (again, have extra batteries)
- Waterproof container with cash and important documents
- Manual can opener
- Lighter or matches
- Books, magazines, games for recreation
Assessing Your Home After The Hurricane
After the storm passes and it’s safe to assess your home and property in the daylight, here are some things to look for. Bring a camera or video recording device to collect pictures of damage for your insurance agent.
Look for visible damage to the roof and damaged or missing shingles, gutters, or downspouts.
Inspect your siding, doors, and windows for damage.
Look for visible cracks, water damage, or discoloration in your home’s foundation.
If any of your home appliances are wet or damaged. Do not turn them on. Contact a technician to come assess the appliance.
If flooded, your furnace, AC units, and water heater can become breeding grounds for bacteria and mold that present health risks. Call a qualified technician to assess whether your system is repairable or if it must be replaced. If you experienced flooding in any area of your home, you need to monitor for any potential mold growth. Mold is one of the leading dangers to your home after flooding.
Home Restoration Help After The Hurricane
Hopefully, your preparations will keep your home safe from the forces of a hurricane. However, in the case of a very severe hurricane that passes through Raleigh, Lillington, and nearby areas, you may need to call in your Local Restoration Professionals.
Unfortunately, there are people who attempt to take advantage of natural disasters, and scams are very common. Be wary of “contractors” going and door-to-door attempting to get homeowners to sign contracts on the spot for repairs and restoration. Here is a great resource for how to work with your insurance company to safely hire a contractor after an emergency to your home. Be sure to read through our Hurricane Damage Restoration FAQs.
We hope you won’t be needing restoration services this season, but if you do, our team of certified restoration technicians are here for you 24/7/365. Be safe!
Thank you to you and your wonderful staff of experts for helping me. My home had an active water leak and your team’s fast response, smarts, and professionalism fixed the problem with ease and great calmness. A harried situation felt much less stressful from start through billing. Your company will be warmly and eagerly referred. As well, I would like to say that on the last day of work, I again noticed your company’s tagline “Commitment to Compassion” on your work truck…your team, all of them, fully exude those words. They went above and beyond and I am very, truly grateful for their excellence and compassion.
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