How to Prepare Your Home and Family for Hurricanes

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Hurricane paths from the past 100 years.

Paths of All Named Tropical Storms and Hurricanes from 1904-2004

Although the path of a hurricane can usually be predicted early enough for those in its path to prepare, many of us wait until the last minute to take action and seek shelter.

If you live in an area that’s at risk for hurricanes, please make sure that you are ready to act before a threat is imminent. Below is a list of handy tips to help you prepare your home and family.

Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit with Food, Water, and First Aid Items.

Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit with Food, Water, and First Aid Items.

Build an Emergency Supply Kit

If a hurricane is heading your way, one of the last places you’ll want to be is in a grocery store scavenging for emergency supplies. Avoid the crowds by setting a specific date each year, such as June 1st, to go shopping for supplies. Your emergency supply kit should include:

  • enough food and water to sustain your family for at least 3 days (I recommend 7 days, just to be safe).
  • health and hygiene products.
  • tools and appliances for cooking, generating power, and communication.
    Make sure that these items are portable and either battery operated, solar-powered, or manually operated by hand crank.
  • copies of any important family documents. This includes copies of drivers’ licenses, emergency contacts, medical records, birth certificates, and insurance policies.

When you have gathered all the essentials for your emergency supply kit, place them all together in a durable, waterproof container or storage room with temperature control.

According to Sabra, Storage Facility Manager at St. Petersburg Self Storage, climate-controlled storage units are always in high demand during Hurricane season. “Some of my customers keep an evacuation kit with them at their home, in their car and another one in storage. This way if they are not able to get back to their home, they have access to important survival items in another location”.

Check out our Hurricane Prep board on Pinterest to view our favorite online tutorials, lists, and top-rated emergency products.

Discuss an evacuation plan with your family.

Discuss an evacuation plan with your family.

Create a Family Evacuation Plan

  • Map out a primary and an alternate evacuation route and discuss them with your family.
  • Choose a specific place to rendevous if you are planning to evacuate in more than one vehicle.
  • Arrange accommodations for your family and pets to ride out the duration of the storm. If your plan is to book a hotel room, do it as far in advance as possible.
  • Learn the locations of all nearby shelters in case you are unable to make it to your original desitination.
  • Choose an out-of-town relative to serve as a point-of-contact in case your family gets separated. Make sure your designated relative knows their role in your evacuation plan.
  • Fuel up all family vehicles and at least one reserve fuel container.
  • Get enough cash out of the ATM to cover family expenses for at least 5-7 days (the average time it takes for power companies to restore power after a strong hurricane).

Make sure all  outdoor furniture is in storage.

Make sure all outdoor furniture is in storage.


Prepare Your Home for a Direct Hit

No matter whether your plans are to evacuate or ride the storm out at home, you should always take the following precautionary measures to prepare your home when it is in the projected path of a hurricane.

  • Move any patio furniture or other loose outdoor items in to storage.
  • Unplug electrical appliances and shut off A/C, fans, and ventilation systems.
  • Lower your refrigerator temperature to its coolest setting.
  • Shut off gas and water if instructed by emergency officials.
  • Lock all your doors and windows. Secure windows with shutters or by covering with plywood.

Post-Disaster Recovery Plan

Of course, no disaster plan is fool-proof, and preparing for the storm is the easy part. How you choose to respond in the storm’s aftermath is what matters most. This is why it is important to have a well-thought out post-disaster recovery plan.

In the 20+ years since Tellus has been in business, our 30+ storage facilities have weathered dozens of natural disasters. Each new experience has certainly had its own set of challenges, however, they have also helped us to learn, adapt, and refine our disaster recovery plan. Of course, there’s always room for improvement, but as long as the people we care about (our families, employees, and customers) are safe, our disaster plan is a success.

Need extra storage space for your family disaster plan? Consider renting a self-storage unit at any Tellus Self Storage facility. We offer affordable storage solutions and a FREE move-in truck when you rent a 10×10 storage unit or larger. Contact us seven days a week for rates and availability at 1-800-773-6691.

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