It’s hard to believe but Hurricane Season 2011 is now here – June 1st – November 30th – and now, not later, is the time to get prepared. There are tons of websites, blogs and printed flyers out there with lots of tips to get prepared and even more tips on what to do after a hurricane hits. But here are 5 tips that I found from the Sun Sentinel that are quick, easy and filled with common sense to prepare homes & condos:
Protect your condo and home, but also protect your neighbors’ home: Remove planters, lawn furniture, lawn gnomes from your yard as a major storm approaches to make sure they do not become projectiles that can damage property and people.
Lend a hand: You may be busy putting up your own shutters, for instance, but try to find time to help a neighbor. Pay particular attention to elderly neighbor or anyone with a medical condition, as well as those who live alone. Getting your home ready early will allow time for you to check in with neighbors. Helping to keep vulnerable neighbors (and their homes) prepared properly is the right thing to do, and it can help lessen damage to the whole community in the long-run.
Read your insurance documents one more time: Make sure you know what is covered and not on your premium. You may think you know, but reading the documents, including that darn fine print, beforehand is just plain smart. Learning after the fact that you have a huge deductible (which you forgot you changed to save money last year) can lead to heartbreak and financial doom. Also, make sure to keep your insurance and other important documents safe. Place in a safe deposit box, or at least a water-proof container.
List your emergency contacts: Now is the time to make sure you have all of your emergency contacts (family, friends, doctors, pet shelters, etc.) listed somewhere safe. Hedge your bet, create multiple lists. Leave one or two in a plastic bag, type them into your computer, laptop and all family smartphones.
Contact your association board: Find out the rules for putting up shutters, ask about a community disaster plan, volunteer to help for duties before and after a storm strike. You may be able to walk the neighborhood to make sure neighbors prepare their homes properly, or after the storm to help find out what damage or injuries occurred. You are not alone, you live in a community in which neighbors depend on each other.
As the Boy Scouts say: Be Prepared…do it now, before a storm approaches.
Personal Note: Since April, deadly tornadoes have ripped through Missouri, Alabama, and other states—resulting in widespread devastation. Hundreds have have lost their lives, thousands have been left without homes, and the tragedy is still unfolding.
Please consider making a contribution to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation (RRF) to help those who have lost so much. One of the greatest acts of kindness and compassion we can do for those around us is to give hope. Through the efforts of the REALTORS® Relief Foundation, you can help these families rebuild and, once again, have a place to call home.
Until Next Monday…