As Hurricane Irma approaches, our hearts are with our Florida clients. Though we are hoping for the best, it is wise to prepare for the worst.
How to Prepare Your Home for Irma
- Listen to Gov. Scott's Advice. If you are in an evacuation area, get out now. Learn more about evacuation zones.
- To find out if you're in a flood zone, check this FEMA map.
- Use storm shutters or plywood to add a layer of protection to your windows.
- Use straps to tie siding and roofing to the frames of the house.
- Make sure your garage doors are reinforced to handle the strong winds.
- Document your house with before and after photos.
- Protect items in your yard. This means trimming loose tree branches, securing rain gutters and downspouts, and moving loose items like garbage cans and bicycles.
- Find a weather-proof lock box to keep important documents (ie, social security card, deeds, birth certificate) safe.
- Compile an emergency preparedness kit. This should include:
- Water: A week's worth of bottled water for yourself, family members, and pets.
- Food: A week's worth of non-perishable foods. Good choices are freeze dried and canned foods. Don't forget to keep a manual can-opener handy. Stock up on food for any pets as well.
- Gasoline: Gas prices will likely spike in the aftermath of the storm, so fill your tank while you can. This means filling up your generator too.
- Cooler: Keep items in your freezer and fridge from spoiling if the power goes out.
- First-Aid Kit: Make sure you have basic tools to treat injury, such as bandages, peroxide, and antibiotic ointment. Make sure you know where medications are for yourself and family members who may take them.
- Flashlight/Radio/Batteries: These are all important things for staying safe in the likely event that you lose electricity.
- Disposable Items: Paper plates, plastic silverware, toilet paper, and garbage bags will make the storm easier to bare.
- Games: Cards and board games will be a good way for you and your family to pass the time, bond, and stay calm.
Additional Steps to Take if You Are Evacuating Your Home
- Take irreplaceable items with you if possible, or else move them to the second floor or the highest area possible
- Plan an emergency meeting place for you and your loved ones in the event that you are separated.
- Photograph or scan your important documents and upload them to an online storage system for safe-keeping.
- Make sure all lids are tightly closed on potentially dangerous chemicals like ammonia, drain cleaner, or bleach. Store them in the highest place you can find.
Stay Safe Until the Storm Passes
On behalf of all of us at Rentwell, we hope that the storm passes by safely. We are urging all of our Florida residents to err on the side of caution over the next few days.