What to do after a storm strikes:
When the skies are clear and the sun is shining, a hurricane seems a thousand miles away. We know it’s no fun to think about the worst case scenario, but with a little forethought and a touch of elbow grease, you can prepare yourself for whatever comes over the horizon.
Make a plan:
- Double-check that your homeowners, windstorm and flood insurance policies are effective.
- Coordinate preparation plans in the event of a storm with your neighbors.
- Take ''before'' pictures of your home and store them in a secure place where you can access them after the storm.
- Develop an evacuation plan so that everyone in your family knows where to go if they are forced to leave.
Prepare your home:
- Safeguard your windows and doors, i.e. if you don’t have wind-resistant windows, consider buying shutters or, as a last-resort, pre-fitted plywood panels.
- If you buy shutters, check to make sure they meet Miami-Dade County wind-resistance standards.
- Standards to look for include SSTD 12-97 or ASTM E 1996-00
- Also, ask about the weight gauge or thickness (the greater the thickness—for aluminum—the stronger the shutter
- Install shutters over large attic wall vents or skylights.
- Consider buying shutters for your doors, especially any door containing a substantial amount of glass.
- Reinforce your garage door and tracks with center supports.
- Wedge sliding glass doors and windows.
- Choose one door, such as a side door to the garage, as an entry and exit point
What to do after fire has taken place:
- Bring objects that can blow away easily inside, e.g. your mailbox, garbage cans and lawn furniture.
- Anchor down or secure objects that you cannot move, e.g. window air conditioner units.
- Cover valuable indoor furniture with plastic.
- Choose a safe room, preferably an interior hallway or bedroom with no windows, to ride out the storm.
- Keep a mattress and a functional fire extinguisher nearby.