When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, it was one of the deadliest natural disasters in American history. The storm surge and flooding destroyed much of the city, leaving thousands of people homeless and without power. According to National Geographic, there were about 1,200 people who died as a result of the hurricane. In addition, it resulted in an estimated $108 billion damages in to properties and infrastructure.
In the aftermath of the hurricane, many people were left without homes or jobs. It took months for some areas to be cleaned up and rebuilt. It was a wake-up call for many people living in coastal areas, and it showed just how important it is to be prepared for a major storm.
To make sure that what happened years ago doesn’t happen again, it’s important to know how to prepare your home for a storm. Here are some tips:
1. Check your insurance coverage
Make sure that you have adequate insurance coverage for your home and belongings. This will help you in case of any damages or losses due to the storm. When shopping for home insurance, be sure to ask about flood insurance as well. This way, you’ll be covered in case of any flooding that may occur.
2. Create an emergency kit
Put together a kit that includes everything you and your family will need in case of an evacuation. This should include food, water, first-aid supplies, clothes, and important documents. You may also want to include items like flashlights and home battery packs. It’s important to have this kit ready to go in case you need to evacuate quickly.
3. Board up your windows
If a storm is coming, one of the best things you can do is to board up your windows. This will help protect your home from high winds and flying debris. You can buy plywood boards at most hardware stores. It’s also a good idea to tape up any windows that you don’t plan on boarding up.
4. Bring in any outdoor furniture
If you have any furniture or equipment that’s outside, be sure to bring it inside. This includes things like patio furniture, grills, and lawn mowers. Otherwise, they could become flying debris in the storm and cause damage to your home or other property. This is also a good time to secure any loose items in your yards, such as toys or garbage cans.
5. Trim trees and shrubs
If you have any trees or shrubs around your home, be sure to trim them back. This will help prevent them from falling on your home during high winds. When trimming, be sure to remove any dead or dying branches. These are more likely to break off during a storm. So, it’s best to get rid of them before the storm hits.
6. Charge all your devices
Make sure that all of your devices are fully charged before the storm hits. This includes your phone, laptop, and any other portable electronics. This way, you’ll be able to stay connected in case of an emergency. You may also want to consider investing in a home battery pack. This can help keep your devices charged even if the power goes out.
7. Fill up your car’s gas tank
If you have a car, be sure to fill up the gas tank before the storm hits. This way, you’ll be able to evacuate if necessary. It’s also a good idea to keep a few gallons of gas in your garage in case you need to use it for your generator.
8. Have cash on hand
If the power goes out, ATM machines and credit card processors will be down. So, it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand. This way, you’ll be able to buy supplies or gas if necessary.
9. Unplug all electronics
If there’s a chance of flooding, it’s important to unplug all of your electronics. This includes things like your TV, computer, and home theater system. Otherwise, they could be damaged by the floodwaters. If you can, move these items to a higher location in your home.
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10. Stay Informed
Be sure to stay up-to-date on the latest weather forecast. This way, you’ll know when a storm is coming and how severe it might be. You can check the news or download a weather app on your phone. The National Weather Service also offers free email and text alerts. Sign up for these to stay informed about severe weather in your area.