Hurricaine Preparedness

Medford Square, Medford Massachusetts, April 2010Image via Wikipedia

(Medford, MA) With Hurricane Irene expected on Sunday/Monday for the Greater Boston Area local authorities are warning of high winds & potential for flooding with between 5-10" of rain expected.

FEMA has alot of great information on prepping for a hurricane, supplies needed, getting your home ready & also disaster plans for families to go over. It's been almost 20 years since Hurricane Bob struck New England. Many here in New England aren't quite as used to these types of major storms. Make sure to also check on sick or elderly friends & family before, during and after the storm to make sure they're also set to weather the storm in safety. Make sure flashlights and batteries are working, plenty of water is available, candles are also recommended but make sure to be careful in case of a natural gas leak & always supervise any open flame. Remember in an emergency if the power goes out you may lose phone service and even mobile phones may be affected. Families are encouraged to discuss what a hurricane is with children and what they should do and expect. Set a family meeting place if an evacuation is needed in the night, pack a small "go kit" a kit where vital items can be handy to take with you if evacuations are issued. Items like insurance policy numbers, ID's, small family valuables etc. just remember to keep it small and portable. Large trash bags can make an emergency rain poncho easily but foul weather gear is suggested.

If you have a basement make sure important items are elevated off the ground in case of flooding. Also familiarize yourself with how to shut off items like the circuit breaker, hot water heater and furnace. If you have a sump pump in your basement make sure it's clear and working properly BEFORE the storm.

Ask This Old House has alot of information on gutters and downspouts to get the water off your roof and away from your foundation. Due to the high winds involved with a hurricane make sure the downspouts & extensions are secured so they don't fly away. We still have a day or 2 before the storm arrives so it's a good time to check that your gutters and downspouts are clear and working properly. BE VERY CAREFUL in checking the gutters due to their elevation and often times close proximity to power wires. Contact a trusted roofing company or general contractor if you don't have a proper ladder or aren't comfortable with the heights and work involved. Make sure the downspout extensions are clear and away from the foundation, typical recommendations are to extend 4-6 feet away works best.

Make sure to check tree limbs close to your home. Old dead limbs are vulnerable to breaking in the high winds and heavy rains. Make sure storm doors and windows are secure and not subject to being pulled open in high winds. Also beware of the eye of the storm, the momentary calm may pass over you and make you think it's over but the storm can often return quickly and unexpectedly. Make plans to take care of your pets as well.
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