Consumer Reports has come out with a piece that runs down the myriad steps one can take to ensure they’re going to be prepared for an imminent hurricane. And although such a disaster isn’t likely to befall Los Angeles and the greater part of California anytime soon, much of the advice would be applicable to anyone who finds themselves in the path of a terrible storm.
If you live near the coast, or even if you’re inland, taking out some kind of flood insurance isn’t a bad idea. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, one in five homeowners who have to file a flood insurance claim are positioned in low or moderate risk areas. Taking out the proper insurance can ensure that your finances are at least somewhat protected if heavy rains take their toll.
There are certain items you should have on hand that offer protection in the event of a potential flooding situation. You want to approach matters as if you’ll lose power and be affected by floodwaters for three days or more. Thus, you should stock up on bottled or otherwise clean water and non-perishable food items (along with a can opener if need be). Radios and flashlights are a great idea, as are tools that can be used to shut off water and gas if you have to do so.
You should also prepare for circumstances in which a person gets hurt or trapped. A first aid kit can ensure you’re ready to deal with at least minor injuries, and a whistle can help out if for some reason you or a family member gets entrapped and needs assistance.
You’re also going to want to take the steps necessary to ensure you have access to a phone. A cellphone won’t always cut it. Cell towers could go down, and you might not be able to charge your phone if power is out for quite some time. Consider investing in an extra battery for such a phone, but realize that having a landline on hand is vital. A landline can ensure you’re able to communicate with outside parties and officials, as they typically still work even after the power goes out. Also make sure you have a phone with a cord, as cordless models may not work without power.
Also prepare your car for travel in case you have to leave your home for any amount of time after the storm hits (not during the storm, as this can be dangerous). Keep an ample supply of gas in the tank, have adequate pressure in the tires, and consider investing in new wiper blades at the start of summer. Stock the glove compartment with a phone charger, and be ready to take your family to safety when your home is compromised.