A great checklist for hurricane season!
- Remove dead or rotting trees that could fall on your house or property if struck by lightning.
- Move inside your house or garage anything on your property that could become flying debris.
- Unplug any appliances or electronic equipment.
- Inventory all valuables in the home with pictures or video. Note the approximate value of each item and date of purchase.
- Make sure important documents, such as an insurance policy or mortgage papers, are stored in a safe-deposit or safe box.
- Read and understand your insurance policy, especially disclosures.
- Examine your homeowners’ coverage, as well as auto policies.
- Be sure you have adequate coverage and deductibles reasonable for your needs.
- If you have expensive or specialty items (e.g. jewelry, furs, silverware, cameras, collectibles, etc.), speak with your agent about broader coverage, as limits do apply under a homeowners’ policy.
- Sign up for The Weather Channel’s severe weather mobile alerts.
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for important updates.
- Consider buying a whole-house surge protector. Whole-house surge protection can protect against lightning strikes or damaged power lines that could cause a fire.
- Protect mementos in waterproof containers and/or take the items with you if you evacuate.
- Take care of your pets. Doghouses aren’t lightning-safe, and dogs that are tied to trees or other tall objects can also be hit by lightning.
If you’re inside when severe weather strikes
- Avoid contact with corded phones, electrical equipment and plumbing.
- Don’t use your cell phone during a thunderstorm.
- Don’t wash your hands, take a shower, wash dishes or do laundry.
- Stay away from windows, doors and concrete items.
If you’re outdoors when severe weather strikes
- Seek shelter when you first see dark clouds, lightning or hear thunder.
- Squat low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible.
- Get out of water and avoid metal. They both can carry an electrical current.
- Get inside a completely enclosed building immediately if one is accessible.
- Don’t go into a carport, open garage or covered patio.
- If you can’t find a completely enclosed building, find a hard-topped, all-metal vehicle.
- Avoid leaning against vehicles. Get off bicycles and motorcycles.
- If you’re in a group of people, spread out.
- Stay away from tall, isolated objects.
- If you’re driving during a thunderstorm, get off the road. A lightning bolt could strike your car and temporarily blind you. See driving safety tips for every weather situation.
- If you’re boating or swimming, get to shore immediately.
Finally, make sure your emergency supply kit has all the essentials to surviving a disaster.