Hurricane season in the Atlantic officially begins June 1 and runs through November 30.
Listed below are some Tips on how to prepare your home, roof, siding and family in the event that a storm like a Hurricane should hit the Durham, Raleigh or your area.
According to the National Hurricane Center, the two keys to weather safety are to prepare for the risks and to act on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials.
An emergency supplies kit is simply a collection of items your family may need in an emergency. Having basic first aid supplies on hand better prepares you to help an injured family member or friend. Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers.
Be sure you have adequate insurance and copies of insurance documents in a safe, waterproof container.
Gather important paperwork, including copies of insurance policies, medical records, prescriptions, etc. If severe storms threaten, protect your property by covering windows with storm shutters, siding or plywood.
Bring bulky or heavy objects such as lawn furniture, grills, garbage cans, tools, potted plants, etc.
Move valuable papers, jewelry and other contents to upper floors or higher elevations to keep them from flood water. If you're caught in the house by suddenly rising waters, move to the second floor and, if necessary, to the roof.
Notify your insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim and arrange a visit from an adjuster. Protect your home from further damage by making temporary repairs only, until your insurance company can advise you further. Do not have permanent repairs made until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement on the cost of repairs. Unless you have extra coverage with your homeowners policy, food lost in a power outage is probably not covered.
Most damage to your home or surrounding structures resulting from fallen trees is covered by your homeowners policy. Damage to your vehicles resulting from fallen trees or debris may be covered by your auto policy if you have comprehensive coverage. After filing with FEMA, and your loss is still greater, you may file with the Small Business Administration for a loan.
Keep in mind that none of these measures will ever restore your home to its original condition.
Make sure you have included your pets and their needs (food, medicine, leashes, crates, etc) in your evacuation plans. Gather important documents (your marriage certificate, mortgage, title, insurance papers, passports, etc) and secure them in a weatherproof case.


Gather the information you need to shut off utilities to your home if you must evacuate for more than a few days. Make sure to inform a family member or friend of your evacuation plans in case you need to evacuate at some point. Secure your windows and doors with hurricane fabric (see video above), shutters or plywood. Fill up your bathtub with water and stock up on bottled water in case your water supply is cut off. NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. If you cannot return home and have immediate housing needs, text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 70116).
Remember that hurricanes are unpredictable – the best plan is to be prepared and ALWAYS evacuate if your local officials give the order.
Sensible Food Storage- A video by Wendy Dewitt In the video below Wendy Dewitt teaches us sensible ways to plan, organize and store our food storage for a year. During hurricane season it is important to be prepared ahead of time with supplies and evacuation plans.
For articles published prior to January 2013, please visit our Newspaper Archives at Miami's Community Newspapers.
You likely have most of the items around the house, so it’s just a matter of gathering them together. Learn the potential hazards for your area and know what steps to take to protect your property. Keep sandbags away from the outside walls of your house to prevent floodwaters from reaching your house. In case of flooding, do not touch any electrical equipment unless it is in a dry area or you are standing on a dry piece of wood while wearing rubber-soled shoes or boots and rubber gloves. Your local building inspection department has copies of the Flood Insurance Rate Maps that identify property subject to a 100-year storm frequency.
If your home is uninhabitable, most homeowners policies pay additional living expenses while your property is being repaired. Check with your agent or company before calling the tree removal service as removal costs may also be covered.
The only way to protect your property from flood losses is to purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. At Make It Right, we use hurricane fabric, a sustainable, safe and affordable alternative to plywood. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.
It is recommended that you put together your own first aid kit rather than buying one pre-made.
Most written communications to or from City Officials regarding City business are public records available to the Public and Media upon request.


Consider taking a first aid class, but simply having a first aid kit can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination.
For example, if you are in a coastal area that is prone to hurricanes and northeasters, you may want to consider keeping storm shutters or a stock of plywood around to board up windows when storms threaten. Before renting temporary shelter, check with your insurance company or agent to determine what expenses will be reimbursed. If you have any doubts about safety, have your home inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering. Just as with first aid kits, create food storage areas in different locations like your car, home, and office. Keep a list of phone numbers and other pertinent contact information for family members, doctors, local emergency services, and your regional poison control center.
It is also recommended that you have several first aid kits in different locations, for example, your car, the kitchen, the boat, etc. The food in your home should be well stocked and include enough food for your family to eat for at least one month. Store these and other important insurance papers in waterproof containers or in your safety deposit boxes. A comprehensive first aid kit should include supplies and medications for cuts, burns, insect bites and stings, nausea, fever, and rash. This helps medical professionals take care of you faster and more efficiently in emergencies. The lists below can act as a guideline to help prepare your household during the next few weeks. Remember to plan for different scenarios, like a fire in the kitchen, a fire outside, or a fire at night while everyone is in bed. Again, the more you can safely store, the better off you will be if you need to use it in an emergency. Go over your plans and practice drills annually to make sure that everyone and everything is prepared.
Stock your food supply with non-perishables and other foods that have long expiration dates. Keep fire extinguishers in several areas, particularly any areas that are prone to catch fire such as the kitchen, bathroom, attic, and garage. It can happen very quickly and be extremely dangerous, as we saw with Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. After you have stored your food, remember to check it every 6 months for expiration dates and use and replace anything that will expire. It can not only provide warmth, but can also be used in a wide variety of ways in an emergency survival situation.



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