As Tropical Storm Isaac moves west, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® encourages families to take steps now to properly prepare themselves and their homes for severe conditions.
"As this storm approaches, families may be tempted to take out a roll of tape for the windows but taping offers no protection against tropical storm or hurricane damage," says Leslie Chapman-Henderson, President/CEO of FLASH. "Right now, families can follow the guidelines in our Protect Your Home in a FLASH toolkit to learn the correct ways to prepare for a hurricane. These free resources can help them get ready for Isaac or whatever else may come this hurricane season."
FLASH recommends these preparedness tips for families in the path of Tropical Storm Isaac:
Protect Your Home
- If you have hurricane shutters now is the time to install them. Make sure your shutters are working properly and fit securely to ensure proper protection.
- If you don't have shutters, install plywood, emergency shutters. Never use tape on windows as hurricane protection.
- Secure or relocate items outside the house that can blow around. Don't forget about trash cans, grills, toys and potted plants. Also, take time to look for any dead tree limbs and remove them carefully if you have time.
- Turn off the water, gas and electricity
- Leave a note that you have left and where you are going
- Be sure to lock your home
- Review your family emergency plan. Be sure to review and update any evacuation plans.
- Ensure your family emergency kit is complete. Your kit should include, at a minimum:
of the family, including pets, to last at
least 72 hours
o Extra cash on hand since an extended power
outage may prevent you from withdrawing
money from ATM's or banks
o A battery powered and NOAA weather radio
o First aid kit and toiletries
o Flashlights and extra batteries
o Blankets, pillows, extra clothes, toys and games
to keep the family comfortable and occupied
o Special needs items for babies, family members with special medical needs and pets
- Fill your gas tank; gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.
- Gather and store important paperwork like insurance papers, mortgage documents, marriage certificates, etc. in waterproof containers.
If the Power Goes Out
- Do not run a generator inside a home or garage. Use gas-powered generators only in well-ventilated areas.
- Connect only individual appliances to portable generators.
- Don't plug emergency generators into electric outlets or hook them directly to your home's electrical system - as they can feed electricity back into the power lines, putting you and line workers in danger.
- When power comes back on, it may come back with momentary, "surges" or "spikes" that can damage equipment such as computers and motors in appliances like the air conditioner, refrigerator, washer or furnace.
- When power is restored, wait a few minutes before turning on major appliances to help eliminate further problems caused by a sharp increase in demand.