Sea Colony Before Hurricane Resident Home Protection Checklist
Suggestions: Prepare your home well ahead of time.
If needed, buy 5/8 inch marine or exterior grade plywood for windows or put up hurricane shutters or fuel for generators, CarpetShield or sandbags (there are many products such as sand-less sandbags or water-filled barrier dikes), bottled water, whatever you may need before the last minute rush when supplies are no longer be available.
Refer to Sea Colony’s Hurricane Supplies checklist located on our website.
Store inside or strap down all patio furniture and other outside items (flowerpots, bicycles, trashcans, anything that can be blown or washed away) ___
Trim trees of dead branches ___
Secure outside of home from flooding ___
It is recommended that sandbags* be stacked 2 feet high around entry and garage doors. Products such as CarpetShield (used to protect carpet during home renovation) may be substituted for sandbags. This sticky Saran wrap type product works well to prevent water from entering your home. It will take two people to apply to doors or any area that storm surge can enter. Use it at the bottom and sides of all doors then place a few heavy objects like sand bags or top soil (mulch will float away). It does not remove paint from doors or leave a sticky residue like duct tape. The roll will cover a large area and is easy to remove. (When used on a garage door zero water got into our oceanfront home after Hurricane Irma.) Caulk windows and doors if needed
Install hurricane shutters or plywood to protect windows and glass doors ___
According to National Weather Service, garage doors are often the first feature to fail in homes during hurricanes. Kits are available to reinforce it ___
Secure outside doors with deadbolts and brace with heavy objects to protect from high winds if the hurricane is a category 3 or higher
Prepare appliances for power surges and loss of power ___
AC’s should be turned off and covered when the hurricane approaches
Turn off hot water heater
Unplug appliances, TV etc. not in use and/or turn off the breakers to areas you will not be using such as the washer and dryer
Use surge protectors on electronics that are in use such as your refrigerator
Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings
Freeze water in containers to leave in freezer and refrigerator or use block, bags, or dry ice. Fill all the empty spaces with frozen containers. **
If you have an ice and water dispenser on your refrigerator, insulate the inside of the ice dispenser (warm air can enter the freezer from it)
Refrain from opening refrigerator and freezer when the power is off
After storm, when the electricity comes back on, do not turn everything back on at the same time
Secure inside of home from flooding ___
Turn off main water valve to your home (protects against water contamination)
Block shower drains on ground floor with sandbag or plastic and heavy object (flooding can force water back up)
Fill bathtub with water (for hygiene not drinking)
After storm, turn main water back on. Run water in faucets or bathtub to get air out of water pipes before flushing toilets.
Create a “home inventory” of contents ___
Photos and a list of serial numbers are good
Insurance companies expect proof of damage and contents for claims
If you have damage due to the hurricane, take photos. Look carefully for less obvious damage such as discolored ceiling indicating water damage or damage under the window in your garage that might not be noticeable due to a workbench blocking it.
Secure all important documents and items ___
Insurance papers, wills, photos, family heirlooms, medicines, etc.
If you have a two story home you may want to put your items upstairs in case of flooding __
Avoid walking in floodwaters. One foot of rushing floodwater can sweep a car away. There may be snakes, broken glass, pollutants or dangerous debris
*Sandbags are heavy. Use proper technique to lift them. Sandbags should be filled 1/3 to 1/2 full. Lay bags parallel to water flow. The closed end of the bag should face the water flow. Lay bags so they overlap each other, not side by side. Stamp the bags firmly on the first row to flatten and tighten against each bag. Do the same as you stack bags higher using your knees instead of feet to compress the bags.
One row may not be enough depending on storm surge. A pyramid design is stronger than a single row. Sandbags alone will not keep 100% of storm surge out of your home. Carpet Shield works better than duct tape and plastic sheeting and you will not need as many sandbags.
** Freeze a cup of water and place a coin on top of the ice then place in your refrigerator. When the electricity comes back on, if the ice has melted and the quarter is at the bottom of the cup, your refrigerator has lost power for too long and food may not be safe for consumption. If the quarter is at the halfway point or higher in the mug, food should be good. Do the same in your freezer. Err on the side of caution when deciding to throw food away.