With millions of homeowners along the heavily populated “Northeast Corridor” and as far inland as Ohio confronting Hurricane Sandy, here’s a list of timely hurricane home safety tips to review. Described by meteorologists as the “Perfect Storm,” Sandy has already shut down public transportation from Washington DC to New York City, and is truly a monster. For anyone who doubts the severity of this event, here’s an excerpt from a recent report on what to expect:
Forecasters warned that the New York City region could face the worst of Hurricane Sandy as it bore down on the U.S. East Coast’s largest cities Monday, forcing the shutdown of financial markets and mass transit, sending coastal residents fleeing and threatening high winds, rain and a wall of water up to 11 feet (3.35 meters) tall. It could endanger up to 50 million people for days.
Sandy strengthened before dawn and stayed on a predicted path toward New York, Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia— putting it on a collision course with two other weather systems that would create a superstorm with the potential for havoc over 800 miles (1,280 kilometers) from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. Up to 3 feet (0.9 meters) of snow were even forecast for mountainous parts of West Virginia.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers updates through its web site on the storm’s progress, along with comprehensive advice on what to do before, during and after the storm arrives in your area.
Before the Storm
- Review your emergency kit and family communications plan (FEMA offers advice on both topics).
- Know your surroundings, including the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
- Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
- Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
- Make plans to secure your property.
- Secure your home, close storm shutters if you have them. Another option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors: this includes outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
- Cover all of your home’s windows.
- Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
- If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
During the Storm
- Listen to the radio or TV for information.
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purpose such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
- Remember to keep food safe during and after and emergency (FEMA offers advice on this).
- If you are directed by local authorities to evacuate, be sure to follow their instructions.
If you are unable to evacuate, follow these guidelines:
- Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
- Close all interior doors – secure and brace external doors.
- Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
- Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
- Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
- Avoid elevators.
FrontPoint customers rely on our broad selection of sensors to protect their homes and monitor what is happening: our water/flood sensors and low temperatures sensors really come in handy during weather events. When you add in the convenience of real-time text and email alerts, it’s easy to see why FrontPoint systems are so popular for primary and second homes. Even our wireless home security cameras can come in handy when Mother Nature throws us a massive curve ball like Sandy.
FrontPoint is the recognized leader in wireless home security because we combine the most advanced home security and home automation services. Whether it’s more reliable cellular monitoring, notifications and remote arming, video features, or using apps to control lights, locks, and thermostats, FrontPoint has the solution. We provide systems that are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat – that’s why FrontPoint is the #1 ranked alarm company in the US. You deserve peace of mind, whatever the weather, and FrontPoint can help. Be safe!