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THINGS TO DO BEFORE, AFTER, AND DURING HARVEY
Tropical Storm Harvey is still brewing in the Gulf of Mexico and is becoming notorious for being the first major hurricane to scare Texans in 12 years since Rita in 2005. It is estimated that the Gulf States (Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi) would sustain the most damage from the incoming hurricane.
If you are coming from one of these “danger zones”, know that all is not lost. Several, doable preventive measures can be done to offset the impending dangers of Hurricane Harvey. In the face of a hurricane as strong as Harvey, it is imperative for homeowners to prepare their homes and households weeks before landfall. Below are steps you must take before, after, and during a hurricane to ensure your safety (and sanity):
BEFORE A HURRICANE
Hurricane Harvey is fast approaching and you have just about enough time to make sure that your house can at least weather the storm. To make sure that your home is able to withstand Harvey’s harsh winds, go through this checklist and make sure each of them has been accounted for properly:
- Inspect your roof to assess points of weakness. Shingles and roof tiles must be secured. Use roofing cement to fasten tiles and shingles to the rest of the roof. Check for holes and busted pipes to prevent water damage.
- Stabilize the garage door and make sure that it is sturdy enough not to be blown away by the harsh wind. If possible, hook your garage door to a solid part of your home—a sturdy hook on a wall, a post—as a temporary precaution.
- Consider installing locks and bolts on windows and doors to prevent any risks of water damage. Water proofing the seals would ensure that no water makes its way inside the house.
- Stock up on resources including a first aid kit, potable water, and food. Consider getting a battery-operated radio in case of a likely power shortage.
- Turn off gas, water, and electricity when deemed necessary. It’s usually advisable to have these off even before the storm in order to prevent severe damages.
- Charge all mobile phones and keep usage to a minimum.
- Create a disaster plan for your family so each family member knows what to do during the storm.
- Look up the danger zones where evacuation is necessary. Stay tuned to local news and obey instructions regarding evacuation.
- Pack emergency bags that you and your family members can easily bring in the case of a sudden evacuation.
DURING A HURRICANE
Staying in during a storm can become a blessing in disguise. Worrying about the storm can only lead to stress and counter productivity. Instead of pacing back and forth anxiously, you can either sit down and wait for the storm to end or you could try out these new things to alleviate your mood:
- Clean. If it’s been awhile since you’ve cleaned your room, maybe now is the right time to sort and organize.
- Binge watch your favorite show, because why not.
- Use this time to catch up for lost sleep. Everyone knows storm weather is the perfect time to get in bed and catch some Zs.
- Finally, learn how to cook that one dish. The busyness of everyday life may have prevented you from trying out that one dish you saw online. With the storm, there’s nothing else you could possibly do except maybe try out a new recipe.
- Make a nice cup of Joe and read a book.
- Play board games competitively. Whoever loses has to stand outside the house for thirty minutes. (We’re kidding)
AFTER A HURRICANE
After Tropical Storm Harvey has wreaked its havoc, there are bound to be damages in your property and environment. Here are some things you can readily assess 2-3 days after your area has declared the place clear:
- Be careful of power lines, puddles, and trees in general as they may be carrying deadly voltage that can immediately shock you to death.
- Assess any property damage and document them. It is advisable to file claims right away to your insurance provider.
- Go around the house and observe any leaks or any other kind of damage. When the damage is electrical-related, immediately phone for a professional electrician. Do not attempt to solve risky problems on your own.