Whether you’re a homeowner, the owner of a rental property, or a renter yourself, one thing you should know about North Carolina summers is hurricanes are a very real concern. Lasting from the beginning of June through the end of November, hurricane season is a threat that often brings high winds, flooding, and millions of dollars in damages.
With hurricane season starting soon, now is the best time to prepare your home and property to withstand the worst. Consider taking the following precautions to prepare your home for this year’s hurricane season.
1. Start by putting together a storm kit.
Grab a box or tote bag and throw together the items you and your family would need to survive for 48 hours. This should include water and dry goods, as well as things like blankets, batteries, and a hand-crank radio.
2. Come up with a plan for your pets.
Pets can easily get lost or washed away during a flooding event. Make sure your pet is microchipped and you have a picture of them handy in case you get separated from each other. Additionally, consider calling around to local shelters that might be able to house pets during the threat of a hurricane.
3. Stock up on batteries, flashlights, and candles.
You can never have enough of these items when you live in an area prone to hurricanes. By stocking up on these things, you’ll never be without light in the event of a power outage. Plus, candles can be used in several creative ways to generate the heat needed to keep your family warm.
4. Fill several gas containers.
Whether you have an emergency generator or find yourself forced to evacuate, some extra gasoline might come in handy. Fill up several containers of gas well in advance of the storm’s arrival to ensure you’ll have what you need when and if the time comes.
5. Make sure you have a place to store outdoor items.
Umbrellas, chairs, and even potted plants can easily be blown around during a hurricane and can create a serious hazard. Make sure you have a shed to store these items in or have a plan for moving these items inside or securing them outside in some way.
6. Know your evacuation plan.
Map out evacuation routes in advance and keep a physical map handy if you need to navigate without GPS. You should also have a plan for where you will go and who you will stay with if you need to evacuate.
7. Find emergency shut-offs.
Every home has a way to shut off things like electricity, water, and gas. Know where these shut-offs are and be prepared to use them if local officials direct you to do so.
8. Keep your insurance documents handy.
If your home or vehicle is damaged during a hurricane, you’ll want to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to file a claim and begin the repair process. Review these documents before each hurricane season so you’re aware of what is covered and what isn’t.
9. Purchase a cover for your air conditioning unit.
Outdoor air conditioners can become clogged with trash and debris during a hurricane. A cover, tarp, or even a trash bag can protect your unit and ensure it’s ready to use once the power is back on.
10. Stock up on plywood.
If a storm is about to make landfall, you need to be prepared to secure windows, doors, and garages. Plywood is the most cost-effective way to do this, so purchase some of that along with nails and a hammer to ensure you’re ready to go when the time comes.
11. Clean gutters and drains.
Removing leaves, dirt, and debris from your gutters and storm drains will help ensure water can drain properly during a storm. Skipping this step puts you and your neighbors at a much greater risk of suffering damage from flooding.
Have a property you want to rent in Wilmington, Carolina Beach, or Kure Beach this summer? Give our vacation rental agents a call at 910-395-4100.