Recent Storm Damage Posts
September is National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month recognized each September, provides an opportunity to remind us that we all must prepare ourselves and our families now and throughout the year. This National Preparedness Month will focus on planning, with an overarching theme: Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.
For more information visit https://www.ready.gov/
In the Atlantic City region we often focus our attention on Hurricane Season. This is important, but other disasters can impact our lives. Other natural disasters can strike in our area, like severe thunderstorms or blizzards.
It is also important to be aware of man made disasters that can impact us. Fire and Water damage is always a real threat to every home and business.
Let SERVPRO Assist You Now
For help restoring your residential or commercial property after a water or fire loss, call SERVPRO of Atlantic City/Hamilton/Hammonton 24/7/365 at 609-965-0885.
Severe Storm Preparedness for the Atlantic City Area
Be Prepared the Next TIme a Storm Rolls Through
Follow These Red-Cross Approved Guidelines to Stay Safe During Severe Thunderstorms
- Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system for severe thunderstorms
- Discuss thunderstorm safety and lightning safety with all members of your household
- Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail
- Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm
- Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches
- Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home
- Consult your local fire department if you are considering installing lightning rods
- Get trained in first aid and learn how to respond to emergencies
- Put together an emergency preparedness kit
- Review the Be Red Cross Ready - Thunderstorm Safety Checklist
During a Thunderstorm
- Listen to local news or NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates. Watch for signs of a storm, like darkening skies, lightning flashes or increasing wind.
- Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are likely to occur. Many people struck by lightning are not in the area where rain is occurring.
- If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, take shelter in a substantial building or in a vehicle with the windows closed. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.
- If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning. If thunder roars, go indoors! The National Weather Service recommends staying inside for at least 30 minutes after the last thunderclap.
- Avoid electrical equipment and telephones. Use battery-powered TVs and radios instead.
- Shutter windows and close outside doors securely. Keep away from windows.
- Do not take a bath, shower or use plumbing.
- If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.
- If you are outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts, and sheds are NOT safe.
After a Thunderstorm
Take the Appropriate Steps to Stay Safe
- Never drive through a flooded roadway. You cannot predict how deep the water may be.
- Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk from the effects of severe thunderstorms.
- Continue to listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or to local radio and television stations for updated information or instructions, as access to roads or some parts of the community may be blocked.
- Help people who may require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or disabled.
- Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
- Watch your animals closely. Keep them under your direct control.
If Lightning Strikes
Follow these steps if someone has been struck by lightning:
- Call for help. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number. Anyone who has sustained a lightning strike requires professional medical care.
- Check the person for burns and other injuries. If the person has stopped breathing, call 9-1-1 and begin CPR. If the person is breathing normally, look for other possible injuries and care for them as necessary. People who have been struck by lightning do not retain an electrical charge and can be handled safely.
Let Your Family Know You're SafeIf your community has experienced a disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well website to let your family and friends know you are safe. You may also call 1-866-GET-INFO to register yourself and your family.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Atlantic City we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (609) 965-0885
Severe Weather - Thunderstorms
What is a thunderstorm?
A thunderstorm is a rain shower during which you hear thunder. Since thunder comes from lightning, all thunderstorms have lightning.
Why do I sometimes hear meteorologists use the word “convection” when talking about thunderstorms?
Usually created by surface heating, convection is upward atmospheric motion that transports whatever is in the air along with it—especially any moisture available in the air. A thunderstorm is the result of convection.
What is a severe thunderstorm?
A thunderstorm is classified as “severe” when it contains one or more of the following: hail one inch or greater, winds gusting in excess of 50 knots (57.5 mph), or a tornado.How many thunderstorms are there?Worldwide, there are an estimated 16 million thunderstorms each year, and at any given moment, there are roughly 2,000 thunderstorms in progress. There are about 100,000 thunderstorms each year in the U.S. alone. About 10% of these reach severe levels.
When are thunderstorms most likely?
Thunderstorms are most likely in the spring and summer months and during the afternoon and evening hours, but they can occur year-round and at all hours. Along the Gulf Coast and across the southeastern and western states, most thunderstorms occur during the afternoon. Thunderstorms frequently occur in the late afternoon and at night in the Plains states.
What kinds of damage can thunderstorms cause?
Many hazardous weather events are associated with thunderstorms. Under the right conditions, rainfall from thunderstorms causes flash flooding, killing more people each year than hurricanes, tornadoes or lightning. Lightning is responsible for many fires around the world each year, and causes fatalities. Hail up to the size of softballs damages cars and windows, and kills livestock caught out in the open. Strong (up to more than 120 mph) straight-line winds associated with thunderstorms knock down trees, power lines and mobile homes. Tornadoes (with winds up to about 300 mph) can destroy all but the best-built man-made structures.
Where are severe thunderstorms most common?
The greatest severe weather threat in the U.S. extends from Texas to southern Minnesota. But, no place in the United States is completely safe from the threat of severe weather.
For help restoring your residential or commercial property after a water or fire loss, call SERVPRO of Atlantic City/Hamilton/Hammonton 24/7/365 at 609-965-0885.
Hurricane Season in the Atlantic City Area
Though the national hurricane season normally runs from June 1 through November 30, the peak potential for hurricane and tropical storm activity in New Jersey runs from mid-August through the end of October.
The combination of warm ocean water, humid air, and consistent winds contribute to the formation of “tropical cyclones” – low-pressure systems of circulating winds, clouds and thunderstorms – over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.
As they gain strength, these cyclones are classified as tropical depressions, tropical storms or hurricanes. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale rates hurricane strengths, from Category 1 to Category 5. Most of these storms remain over the ocean without affecting the U.S. coastline. When they approach land, tropical storms and hurricanes can be extremely deadly and destructive – even as far north as New Jersey, and even when they do not make landfall here.
The key threats from an approaching tropical storm or hurricane are WIND, STORM SURGE, FLOODING, and the potential for TORNADOES.
Hurricane WINDS can reach 74-95 mph for a Category 1 storm, to above 155 mph for a Category 5 storm.
The STORM SURGE is a dome of ocean water the hurricane pushes ahead of itself. At its peak, a storm surge can be 25 feet high and 50-100 miles wide. The storm surge can devastate coastal communities as it sweeps ashore.
The thunderstorms and torrential rains that accompany a hurricane can create dangerous and deadly floods or flash floods.
Seventy percent of hurricanes making landfall spawn at least one tornado.
Preparing properly for a hurricane begins long before a storm ever hits.
For additional information for Hurricane preparedness NJ Office of Emergency Management
Spring Thunderstorms are on Their Way!
Stormy Weather Ahead!
Winter is finally coming to an end, so you know what that means: spring thunderstorms are right around the corner, and now is the perfect time to get ready. Stormy weather conditions in the springtime are wildly unpredictable, but can emerge out of nowhere in a moments notice, so it's important to be prepared for when they do. When word breaks that a storm is incoming this season, make sure to take all of the necessary precautions to ensure that your home will be safest after it passes.
Lightning strikes can cause your home massive amounts of damage, even if lightning doesn't hit your home at all! Power surges to your home could result in personal injury if you are using an electrical device or appliance at the time of a lightning strike. Not to mention the chance that a power surge could send a home device up in flames, resulting in a dangerous and costly house fire! To prevent these type of scenarios, installing a panel or meter serge protector, purchasing and using outlet protectors, or even just unplugging devices and small appliances during a storm could save you an unwanted home devastation this spring.
Aside from lightning strikes, the high winds and heavy rains could also cause you problems with water and structural damages. Prevention, depending on the caliber of the storm, is sometimes impossible; however, some basic tips can give you some added protection for when mother nature makes her way to your town. Making sure all of your doors and windows, are completely sealed when closed is massively important. Even the smallest leaks can wreak havoc. Cleaning your gutters regularly and maintaining your roof regularly will also reduce your risk of large loss during a storm. All water damages are preventable and making sure your roof and gutter are both clean and structurally well is half the battle.
While it is nearly impossible to predict when tragedy will occur, it is SERVPRO of Atlantic City/Hamilton/Hammonton 's job to provide 24-hour emergency service when it does. We are dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster and can respond immediately to your storm-related issues in your home or business. Our team has the expertise to handle your storm damage needs.
- 24 -Hour Emergency Service
- Highly Trained Technicians
- Specialized Remediation Equipment
SERVPRO of Atlantic City/Hamilton/Hammonton understands the stress and worry that comes with emergency damage and the disruption it causes your life. Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it "Like it never even happened."
Have Questions? Call Us Today 609-965-0885
Hurricane Season is here!
With Tropical Storm Cindy making landfall this week, we at SERVPRO of Atlantic City/Hamilton/Hammonton want to remind everyone about the dangers of hurricanes in our area as well as give you some tips on how to limit the damage. This hurricane season is forecasted as being “busier than usual”, so make sure you, your home, and your loved ones are prepared.
The first step in hurricane preparedness is to know the evacuation routes in your area. Knowing evacuation routes ensure that you and your family are able to evacuate quickly and safely in the event of a mandatory evacuation.
If you are unable to evacuate, make sure that you have plenty of water, batteries, flashlights, a first aid kit, and non-perishable food items handy. If power is lost during the storm, there’s no telling how long it could be out for. Be sure to wait out the storm in a secure room, away from windows.
After the storm has passed, report any downed power lines but DO NOT approach them.
Be prepared and stay safe out there everybody!
As many of us remember from June of 2012, Derechos can cause significant damage and appear almost out of nowhere. Derechos are most common in late spring and summer, so we at SERVPRO of Atlantic City/Hamilton/Hammonton wanted to remind everyone about the dangers of derechos as well as some give you some tips on keeping safe in the event of a Derecho.
A derecho is a large cluster of thunderstorms that can produce winds of 50-100+ MPH. They have been compared the impact of a derecho to the strength of a land-falling hurricane, while affecting a larger area than a tornado.
To protect your home and your loved ones, be sure to check the weather forecast first. Any severe thunderstorm warnings should be taken seriously, as they could develop into a derecho. Avoid driving or boating during a severe thunderstorm warning. Almost half of derecho-related fatalities have occurred in either cars or boats.
For any storm related damage, call SERVPRO® of Atlantic City/Hamilton/Hammonton at: 609-965-0885.
Do’s and Don’ts to Help Minimize Storm Damage
Summer storms can produce significant lightening.
Do’s and Don’ts to Help Minimize Storm Damage
- Ensure local authorities have given the “all clear” for your area.
- Ensure your electricity is turned off before entering a flooded structure.
- Remove as much excess water as possible with wet-dry vacuums, mops, and towels.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for drying.
- Call SERVPRO Atlantic City/Hamilton/Hammonton at (609)965-0885.
- Use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Leave wet fabrics in place; dry as soon as possible.
- Leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
- Use television or other household appliances while standing on wet floors or carpets.
We at SERVPRO® Atlantic City/Hamilton/Hammonton are here to ensure that your home and personal belongings are restored to their original condition after storm damage strikes. Call us at (609)965-0885 for a free estimate, and then take advantage of our professional restoration services performed by our exceptional staff. Let us restore your home “Like it never even happened!”
Water Clean up from Flooding
Localized flooding event
Following a water intrusion caused by storm damage calling SERVPRO of Atlantic City/Hamilton/Hammonton is the first and one of the most important calls you can make. In the event that you don't complete the water removal process immediately, your property can be subjected to a plethora of unwanted, unnecessary complications such as mold growth, loss of possessions, and structural damage. If you find yourself in need of water damage services, it's important to find a skilled team of restoration experts like SERVPRO of Atlantic City/Hamilton/Hammonton. We can expedite the water extraction, cleaning, repair, and restoration components of the process. Learn more about the importance of water damage cleanup by reviewing this short reference guide:
Water Cleanup Prevents Mold and Mildew Growth
One of the reasons for securing the services of an experienced water damage cleanup company is inhibiting the growth of mold and mildew in your home. Unfortunately, these fungi can begin thriving and expanding on your property 48-72 hours after the initial water intrusion. Moreover, the moist, warm conditions created by water damage make your residential property a prime location in which mold can develop and proliferate.
Prevent or Diminish Secondary Water Damage to the Structure of Your Home
An additional benefit of rapid water removal is that it prevents structural damage from adversely impacting your property. When left unaddressed for an extended time, the water can wick into walls, and studs, rust appliances, and damage the electrical system. If a natural flooding disaster occurred, then the foundation could also have been compromised.
Why You Should Secure Professional Assistance
Although some people attempt to complete the water cleanup process on their own, this approach is not advisable if it means more than using a mop and a bucket. For volumes of unwanted standing water, our water removal process is expedited and optimized through the use of specialized equipment. Our high volume vacuum extractors remove water quickly. This means less the water damage to furniture, walls, flooring, electronics, and personal possessions. This helps to remove water and treat damage that you can’t see. After extraction is complete we apply a plant based anti-microbial and then begin the drying process. Our specialty drying equipment will be placed strategically to promote rapid drying. It is important to get remaining structural materials dry to prevent the mold and microbial growth.
Let SERVPRO Assist You Now
For help restoring your residential commercial property after a water or fire loss, call SERVPRO of Atlantic City/Hamilton/Hammonton 24/7/365 at 609-965-0885. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”
Severe Storms Roll Through Southern NJ
A line of severe storms rolled through parts of Southern New Jersey on Tuesday afternoon. If your home or business has suffered damage contact SERVPRO of Atlantic City/Hamilton/Hammonton provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster. We can respond immediately to your emergency water damage and have the expertise to handle your water damage restoration or cleaning needs.24 -Hour Emergency ServiceWater Extraction and DehumidificationState of the Art EquipmentHighly Trained Water Restoration TechniciansDirect Insurance Billing
Have Questions? Call Us Today 609-965-0885
Hurricane Season 2016
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, will most likely be near-normal, but forecast uncertainty in the climate signals that influence the formation of Atlantic storms make predicting this season particularly difficult.
NOAA predicts a 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 4 to 8 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). While a near-normal season is most likely with a 45 percent chance, there is also a 30 percent chance of an above-normal season and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season.
What To Do Before, During And After A Thunderstorm
Warmer weather brings increased chances of thunderstorms.
· Remember the 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule: Look for lightning and go indoors if you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder; stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last thunder-clap
· Consider investing in a personal lightning detector
· Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall
· Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage
· Shut all windows and secure outside doors
· Unplug electronic equipment
· Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords, including devices plugged in for recharging (consider unplugging valuable electronics in case of power surge)
· Water conducts electricity, so avoid contact with plumbing
· Stay away from windows and doors and stay off porches
· Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls
· Avoid natural lightning rods, such as tall isolated trees, and avoid isolated small structures in open areas
· Avoid contact with metal, including farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts and bicycles
· If you are driving, safely exit or pull over and park; do not touch any surface that conducts electricity in or outside of the vehicle
· Never drive through a flooded roadway
· Avoid storm-damaged areas
· Help people who may require special assistance
· Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately
· Watch your pets closely; keep them indoors if possible
Tips for Cleaning Flooded Properties.
In the wake of Winter Storm Jonas, many along the coast are dealing with cleanup of flooded properties. Below are some tips from The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). The IICRC with industry-wide participation, certifies and develops certifications and standards for inspection, cleaning and restoration.
IICRC Consumer Flood Cleanup Tips
Flood victims can follow a few simple steps to reduce property damage and limit health risks.
Flooding occurs when rising water overflows the natural boundaries of bodies of water, such as rivers and streams, and flows across the ground picking up all kinds of contamination. The water can be contaminated with soil bacteria, decaying insects, animal droppings, oils and fluids from roadways, and fertilizers and pesticides from fields or gardens.
The IICRC offers these tips to clean up after floods:
· Use caution when entering buildings. Make sure electrical power is off and the structure is sound before entering and inspecting a flooded building. Small animals or reptiles may also seek shelter inside a structure, so be cautious when repositioning contents or removing materials.
· Protect yourself. Wear an organic vapor respirator, available from paint or building supply stores, along with rubber gloves, eye protection and protective clothing. Ventilate affected areas by opening windows, and eventually, by placing a fan in a window. Work toward the fan as you clean to minimize cross contamination.
· Know what items to throw away. Porous items that absorb contaminated flood water shouldn't be restored. Drywall, carpet and pad, mattresses, pillows, box springs and particle board normally should be discarded if wet.
· Wet clothing and many household fabrics may be salvageable. Machine washing, including at least a 10-minute soak in detergent and hot water, should remove most contamination and stains.
· Open pockets of saturation. Remove base molding and portions of damaged walls and wet insulation. Locate the water line and measure 15 inches to 20 inches above it. Everything below that should be removed and discarded. Flooring, such as hardwood, laminate or sheet vinyl, should be removed to expose pockets of saturation underneath for cleaning, sanitizing and drying.
· Clean aggressively. Wall cavities and exposed durable materials (studs, joists) should be cleaned by pressure washing with detergent solutions. After thoroughly cleaning and flushing salvageable materials, apply a disinfectant solution liberally. A water restoration professional may be needed to perform this service safely and effectively.
· Prevent mold growth. Although it takes a few days to appear, mold thrives in a moist environment with organic material (e.g., paper or particle board), and temperatures between 68°F and 86°F. Keep air moving and maintain moderate temperatures as possible.
· Dry out before you rebuild. To prevent dry rot and on-going structural damage, don't reconstruct or cover wood materials until its moisture content falls below 16 percent. Moisture meters are available online, but it may be best to hire a water restoration professional to confirm proper drying before reconstruction.
Consider hiring a professional. A professional water damage restoration company has trained technicians, specialized cleaners and antimicrobial agents, and extraction, drying, dehumidifying and moisture measuring equipment.
At SERVPRO of Atlantic City our technicians are IICRC trained and certified and will be glad to assist with your flood cleanup effort.
Winter Storm Jonas - Property Protection Tips
Heavy snow accumulation can pose a threat to your home or business; not only as it builds up, but also as it melts. Here are things to watch for:
•Watch for snow accumulation on the leeward (downwind) side of a higher-level roof, where blowing snow will collect. For safe removal that won't endanger you or damage your roof, consult a roofing contractor for a referral.
•Remove snow from basement stairwells, window wells and all walls. Melting snow can lead to water damage and moisture intrusion.
Ice dams are an accumulation of ice at the lower edge of a sloped roof. When interior heat melts the snow, water can run down and refreeze at the roof's edge, where it's much cooler. Should ice build up and block water from draining off the roof, the water is then forced under the roof covering and into your attic or down the inside walls of your property.
•Make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and debris.
•Keep the attic well ventilated so snow doesn't melt and refreeze on the roof's edge.
•Make sure the attic floor is well insulated to minimize the amount of heat rising through the attic from within the house.
Water intrusion and flood damage from melting snow and ice can threaten property, but by taking the following steps it can help minimize the potential for damage.
Immediately after the threat of physical danger has passed:
•Make sure the building is structurally safe to enter or reoccupy.
•Turn off electrical power. Do not use electricity until it is safe to do so.
•Ensure that natural gas sources are safely secured.
•Secure the exterior to prevent further water intrusion. This can include boarding up broken windows, making temporary roof repairs, sealing cracks or tacking down plastic sheeting against open gaps in walls or roofs.
When it's safe to begin cleanup:
•Disconnect all electronics/electrical equipment and move it to a safe, dry location.
•Begin to remove water-damaged materials immediately.
•Contact SERVPRO of Haddon Heights/Voorhees or Hamilton/Hammonton for assistance with extraction and drying.
•By taking immediate action, you will reduce the amount of damage and increase the chance of salvaging usable materials. You'll also reduce the amount of rust, rot, mold and mildew that may develop, and lower the likelihood that the water will lead to structural problems.
30 / 30 Rule for Lightning
If there is less than 30 seconds between a flash of lightning and the sound of thunder, seek shelter.
Wait at least 30 minutes from the last sound of thunder before leaving shelter.
Violent Storms Rip Through South Jersey
A line of severe thunderstorms moved through the area last night leaving a wake of downed trees and many residents without power.
Take time today to survey your property for damage. Look for missing roof shingles, damaged siding, damaged gutters or downspouts. Check around the foundation for topsoil that may have been washed away. These items if not corrected could lead to additional damage in the future.
If you or someone you know has sustained property damage please contact our office for assistance.
Hurricane Season in New Jersey starts in August
The National Weather Service states, “History teaches that a lack of hurricane preparedness and awareness are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.”
Although Hurricane Season in the US starts in June, the historical data listed below would suggest Hurricane Season in New Jersey starts in August.
Number of recorded storms affecting New Jersey
Month Number of storms
When preparing for a hurricane, it’s important to not only be aware of warning signs and critical information about the storm itself, but also to know about the types of supplies you should have on-hand during the storm.
The following list provides some basic preparedness supplies, as well as special items to help you face hurricane-specific challenges.
TOP 20 MUST-HAVE SUPPLIES FOR A HURRICANE
1. Water: 1 gallon per person per day for 2 weeks. Don't forget water for cooking, cleaning, and your pets, as well as water purification and filtration supplies.
Fact: According to those who experienced Hurricanes Wilma, Katrina, and Sandy the most important item to have during a Hurricane is water, which quickly sold out at grocery stores. If you live in an urban setting or small space, an Aquapod is a great place to store water before the storm hits.
2. Food Storage: At least enough for 3 to 7 days. In addition to having non-perishable packaged or canned food, you’ll also want to have fuel to cook outdoors in case the power goes out.
3. Solar Power: If the power goes out, you can easily run a solar generator in your home without worrying about propane, gasoline, or other flammable chemicals. Even having a small solar panel like a Nomad 7 to charge your cell phone or small electronics can go a long way in a power outage.
Fact: During Hurricane Sandy, several residents discovered their solar panels didn’t restore their power. In fact, many residential panels are connected to the power grid; if the grid goes down, so do your panels. However, using portable solar panels can help you have a reliable source of electricity, when the power goes out. Check out Goal Zero’s portable and durable solar panels to help you weather a storm.
4. WaterProof Containers: For storing important documents (copies of wedding license, special family photos, social security card, driver’s license, map of area, etc.)
5. Cash: Have cash on hand in small denominations, including change. At least $20.
6. Manual Can Opener: Make sure to have a manual can opener in case of power outages. You’ll definitely want a way to get into your food storage cans.
7. WaterProof Matches: If you don’t have waterproof matches, you can also store regular matches in a plastic container to keep them safe and dry.
8. Essential Kits and Medications: First-Aid Kit, Emergency Kit, prescription medications.
9. Sanitation Supplies/Personal Hygiene items: It’s important to keep your hands clean during an emergency to prevent the spread of disease. If your hands are caked with dirt or other substances, hand sanitizers become ineffective. If your tap water isn’t safe, wash your hands and bathe with boiled or disinfected water. Only bathe with clean, safe water in a water-related emergency like a hurricane. Wait for officials to tell you the water is clean and safe for bathing.
Fact: Poor hygiene and sanitation can spread disease, especially in a natural disaster. According to a John Hopkins Red Cross study, more people die from unsanitary conditions, rather than the natural disaster itself, in some cases. So make sure you have a way to get clean!
10. Light and Communication: Make sure to have a battery-operated radio, flashlight, clock, or wind-up clock (include extra batteries); tune in to NOAA weather radio for constant updates on the storm and water conditions.
11. Extra Clothes, Pillows, Blankets: Stored in your emergency kit or a waterproof container.
12. Hurricane Shutters or Storm Panels: Consider installing hurricane shutters or storm panels if you live in a hurricane-prone area. Hurricane shutters protect your windows and doors from wind and flying debris. There are commercial shutters you can buy, or you can also install your own using plywood.
Fact: During Hurricane Andrew, much of the damage “resulted from failure of windows and doors. These failures frequently lead to interior wall failure and sometimes roof failures.” This damage could have been prevented if shutters were installed in most homes.
13. Entertainment items: Cards, board games, toys, drawing pads
14. Flood Insurance, Home and Property Insurance: Look into flood insurance, if you don’t already have it, to cover damage in case of a storm. Also, check out your current insurance coverage to determine if hurricanes and other natural disasters are covered under your policy.
15. Evacuation/Communication plan: Be sure to practice your plan and be familiar with it before a storm hits.
16. Plastic Sheeting/Tarps: After a hurricane, you can use plastic sheeting or tarps to cover any holes or damage to your roof until it can be fixed. Make sure your tarps are in good condition; heavy winds can easily damage them. Note: Installing a tarp on your roof is dangerous, check out these tips for safely installing a tarp. Plastic sheeting with a bit of duct tape is also great for patching leaks.
17. Tools/Supplies for securing your home—Make sure to have a drill with a screwdriver bit to secure hurricane shutters. Also, have roof and window repair tools, rope, leather gloves, shovel, head and foot bolts for doors, and hurricane straps or clips to help hold the roof and walls up.
Fact: A common myth about hurricane preparedness is that using duct tape to secure your windows will reduce shattering, but recently, experts from the National Hurricane Center have been de-bunking this myth. They suggest that taping your windows “can create larger and deadlier shards of glass when winds blow through a home,” increasing the danger. Instead, look into buying or making your own storm shutters.
18. Insect Repellent: This is a product that may be overlooked when packing our emergency supplies, but it’s good to have, especially in a hurricane.
Fact: Heavy winds and sitting pools of water often attract mosquitos after a hurricane. Mosquitos arrive in the area after being blown off trees and shrubbery—and they’re usually hungry, so make sure you have your insect repellent on hand.
19. Child care and Pet care items: Make sure to have food, wipes, clothing, and other items to take care of your children and pets, if needed.
20. Whistle and Flares: Do you know why you should have a whistle in your Hurricane emergency kit?
Fact: During hurricanes, whistles are excellent tools to help you signal for help. Whistles are more effective than yelling or shouting because they can signal for help well beyond the range of your voice and with a lot less effort, allowing you to conserve energy. Whistles are one of the most commonly listed items to include in a hurricane emergency kit by hurricane survivors.
Hopefully the "New Jersey" Hurrican Season passes without incident.