GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Lifestyle

May 24, 2013

Hurricane season approaching, now's time to prepare

Disaster has been in the news this week, with the string of damaging tornadoes in Oklahoma. We used to think of tornadoes as an event that rarely struck here in New England, but after the destruction in Munson in June 2011, and after confirmation that a small twister touched down in Stoughton on May 9 this year, we may need to start thinking about high wind events in addition to hurricanes, and how to prepare for them. Super Storm Sandy was not exactly a hurricane, but the damage she did was not much different.

Of course, hurricane season is approaching, too, so what can homeowners do now to prepare themselves? Lest we think that it involves a huge “honey do” list, some preparations are simple and only take a little while. Of course, others are best handled by professionals, perhaps when you build a home in the first place, or while making renovations. For example, there are “hurricane straps” that can be fitted to help prevent a roof from lifting off a house. No one knows hurricanes like the Floridians, and there are many resources, such as the “Hurricane Retrofit Guide” available on webSites such as www.floridadisaster.org.

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes Inc., FLASH, is a non-profit, 501(c) 3 organization dedicated to promoting disaster safety and property loss mitigation. IT has joined State Farm Insurance and Kohler Generators in sponsoring a website designed to help families prepare. It’s called The Great Hurricane Blowout (http://www.greathurricaneblowout.org).

The site has suggestions on how you can start preparing, in just an hour, a day, or a weekend at a time.

For example, in an hour, you could put together a list of the items outside your home that should be brought in should there be an impending storm — it even gives you a form with some suggestions, such as grills, planters, tools, toys, swimming pool equipment, etc.

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