Lauren Bunting

Lauren Bunting

(Aug. 7, 2020) With the recent Tropical Storm Isaias impacting our coastal area, the importance of having a plan in place for storm events to protect your property is top of mind.

In addition to purchasing flood insurance, FEMA recommends the following steps a homeowner can take to help prepare your home before a hurricane strikes.

• Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.

• Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.

• Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.

• Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and never try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.

• Consider the construction of a safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter designed for protection from high winds and in locations above flooding levels. The booklet “Taking Shelter from the Storm” is available on FEMA’s website at fema.gov. It includes safe room designs and shows you and your builder/contractor how to construct a safe room for your home.

FEMA’s guidelines on preparing for a hurricane event before it happens are:

• Make an emergency plan.

• Build or restock your basic disaster supplies kit, including food and water, a flashlight, batteries, chargers, cash and first aid supplies.

• Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground or to evacuate.

• Stay tuned to local wireless emergency alerts, TV, or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.

– Lauren Bunting is an Associate Broker with Atlantic Shores Sotheby’s International Realty in Ocean City.

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