Let’s make one thing clear, Houston knows a thing or two about preparing for hurricanes. We’ve seen their unbridled power and the wreath of destruction that lays in their wake once they have moved on. We have rebuilt and collaborated when we were down and if history is any indication, we will do so again. Houston has a fighting spirit that overcomes any obstacle thrown its way.
But while you may know which HEB to hit for the best selection of non-perishables, which streets flood, and the neighbor with the best generator in case you require a charge or some A/C, there are long-term things you can implement in preparation of violent windstorms. Some may be obvious, some may seem drastic, but taking these extra steps, if possible, can go a long way and may even save your loved one’s, your property, and your life.
Learn How to Swim and Water Safety
When people consider swimming lessons, many times we associate them with teaching children how to safely navigate a pool, a lake, or their time at the beach; however, knowing how to swim can be a life-saving skill that has implications far beyond recreation. Since 2015, over 100 people a year have died as a result of drowning from floods according to The Weather Channel. While floodwaters can be unpredictable, knowing how to survive them and keep yourself afloat should you become trapped in a flood that can help you save yourself and maybe even the life of someone else.
With that said, water safety is much more than knowing how to stay afloat. Understanding how to control your breathing, navigate water under pressure, and identify and avoid dangerous situations will go a long way in keeping one safe throughout a flood. We’re mentioning learning to swim but the statistics don’t lie. Most people who drown during a hurricane do so when inside a vehicle. There are other factors such as currents, electricity, hazardous materials, and much more. The more you are educated on what to do when you find yourself in an unseemly position, the better prepared you will be to survive these life-threatening events.
Become CPR Certified
Hurricanes can make navigation impossible at times which means residents may be left to fend for themselves during this time. Unfortunately, emergencies don’t stop simply because other emergencies are taking place and in a life or death situation, your response may need to be swift and skillful. Learning CPR is a universal skill that has many applications but can take extra precedence if you are unable to access emergency services. To learn more, check out this information about obtaining your certification and the various options on learning how to perform CPR correctly from the Red Cross in the Houston area.
Elevating Your Home
Elevating your home, if you are in a flood zone or not, is a great way to give your residence an added layer of protection against floodwaters. There are many different home elevation techniques available with a variety of companies around the Houston area experienced in raising homes, so securing a reliable contractor is only a Google search away. Be sure to check your local ordinances and homeowners association guidelines to if and how you can elevate your home before beginning your project.
For elevation that is a little less extreme, consider lifting things that are around your home off of the ground level. Speak with a home contractor or if you are capable of safely doing so, create a weekend DIY project and lift vital areas of your home including:
- Home fixtures.
- Storage areas.
Be sure to secure any permits that may be necessary before the start of your home improvement project.
Purchasing Flood Insurance, Even if You Don’t Flood
Not having flood insurance in Houston can prove to be a costly mistake. With the average cost of flood insurance being $700 a year and 1 in 5 flood victims coming from outside of flood zones, it may not be the most exciting thing to spend your money on, but it can go a long way to protect your home for a weekly cost that pales in comparison. The team at TGS Insurance is prepared to help you find the coverage you need at a price that doesn’t break your budget. Peace of mind is only a click away.
Being over-prepared is better than not at all and by learning a few extra skills, you’re positioning yourself and your family well should the occasion arise to swim or use CPR. One of the easiest things you can do is purchase flood insurance for peace-of-mind and our agents make it super easy to get coverage.