Let’s make one thing clear, Houston knows a thing or two about preparing for hurricanes. 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/or Take A Water Safety Course
When people think about 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, the Red Cross reported that more than half of all Americans either can’t swim or don’t have basic swimming skills. Floodwaters are dangerous and unpredictable. Infact, drowning caused 80% of the deaths associated with Hurricane Harvey. If you, or anyone in your household, is not a confident swimmer, make swimming lessons a priority.
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 impossible 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. In a life or death situation, your response will 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.
Elevate Your Home
Elevating your home, whether 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. Be sure to check your local ordinances and homeowners association guidelines to check 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 components 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.
Purchase Flood Insurance, Even if You Don’t Flood
Not having flood insurance in Houston can prove to be a costly mistake. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, more than half of homes flooded by Hurricane Harvey were outside designated flood zones. Just one inch of water in your home can cost tens of thousands of dollars in damages to your home so the average flood policy that runs less than $700 is a no-brainer for most Houstonians. 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.