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HOUSTON (CW 39) – With what is expected to be a very active hurricane season, now is the time to plan and prepare.

CW39 Houston’s Maggie Flecknoe shares tips from Anastasia Gaido, realtor associate at Nan & Company Properties/Christie’s International Real Estate to help them “weather the storm”.

Make a plan:

  • Knowing exactly what you and your family’s plan of action is during a time of emergency is the first step of being prepared. In the case of an emergency evacuation, you will most likely get instructions from your local government on what to do, but it is also important to have a plan within your own home. 
  • If you have kids, make sure they feel prepared and have an emergency bag packed.
  • Take into account your pets. Having portable litter boxes and food ready to go can make emergency situations less stressful and lessen the likelihood of forgetting crucial things. 
  • Make sure you always have a considerable amount of gas in your car in the likelihood you have to make an abrupt exit.
  • Place important documents in a plastic zip bag or container to prevent them from any water damage.

Stock up on emergency supplies

  • The events of the past year have already conditioned us to stock up on non-perishables, and that is no different during hurricane season. 
  • Having not only canned food, but canned food that does not require cooking is essential, as there is a high risk that the power will go out during a storm.
  •  A trick you can use to tell if your power went out either while you were sleeping or while you were out of the house, is to freeze a plastic cup halfway with water and place a quarter on top. If you see the quarter is no longer on top, you know your power was out during the storm, a key indicator to not eat the food in your freezer. 
  • It is also important to keep batteries and candles handy. 
  • If you or someone in your family requires medication, be sure you have enough to last you in an emergency situation. 

Review your insurance 

  • It is always a good idea to look specifically at what your current insurance does and does not cover when it comes to damages that can be done by storms.
  • This online checklist is a great tool to see what kind of questions you need to ask your providers. If you live in an apartment or condo, be sure you speak with your landlord and you understand what is covered in terms of the building and your belongings in the buildings master insurance policy. 
  • Make sure to go over your car insurance, especially since many of Houston streets are prone to flooding during storms.

Prep your home 

  • As mentioned before, there is nothing we can do to outright prevent these types of storms, but “hurricane proofing” your home to the best of your ability can considerably limit damages done to your home. 
  • If you have trees surrounding your home, be sure you trim off any large, weak branches. 
  • In hurricane hotspots like Houston, many people have hurricane proof windows, doors, and garage doors. 
  • If you know your area is prone to flooding, keeping several sandbags in your garage or storage can be handy since you can stack these in front of doors and other entrances outside of your home to minimize water damage. Having these help limit damages done to your home and save you and your family money in the long run. 
  • It’s extremely important during this time that there are no blockages in your gutters and downspouts. A clear gutter will allow large amounts of water to flow with ease. 
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