Oh Hurricane season. How we dread you each year.
If you are new to the area you have already survived your first Charleston storm threat – how’d you do? The idea of flooding, damaging winds, hail and all the other hurricane fun can be daunting, but preparedness and calm truly are the keys to survival here in the Lowcountry.
Since official records began in 1851 through 2018 25 hurricanes have made landfall in the greater Charleston area. That’s roughly .15 hurricanes a year. Not so bad in the grand scheme of things. Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th with August and September typically being the most active.
Considering Charleston? Don’t let hurricane season scare you away.
What can you do to make hurricane threats a little less overwhelming?
#1 – Be prepared.
Stock up on bottled water, non perishable foods your family enjoys, batteries, flashlights, a general first aid kit, a weeks worth of prescription medications and a satellite radio. Want to take it a step further? Purchase a generator during the off season to save some cash and store a few gallons of gasoline just in case.
We suggest making a small hurricane kit and storing it away somewhere easy to reach. This allows you to have free time for more last minute preparations, avoid fighting crowds, gauging prices or shortages during an impending storm.
#2- Know your home’s risks.
Evaluate your home before hurricane season begins. Check for trees that could be a hazard (whether to a window, car, roof, etc), clear gutter debris and ensure all drains are unclogged and free of blockages. Fix any leaky windows or broken glass, leaky door seals or roof issues. Address any loose power lines or electrical problems you’ve been avoiding.
This is also a good time to make sure your insurance policies are up to date and your flood insurance is accurate if you are in a flood zone.
#3- Have your HVAC system cleaned and checked.
This should be done every spring and fall, but it is always a good idea to do this before hurricane season in case of any issues to the system.
#4- Make a plan for “hurricane shutters”.
Whether you have hurricane shutters built in, or would be boarding up your windows, know what your options are and what works. Boarding up? have the window measurements handy, and if you have the room buy your boards and supplies during off season and store them in case of an emergency.
New to the idea of boarding up your windows? HomeDepot shares a great how to.
#5- Organize and store vital documents.
Whether you plan to evacuate or stay during a storm it is always a good idea to keep yours and your family’s important papers in a fire proof/water proof lock box. This way they are protected if you are riding out the storm or easy to grab and go if you decide to leave.
These small preparations and awareness can make any impending threat to the area much less daunting especially in a new home. If you have any questions about life in the Lowcountry during hurricane season please reach out, I’d love to fill you in on all Charleston has to offer.
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