Part of hurricane preparedness includes securing your home.
Before Hurricane Irene hits, here is what you should do:
- Clear debris from gutters and downspouts.
- Cover all of your home's windows with pre-cut ply wood or hurricane shutters to protect your windows from high winds if you live on the shoreline and have south- or east-facing property..
- Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down. Bring in flower pots, wind chimes and grills, including the propane tank.
- Keep all trees and shrubs well-trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
- Secure your home by closing shutters, and securing outdoor objects or bringing them inside.
- Turn off utilities as instructed. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Unplug small appliances
- Install a generator for emergencies
- Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage, it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
"Prepare around your house for any kind of high wind situation. Put anything inside that could blow around and be a hazard, that's lawn furniture, your grill and kids toys that might be around the yard. Just be aware that all of that can become dangerous when it's wind-born," Paul Shipman, of the American Red Cross, said.
FEMA’s Web site has more steps on how to do this.