#makeitsafe for Hurricane Season


{Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Home Depot.}

When we bought our apartment about eight years ago, we examined the house pretty thoroughly and inspected the construction. We asked a lot of questions about the neighborhood and the schools. Aside from the physical address of the apartment, we didn’t really think about where our apartment was situated geographically.

We only recently realized that we lived on the border of a flood zone. It wasn’t something that we really thought about. However, it became quite relevant with major storms in the past two years – Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy.

While I left stranded and forced the make an epic drive from Florida to New York two years in a row, my husband and kids were left to weather the storm at home. It was a little nerve-wracking since this was the first time that we faced major storms like this. Luckily, we didn’t sustain any damage.

Barricading windows before Hurricane Sandy

So instead of relying our on barricade methods of last year (couch cushions and cardboard), I went with my mom to a Hurricane Preparedness event at the Home Depot in Staten Island on Saturday to learn more about how to protect our home from storms.

When Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast last October, many people were not prepared for the storm or its aftermath. They didn’t know what to do or how to handle the flood and damage that they sustained from the storm and often turned to the Home Depot for help.

Home Depot #makeitsafe

This year, the Home Depot is expanding its efforts to provide customers with the knowledge and supplies that they need to keep their families safe during hurricane season. Over the weekend, the Home Depot hosted events in a number of communities that have been previously affected by hurricanes. The goal was to offer the community information and resources so that in the event of another major storm, they aren’t caught unprepared.

There were vendors set up with information and demonstrations of equipment such as generators. I was quite taken by the demonstration of the wet/dry vac and how, with the addition of a pump to the machine, you can pump the water out of your vacuum and into a bucket. Genius.

Home Depot #makeitsafe Hurricane Preparedness Workshop

Representatives from FEMA and insurance companies, such as GEICO and State Farm, answered questions about protecting your home from flood damage, insurance coverage and claims. Representatives from Project Hope were also on-hand. They offer free, confidential crisis-counseling to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. The Home Depot also offered workshops for kids where they could built sailboats and do other craft activities while their parents learned some important information.

Home Depot Hurricane Preparedness Workshop - kids

Home Depot Kids Workshop

I spent some time with the representatives from FEMA and learned about protecting one’s home and property from flood damage and different things that you can do to reduce losses due to floods such as installing exterior and interior flood walls, back flow valves, sump pumps and floor drainage.

He also shared with me that New York City will be opening the first public high school dedicated to emergency management this fall – The Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management. It’s a really interesting idea given the changes and increasing severity of storms that we have been experiencing and that the field of emergency management is changing.

Most importantly, I walked away with tips to prepare for hurricane season. It was great to see the Home Depot, the fire department, FEMA, and companies come together for this event and offer up information and support to the community.

Home Depot Staten Island East

Tips to help prepare for hurricane season:

  • Create an emergency supply kit and a family communication plan if you haven’t already. Your emergency supply kit should include items such as water (1 gallon per person per day), a 3-day supply of non-perishable food, manual can opener, battery-operated radio, batteries, flashlight, first aid kit, whistle, dust masks or bandanas, garbage bags, and cash.
  • Cover all of your windows with precut plywood or hurricane shutters to protect them from high winds.
  • Bring indoors all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything that is not tied down.
  • Keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed so that they are more wind resistant. Remove all dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a storm.
  • Turn off propane tanks.
  • Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water to ensure a supply for cleaning and flushing toilets.

Tips to protect your home from a storm

During a storm:

  • Take shelter in a sturdy building. Avoid hilltops, open fields, the beach or a boat on the water.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air conditioners. Power surges during storms can cause serious damage.
  • Avoid contact with corded phones and use only for emergencies. Cordless and cellular phones are safe to use.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing i.e. do not wash hands or dishes, do not take a shower, and do not do laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.

After a storm:

  • Never drive through a flooded roadway.
  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.

The Home Depot prides itself on providing their customers with the knowledge and supplies that they need to keep their families safe during the hurricane season. Through free educational seminars and ensuring that stores are well stocked with hurricane essentials when the need arises, the Home Depot is there for you and for your family during hurricane season.

To get connected with our local The Home Depot store, visit their Facebook fanpage.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Home Depot.
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  1. says

    Great tips! No one ever thinks it will happen to them, ya know. We have been lucky so far with no damage during major storms. I need to make an emergency kit though. I don’t want to be one of those people buying all the bread and toilet paper in the event of a storm.
    Natalie recently posted..It’s been *almost* 1 year…My Profile

  2. says

    Great tips! Even though I live on the seacoast, I never really think that a hurricane could hit us since we’re so far North. But we have had significant flooding and wind from Sandy and other storms. My time living in Virginia made me aware of what to do to prepare “just in case.” The way Mother Nature is acting these days, who knows what can happen!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Meal Planning: Week of July 28My Profile

  3. says

    What a great opportunity to learn how to protect your family. The laminate and concrete is interesting as that’s how my basement is done. Since my home isn’t directly in our flood zone maybe it’s not a concern but something I should look for.
    Carli recently posted..Real Into Reads No. 21My Profile

  4. says

    So great – and so awesome that Home Depot is helping. We were pretty spared in both Irene and Sandy but our neighbors in Vermont were not for Irene, and my parents had a terrible time in Sandy. Most of my family is in New Jersey and I’ll never forget the agonizing stress of waiting to hear that their homes were ok. Other than ten DAYS without power, everyone was ok. Hundreds of dollars of groceries all gone, though. Holding my breath for this hurricane season. We can’t control the weather, but we can definitely control our preparedness. Kudos to you for this post.
    Tamara recently posted..The Memory Keepers.My Profile

  5. says

    Great tips!! My only experience with a hurricane was just over 20 years ago when I first moved to southern Alabama for grad school. The week after I got there I guess there was a hurricane threat/warning and every store had lists of what you should buy and people were buying it in bulk. I was a bit freaked out because I just lived in an efficiency apartment but thankfully we just ended up with some rain!!
    Kim recently posted..Life Isn’t Always Sunshine but I Love it AnywayMy Profile

  6. says

    These are excellent tips. I need to put together an emergency kit, and we could use an emergency plan as well. We’ve been lucky and have never sustained serious damage but it’s better to be prepared!
    Michelle recently posted..Honored And InspiredMy Profile

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