Hurricane Preparedness 101 – What to do before and after a hurricane

hurricane preparedness

Are You Ready for a Hurricane?

Official Atlantic Hurricane Season runs June 1 through November 30, peaking in late August and September. September is National Preparedness Month, and as such, it’s probably a good idea to think about hurricane preparedness and what to do in the event of a major storm.

Myrtle Beach has seen some strong hurricane and tropical storms in recent years, most notably Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 which took out power, ripped off the Springmaid and Surfside piers and caused millions in damage to homes across the Grand Strand.

Create an Emergency Plan and Be Ready to Go

Thanks to advanced storm tracking technology, we typically get a decent sized head start on a storm coming our way. Here are some of the things you should do to prepare before the hurricane arrives:

  • Create a small kit of emergency supplies including first aid, drinking water, medicine, non-perishable food, flashlights and batteries
  • Trim trees and shrubs, if you have time
  • Gather vital documents (birth certificates, deeds, etc)
  • Protect vulnerable areas of home (board/shutter windows and bring in lawn furniture)
  • Secure evacuation housing (stay with friends, book a hotel, find a shelter, etc)
  • Fuel up your vehicles
  • Know the evacuation route for your zone and pay attention to road closings

For more information, The South Carolina Emergency Management Division website has additional resources to boost hurricane preparedness.

Plan for Long-Term Power Outages

One thing we’ve learned from Myrtle Beach storms is that the power often stays long after the storm has left and the sunshine returns. One of the first items to disappear from big box home improvement store shelves are the portable, gas-powered generators.

For those looking for a more permanent and comfortable solution, consider a permanently installed standby generator. These residential generators tie directly to fuel lines underground and automatically restore whole house power within seconds of a utility outage.

At the very least, consider life without power for a couple weeks. Stock up on non-perishable, easy to prepare meals, and consider alternative ways to stay cool without an HVAC system running.

Post-Storm Cleanup and Repair

Assessing damage, filing insurance claims, and repairing your home is stressful. It is especially challenging if your house has damage that makes living in it impossible.

If your home has seen flooding or water damage and has standing water inside, it’s critical that you do not enter without clearance from an electrical inspector or public safety official. If your power has not been disconnected fully, you may be wading in to a fatal situation. There are a number of licensed, professional services in Myrtle Beach that can help with water damage restoration and mold removal.

Structural damage to your home from flooding or high winds can be overwhelming, and it’s worthwhile to meet with a few Myrtle Beach custom builders who specialize in repair and remodeling to compare estimates.

As you rebuild, consider “storm-proof” upgrades to your home to protect against future hurricanes.

Guest post submitted by Dean Blumberg

Want to read more? Check out the latest on the Myrtle Beach for Families blog.

About Melissa Byers

My name is Melissa Byers and I've been a Grand Strand resident for 13 years. I love living and raising my family here! We're all about the events, activities, discounts, RVing, travel, and crab cakes.

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