While torrential rains may seem like a refreshing alternative to this extreme heat, hurricane season is nothing to take lightly. Lasting through the end of November, this year’s season is going to be a rough one: the National Hurricane Center predicts that there will be up to 18 named storms. Homeowners in the North Myrtle Beach area should take appropriate precautions to ensure that their properties and families stay safe. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of important tips below:
- Organize an emergency supply kit. This should include water, flashlights, batteries, a portable radio, prescription medication, first aid supplies, blankets, a change of clothes and non-perishable foods. Stock enough food to feed your family for three days. Store water in plastic, airtight containers and change them every two months. You’ll want extra water for washing as well.
- Create an evacuation plan. Family members and other guests should know where to meet in the event of a storm, such a public shelter, and have a way to alert others that they’re safe. You’ll want to keep your gas tank full as often as possible, and learn the evacuation routes to safer, higher ground.
- Compile a list of emergency numbers, including family members, friends and neighbors. Listen to radio reports and other public service announcements, as local government will most likely use these forms of communication to let you know when to evacuate and when it is safe to return. Radio and TV stations such as WNMI 98.7 FM, Time Warner Channel 21 (north end of North Myrtle Beach) and HTC Channel 4 (south end of North Myrtle Beach) will provide North Myrtle Beach area disaster updates.
- Make arrangements for your pets in advance, especially if you have to evacuate during a storm. If there is a hurricane warning, for example, you may want to take them to a local animal shelter or to a friend or relative who lives inland.
- Plan home improvement projects that will make your home more resistant to storm damage. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows, but you can also board them up with 5/8” marine plywood. Install straps or clips to provide extra support for your roof. Keep rain gutters and downspouts clear, and keep the shrubbery in your yard well trimmed.
- Review your insurance policy to see if you’re covered for storm-related damage, and prepare an inventory of your belongings in case you need to file a claim.
The North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a seminar on hurricane preparedness Aug. 2. You can also visit Myrtle Beach’s disaster preparedness page to find out what the city will do during a hurricane, or read South Carolina’s online hurricane resource section.
We know this is a lot to remember, and we are here to help. We can assist homeowners in making necessary renovations and repairs, and check on the property before and after a hurricane if you’re not in the area. We also keep belongings inventories on file, making it easier for you to register a claim. We even offer optional travel insurance with CSA Travel Protection that covers your vacation in case of a mandatory hurricane evacuation. Please call 888-488-8588 for more details.
If you have questions or concerns about preparing for a hurricane, we will be happy to address them. We all want to make sure that you and your guests have the best summer possible.