Creating a safe space in your home or office to seek shelter during hurricanes and bad weather is crucial for personal safety. Knowing where your safe place is before danger hits is important to protect yourself and your family better. If you're like most people, you don't have a storm shelter. In this case, you need to find a location that is:
• As close to the ground as possible
• As far inside the building as possible
• Away from doors, windows, and outside walls
• In as small of a room as possible
• Not on an upper floor
Here Are Some Steps to Help You Build A Safe Space:
Choose An Appropriate Location: Select a room or area in your home or office that is structurally sturdy and away from windows. Ideally, it should be on the ground floor or in the basement to minimize the risk of injury from falling debris.
Reinforce The Space: Reinforce the walls and ceiling of the safe area with materials such as plywood or steel to enhance structural integrity. This reinforcement can provide added protection during severe weather events.
Install Impact-Resistant Windows: Use hurricane shutters to protect against flying debris. Strengthen entry doors with deadbolts or reinforcing kits to prevent them from being compromised by strong winds.
Clear The Space: Remove any objects or furniture that could become hazardous during bad weather. Keep the area clutter-free to provide enough room for individuals seeking shelter.
Emergency Supplies: Stock your safe space with essential emergency supplies, including a first aid kit, flashlight, battery-powered radio, bottled water, non-perishable food items, and any necessary medications. Additionally, consider including blankets, a whistle, and a multipurpose tool.
Maintain Supplies: Regularly check and replenish your emergency supplies to ensure they are up to date and in working condition. Replace expired food, batteries, and other perishable items as needed.
Communication Devices: Keep a charged cell phone or a battery-powered communication device in your safe space to stay connected with emergency services or loved ones during an event.
Weather Monitoring: Install a weather radio or use a reliable app to stay informed about severe weather conditions. This will help you know when to seek shelter in your safe space.
Emergency Plan: Develop an emergency plan for your home or office, including procedures for seeking shelter and communication among occupants. Ensure that everyone is familiar with the plan and knows how to access the safe space quickly and safely.
Practice Drills: Regularly conduct exercises to practice seeking shelter in your designated safe space. This will help familiarize everyone with the process and identify areas needing improvement.
Stay Informed: Follow local weather forecasts and heed any warnings or advisories issued by relevant authorities. Staying informed is essential for making informed decisions regarding when to seek shelter.
Professional Assessment: If you need clarification on the structural safety of your home or office during hurricanes or severe weather, consider consulting a professional to assess and recommend any necessary modifications or improvements.
Secure Important Documents: Keep important documents such as identification, insurance policies, and financial records in a waterproof, portable container. This will help protect them in case of damage or evacuation.
Remember, personal safety should always be the priority during bad weather events. If local authorities issue evacuation orders, follow their instructions and evacuate to designated shelters if necessary. Building a safe space and being prepared can significantly reduce the risks associated with severe weather conditions. If you experience severe weather, once the storm passes and it's safe to do so, assess damages and take the first steps toward recovery. Call your insurance providers if you need to file a claim, and then contact an experienced restoration company like ServiceMaster Restore. Our local teams are prepared to stand by your side 24/7/365. Call us today at 1-800-RESPOND.