Coping with Severe Weather: A Checklist for Your Maryland Home
What do the names Alberto, Florence, Isaac, Nadine, and Oscar have in common?
No, they’re not your daughter’s party friends or locations for your next vacation. They’re hurricane names – more specifically, names for 2018 Atlantic hurricanes that we Marylanders could be hearing more about once the season gets underway in June.
While Maryland may be out of earshot of the worst of Mother Nature’s hurricane fury, these storms (and others) can still do significant damage here in the Old Line State – damage that can lead to inconvenient or even dangerous power outages (and as we saw just a few months ago).
One of the best ways to cope with severe weather, of course, is to install a whole-house backup generator, which (depending on the size) can power everything from your lights and refrigerators to your sump pump, home cooling system, and more (if you already have a generator, make sure to have it serviced at least once a year to keep it running reliably).
If you’re not ready to make that kind of investment, however, it’s best to plan ahead for the severe weather season to come. Here are some tips for handling severe weather courtesy of our friends at the Prince George’s County Fire Department (PGFD):
- Stay informed by monitoring local news and internet sites about approaching weather.
- Charge all cellphones, laptops, and tablets in advance of the storm.
- Have an emergency kit prepared, stocked and ready. To learn more about putting together an emergency kit, visit www.ready.gov.
- Test your smoke alarm and CO detectors; make sure they have fresh batteries.
- Consider purchasing disposable coolers and bags of ice to preserve perishable food.
- Fill your car with gas before the storm; power outages can shut down gas pumps.
- Withdraw cash from your bank; power outages can shut down ATM machines.
- If high winds are predicted, secure lawn furniture and other objects in your yard.
- Clear storm drains of any debris that could clog and back up rain water.
- Establish a communications plan with family members and friends.
- If you have a generator,
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions on how to use it safely;
- Make sure it is positioned far enough away from your residence to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning; and
- Make sure to refuel after use and cool-down.
Storm season is coming – be prepared! Now is the perfect time to invest in a whole house generator from CHS: contact us today and learn how you can save $500 on a new propane-powered generator from General Electric!