2017 National Hurricane Preparedness Week: What’s your preparedness plan?

Each year, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hosts a National Hurricane Preparedness Week to remind us all to be ready for what Mother Nature might send our way. This year it’s May 7-13. And while you can’t control the weather, you can do your best to prepare for it to keep your home and family safe. .

If you live in an area prone to tropical storms – both coastline and inland – it’s time to get started on your preparedness plan. The NOAA recommends breaking down your preparation tasks over seven days. Here’s their updated list for 2017:

  1. Sunday, May 7. Determine your risk: The effects of a hurricane can be far-reaching past the coasts – spawning heavy winds and rain, flooding, and tornadoes hundreds of miles inland. Consider which types of hurricane-related weather could affect where you live.
  2. Monday, May 8. Develop an evacuation plan: If you live in a storm-surge hurricane evacuation zone, find a safe place to head to if necessary. Work with a friend or relative who lives outside the hurricane zone to use their home as your evacuation destination. If you’re considering a shelter, make alternative arrangements for your pets as most local shelters can’t accommodate them.
  3. Tuesday, May 9. Assemble disaster supplies: Electricity could be out for a week or longer. Keep at least a week’s worth of non-perishable food, water and medicine for each family member. In addition, you’ll want to have a battery powered radio, flashlights, extra batteries and portable power with a USB charger for your cell phone. Plus, now’s a good time to check and perform any maintenance on your back-up power supply such as a portable or standby generator.
  4. Wednesday, May 10. Secure an insurance check-up: Do you have sufficient coverage to repair or even replace your home? Does your policy, whether homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, include flooding? Do you have coverage for your car or boat? Unsure of your coverage? A quick call to your insurance company can get the check-up started.
  5. Thursday, May 11. Strengthen your home: Ensure your home and yard are well-maintained and up to local hurricane building code specifications. Board windows and doors with plywood, steel or aluminum panels to help protect them from strong winds. Secure any outdoor items and double-check the most vulnerable part of your home – the garage door.
  6. Friday, May 12. Check on your neighbor: Be a good neighbor before and after the storm – and it can start with a simple conversation encouraging them to have evacuation plans and disaster supply kits.
  7. Saturday, May 13. Complete your written hurricane plan: Document your hurricane plan today so that you don’t have to stress over it in the moment. Jot down your evacuation route and emergency contacts. Gather your disaster supplies and copies of important personal documents such as insurance information. Lastly, keep your hurricane plan in a safe place and communicate it with your family.

What Do You Do When The Hurricane Is Over?

No matter what category of storm, the hurricane aftermath leaves many without power. So part of this week’s prep should include determining if you’ll need a generator for your home or workplace to maintain power in the event of an outage. Briggs & Stratton has many backup power resources including inverter generators, portable generators and standby generators. To help determine which backup power is best for you, check out our generator buying guides.

You can also visit a generator dealer to get questions answered. Having a backup generator will help relieve some of the stress and worry often faced during an extreme weather event.
Just remember, when using a generator, always place it outdoors and away from windows, doors and vents. For additional information about portable generator safety, visit the Take Your Generator Outside by the Portable Generator Manufacturers’ Association.

Once your family is taken care of, you can power forward and help friends and neighbors in need.

NOTICE: Customer service questions are not monitored via the blog. If you need assistance with your Briggs & Stratton engine or power equipment, please contact our Answer Center or post your question to our User Community.