How to Prepare for the Next Storm, Hurricane, or Flood

Storm season is upon us and homeowners need to be prepared to keep themselves, their home, and their family safe. The preparations homeowners make ahead of storms, floods, or hurricanes can help them recover faster and stay safe during clean-up, especially important for those hoping to sell their home so showings don’t get sidelined because of a natural disaster.

In the rush right before a storm, people sometimes forget to make sure their outdoor power equipment is in order, and they might run out of time since weather is often unpredictable. Throughout the year, it’s important to keep your equipment in working order, have the right fuel on hand, charge batteries, and know where your safety gear is. But it’s especially true during storm season.

Here are some helpful tips to help homeowners weather a natural disaster.

Take stock of your property & equipment. Survey your property and consider the damage a storm might cause. Consider making a list of the tools – chainsaw, pruner, generator, or utility type vehicle – you might need for repairs. Make sure your equipment is in good working order. If needed, take it equipment to an authorized service center for maintenance or repair.

Find your safety gear & review manuals. If a storm hits you will need sturdy shoes, safety goggles, hard hats, reflective clothing, and work gloves. These items should be stored in an accessible area with your equipment.While you’re gathering these things, also read your product manuals to ensure you know how to operate your equipment safely.

Make sure your equipment is ready to operate. Charge the batteries for your battery-powered outdoor power equipment so it is ready to use, even if the power goes out. For gasoline-powered equipment, have the proper fuel – stored in an approved container – ready to use since gas stations might be closed after a storm. Remember, it is illegal to use any fuel with more than 10% ethanol in outdoor power equipment. (For more information on proper fueling for outdoor power equipment visit

Use safety precautions. Be aware of fundamental dangers that can occur. Keep bystanders, children, and animals out of your work area. Also, remember that storm cleanup can be taxing on the body and spirit. Do not operate power equipment when you are tired or overly fatigued. When you are working, drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks.

Make a plan for your pets, too. Your pets are part of the family, and you need to have a plan to keep them safe, too. Bring pets inside at the first sign of danger, and if you need to leave your home take your pet with you. Create a pet-friendly resource list, including veterinarians and pet-friendly hotels. Pack an emergency bag that includes food, bottled water, medications, clean-up supplies, food/water dishes, medical records, towels, and a favorite toy or chewy for comfort.

Keep these ideas in mind to ensure you are ready if a storm hits and won’t waste valuable time trying to determine what needs to be done to best protect your property, your family, and your pets. Learn more at

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