Hurricane Hoopla: Hunker Down or Hit the Road?

by Susan Matthews

Bottled water has disappeared from Harris Teeter shelves and plywood-covered windows are popping up throughout neighborhoods. Even the most immune to worry are wondering if this might be a big one. Here’s your “Oh Crap! It’s Really Coming” Hurricane Checklist:

Click here for your evacuation route and gas up your vehicles ahead of time. Stations will run out.

Have a plan for where you and your pets will stay.  Search online for pet-friendly hotels, VRBOs and Airbnbs. Make sure your pet carriers/crates and supplies are ready to go.

Have a family communication plan. Purchase battery chargers for mobile phones. My Mophie Powerstation XXL was a great investment. It adds up to 100 hours of battery life to phones, tablets and laptops.

Prepare an evacuation go-bag. It should include the following: any prescription medications, flashlight, batteries for flashlight, cash, first aid kit, chargers, clothes, toiletries and any important documents (birth certificate, passports, car titles)

Prepare your home. Store all outdoor furniture, planter pots, decor, porch flags – anything that could become a projectile in hurricane-force winds. Yes, even real estate signs. Elevate items stored under your home and cover anything that could be ruined by heavy, wind-driven rain. Clear gutters and cover windows. Turn off gas to outdoor lanterns.

If staying, stock up on non-perishable food, water supplies, chocolate and wine to last for several days to weeks. If stores are sold out, you may still have time to order from Amazon Prime. If you have a generator, now is the time to change the fuel and test it. NEVER plug it into a wall outlet.  

Post-Hurricane Tips:

Your Hunter boots may be super cute, but don’t show them off in flood waters that may be electrically charged from downed power lines, deeper than expected and/or contaminated. And there could be snakes and alligators, too.

Driving through flood water isn’t any better. Don’t be that guy on the news whose being swept away in his Ford 150.

Photograph any damage to your property for insurance purposes.

Please be safe and… Help a neighbor out!

Susan Matthews is a Realtor serving the greater Charleston area with Coldwell Banker Carolinas. Contact her if you’re ready to list or to find a hurricane-ready home.

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