9/03/2019
Clean Gutters and Downspouts – Help move water away from the home
What is the one thing people forget to do that can have a major impact? Cleaning their gutters. Gutters are there to direct rainfall away from the home and prevent flooding. This only works if the gutters are free of debris and in good shape. Take the day to clear out leaves or any other debris.
Wear gloves to protect from scratches, and have handy a garden trowel or gutter scoop, a whisk broom and a rag. Put tools in a bucket with a handle. The bucket should be fastened to a ladder with a wire hook.
Start cleaning a stretch of gutter at the downspout area. This is where debris usually collects, blocking the water's path to the downspout. Work your way up the gutter, putting the collected debris into a bucket.
After cleaning is complete, flush the gutters with a garden hose. This will show how well the gutters are draining and will indicate any areas that are holding standing water, which contributes to many gutter problems.
Decrease the amount of debris that collects in your gutters by installing protective gutter guards or protective screens.
Pick up Your Yard - Prevent flying debris
Hurricane Dorian will make anything not tied down into a dangerous flying object. Make your landscaping more hurricane resistant.
Prune or trim trees that have the following signs:
Cracks in the trunk of major limbs
Trees that look one-sided or lean significantly
Branches hanging over the house or near the roof
Limbs in contact with power lines
Mushrooms growing from the bark signaling decay
Insect infestations
Replace landscaping materials. Rock and gravel landscaping can easily go from pretty to projectile in a high wind event. Replace it with fire-treated shredded bark to reduce the risk for damage. 
 
Soffits – Keep water out of the attic
 
Properly installed soffits keep water out of your house, and Hurricane Dorian will bring plenty. Properly installed soffits should stay in place in most high wind events, so take an afternoon to make sure yours will stand up to the hurricane.
Caulk the bottom of the trim piece at the interface between the soffit and wall. The caulk improves the connection of the trim to the house and helps prevent the trim piece from rotating.
To hold the soffit panels in place, squirt a marble-sized dab of sealant into the V-shaped hole formed by the intersection of the soffit panels. The marble-sized dab must have good adhesive contact with both the soffit panels and the trim.
 
Sandbags - Protect Your Home from Flood
 
Sandbags can redirect stormwater and debris flow away from homes and other structures if they are properly filled, placed, and maintained. Remember to follow these steps so they do not fail to protect your home.
Fill sandbags one-half full.
Use sand if readily available, otherwise, use local soil.
Fold the top of sandbag down and rest bag on its folded top.
Take care in stacking sandbags by limiting placement to three layers unless a building is used as a backing or sandbags are placed in a pyramid.
Tamp each sandbag into place, completing each layer prior to starting the next layer.
Clear a path between buildings for debris flow.
Lay a plastic sheet in between the building and the bags to control the flow and prevent water from seeping through openings like sliding glass doors.
Sandbags will not seal out water.
Sandbags deteriorate when exposed to continued wetting and drying for several months. If bags are placed too early, they may not be effective when needed.
Sandbags are for small water flow protection – up to two feet. Protection from larger flow requires a more permanent flood prevention system.
Wet sandbags are very heavy, and caution should be used to avoid injury.
NOTE: Consult your local environmental protection department before disposing of used sandbags. Sandbags exposed to contaminated floodwaters may pose an environmental hazard and require special handling.
 
Prepare Your Home for Power Outage
 
Whether a power outage in your home is caused by grid failure or severe weather, you can take the following steps to prepare and respond.
 
If you have space in your refrigerator or freezer, consider filling plastic containers with water, leaving about an inch of space inside each one (water expands as it freezes so it is important to leave room in the container for the expanded water). Place the containers in the refrigerator and freezer. This chilled or frozen water will help keep food cold if the power goes out by displacing air that can warm up quickly with water or ice that keeps cold for several hours without additional refrigeration.
If you use a computer, keep files and operating systems backed up regularly. Consider buying extra batteries and a power converter if you use a laptop computer. A power converter allows most laptops (12 volts or less) to be operated from the cigarette lighter of a vehicle. Also, turn off all computers, monitors, printers, copiers, scanners and other devices when they're not being used. That way, if the power goes out, this equipment will have already been safely shut down.
Get a high-quality surge protector for all of your computer equipment. Purchase and install an uninterruptable power supply (UPS). Consult with your local computer equipment dealer about available equipment and costs.
If you have an electric garage door opener, find out where the manual release lever is located and learn how to operate it. Sometimes garage doors can be heavy so get help to lift it. If you regularly use the garage as the primary means of entering your home upon return from work, be sure to keep a key to your house with you in case the garage door will not open.
If you have a telephone at home or at work that requires electricity to work (such as a cordless phone or answering machine), plan for alternate communication, including having a cellular telephone.
Follow energy conservation measures to keep the use of electricity as low as possible which can help power companies avoid imposing rolling blackouts.

 
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