Written By: Erica Martin
Hurricane Irene recently passed through North Carolina, the state I live in. Though we were lucky enough to only get some wind and intermittent rain from the storm, some of my work at home friends may not have been so lucky. For those of you who live in areas that are prone to severe weather, here are some tips for staying safe during a storm.
Stay tuned to your local TV or radio stations for weather reports. Though they may not always be accurate, they can give you an idea of what’s coming, so you can prepare for the worst.
Make sure your computer and other peripherals are hooked up to a backup power source in case you do lose power while you’re working. Though they can be expensive depending on the type you choose, a battery backup can protect your computer from damage if you’ve got your computer on when the power goes out. It gives you a few extra minutes to save whatever you’re working on and shut your computer down.
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Make sure any important documents are secure. This includes documents like IRS records. A few ideas for keeping document safe are to either put them in a bank safe deposit box, or if you have a scanner, scan the documents into your computer and upload them to a site like Windows Live or Yahoo – both provide storage for documents you upload from your computer.
Make sure you board windows before the storm. This will give your windows extra strength to resist cracking and hopefully protect you from injury.
If you live in a house, nail down roof shingles or use some other kind of adhesive to keep them from blowing off. If your shingles aren’t the nail-down type, apply an extra dab of roofing cement under each tab.
Don’t go out in a storm unless you absolutely have to. However, if flooding is imminent, get to higher ground immediately.
Make sure you have enough supplies to last for a few days in case the power goes out. Things you should have on hand include water and non-perishable food items. If you’re without power for several days and are lucky enough to have a gas grill, you may also be able to use that to cook some perishable food items, such as chicken. Other supplies to have on hand include paper plates, plastic utensils, and a non-electric can opener. For a more complete list of items, check out this list from the NOAA.
I hope these tips provide some ideas for keeping your home and its contents safe. For those who were hit by Irene, I’d be interested to hear what precautions you took to protect your home.
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