Hurricane season lasts from June 1st to November 30th, bringing with it rain, wind and power outages. As hurricane season has already begun, it’s extremely important to know what steps to take to stay safe.
To make sure proper New Orleans hurricane preparation is followed, Surgi’s Heating and Air Conditioning has compiled a hurricane home safety guide. Continue reading to learn more about how to protect your AC unit and home, and how to prepare for a hurricane, should one come your way!
Protecting Your AC Unit From A Hurricane
What You Can Do Inside
Before a hurricane hits, pre-cool your home: set your thermostat lower than usual, close the curtains and blinds and shut the doors and windows. This will allow you to remain comfortable if the power goes out. To prevent any damage caused by lightning, turn off electricity to your AC unit. To prevent debris from getting stuck in the outdoor unit and burning the motor, shut off power to your AC, thermostat and circuit breaker.
What You Can Do Outside
Cover your outdoor unit with a tarp or plywood to protect it from flying debris, branches and trees that are blown around by high winds. Remove any covering when it’s safe to do so, as prolonged covering traps moisture inside the AC, leading to mold and mildew. If it is elevated, secure the outdoor condenser unit with hurricane straps to keep it in place. Get in touch with an HVAC professional for further protection if you live in an area that is at risk of flooding.
Before turning your system back on, check for any damage caused by the storm. If your system is damaged, turning it on can worsen the problem. Only turn on the unit when it’s safe to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
Protecting Your Home From A Hurricane
Similar to AC units, proper hurricane prep is needed to ensure your home is ready for any storm. Brace your garage door to prevent any heavy winds from breaking it down and ripping off your roof. Secure or bring in loose objects and furniture, remove dead limbs or overhanging trees and de-clutter drains and gutters. To protect your home from broken glass and flying debris, lock all doors and windows.
During severe storms, electrical surges can severely damage kitchen appliances and home entertainment systems. Prevent this by unplugging appliances or investing in a surge protector. Minimize flood damage by moving your car to higher ground and valuables off the floor.
Make sure you have flood insurance and an updated home inventory to make future property claims easier. For window AC units or portable air conditioners, remove the units and ducts and seal any openings with discharge ducts that exhaust outside.
Hurricane Safety and Preparation
Once a hurricane makes landfall, both inland and outland areas are at risk of damage. Make sure your insurance policies and personal documents are up to date, make copies and keep them in a secure, password-protected digital space. Sign up to receive alerts from the FEMA app, the National Weather Service, Emergency Alert Systems or Wireless Energy Alert.
If you’re in the path of a hurricane, stay informed on evacuation orders, learn the evacuation routes and identify where you will take shelter. It’s important to remember to keep your cellphone charged, and make sure everyone under your roof knows and understands the evacuation plan.
Stock Up On The Storm Essentials
Having the proper hurricane essentials is just as important as the plan. A basic list of things you should have on hand are:
- First aid kits, medical supplies and pet care items
- A vehicle with a full gas tank
- On-hand cash if banks and ATMs become unavailable
- Medical alert tags or bracelets identifying disabilities
- Sturdy, waterproof clothing and shoes
- Cooking and eating utensils
- Non-perishable food (three-seven days’ worth)
- Water (three-seven days’ worth, roughly one gallon of water per person per day)
- A radio, flashlight and batteries
- Waterproof containers for storing important documents
Stay Prepared, New Orleans!
Knowing how to prepare for severe weather is essential for all homeowners, no matter where they live. If you’re in the path of a hurricane, pay careful attention to the news and make sure your house, supplies and plans are ready.
To make sure your HVAC unit can withstand the next hurricane, contact our team at Surgi’s Heating and Air Conditioning today!