By this point it is clear that Hurricane Irma will significantly affect Savannah, Tybee Island, and the surrounding areas in some way. By the end of today we will hopefully have a clearer understanding of exactly when and how significant this impact will be. We here at Seaport Real Estate encourage you to make a plan for Hurricane Irma, and take the necessary precautions to keep you, your family, and pets safe!
Below are some local resources and information regarding what you can do to prepare yourself for the upcoming storm.
Hurricane Irma Updates
The below websites are great resources for up to date information on Hurricane Irma. Get updates via text message from CEMA by texting FOLLOW CHATHAMEMA to 40404.
- Chatham County Emergency Management: www.ChathamEmergency.org / Twitter: @ChathamEMA
- National Hurricane Center: www.NHC.NOAA.gov / Twitter: @NWSNHC
- The Weather Channel Hurricane Tracker: https://weather.com/storms/hurricane-central/irma-2017/AL112017
- WTOC Local News: http://www.wtoc.com/
Windows & Doors
According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, it is important to close all interior doors, in addition to all windows and exterior doors in preparation for Hurricane Irma. High winds, such as those currently expected from Hurricane Irma, place homes under intense pressure. Wind entering the home through an open or broken window, can create strong upward pressure on the roof. Closing interior doors helps compartmentalize the pressure inside the home into smaller areas reducing the overall force on the roof structure, which gives the roof a better chance of staying intact.
- Close all interior doors, in addition to all windows and exterior doors
- If you have shutters on your home, make sure you have ample time to deploy them prior to the storm
- Check all doors, windows, and walls for openings where water can get in. Use silicone caulk to seal any cracks or holes, especially where cables and pipes enter the home
Prepare Outside Surroundings
- Secure any parts of a fence that appear weakened or loose
- Trim trees and shrubbery away from your home
- Remove all lawn furniture, potted plants, garden tools, and any other yard objects inside. Anchor heavier objects deep into the ground
Reduce Water Damage
- Place all appliances that are on the ground floor on masonry blocks or concrete
- Move furniture and electronic devices off the floor
- Roll up area rugs and remove from the floor to prevent mildew or mold
- Shut off electrical service at the main breaker if electrical system and outlets could possible be under water
An emergency kit can be used during hurricanes or other severe weather events, and should be be tailored to what’s likely to happen in your area and your family’s needs. Click here to get a list of what items to put in your emergency kit in preparation for Hurricane Irma.Every item should be listed in detail on a printed contents document. On the back, list important phone numbers such as relatives, insurance companies, police, fire, etc. Remember, store water and non-perishable food for you and your pets separately.
It is important to have an Evacuation Plan prior to when an Evacuation is called. Make sure you and your family know where you are headed if an evacuation is required. If you are evacuating, please make sure to tell someone outside of your party where you are going and what your plan is, and to also set up a meeting place in case your party gets separated. Citizens with functional medial needs should call the Chatham County Health Department at 912-691-7443 for help with evacuation plans and resources.
An Evacuation Order will be issued when local officials feel it may be in your best interest to evacuate the targeted area. An Evacuation Order is a general statement used to encourage residents to evacuate.
A Mandatory Evacuation Order is an executive directive requiring all residents, visitors, businesses and others in the target area to evacuate. Personal discretion is not an option.
In addition, Chatham County has constructed new evacuation zones to ensure an efficient exit for all communities that are in the target area. These zones are:
- Evacuation Zone A – Areas east of the Truman Parkway and Vernon River
- Evacuation Zone B – Areas west of the Truman Parkway, but east of Interstate 95
- Evacuation Zone C – Areas west of Interstate 95
These zones are clear boundaries that are already established in Chatham County. Residents are familiar with these landmarks and should be able to easily identify which zone they live and work in.
What to take when evacuating:
- Important documents including wills, insurance policies, contracts, birth certificates and citizenship information
- Critical computer files
- Passports, Social Security cards, military records, drivers license
- Bank account records
- Inventory and household goods
- Important photos / videos
- Medical and dental records
- Adoption papers and court orders
- Extra Clothing
- Pillows & blankets
- Hygiene supplies
- Feeding bowls, tagged collar, litter, medications, and four days worth of food and water for pets
Evacuees requiring public transportation can bring up to two hand-carry bags per person on public buses. Pets can be brought as well, and should have proof of current vaccinations. Find more information on this from CEMA at http://www.chathamemergency.org/.
Hopefully this impact of Hurricane Irma on Savannah will be minimal, but it never hurts to be prepared! Please contact us at Seaport Real Estate if you have any additional questions about preparing your home for Hurricane Irma.