The Gilmer Mirror – Prepare your home and business for an active 2021 hurricane season

Prepare your home and business for an active 2021 hurricane season

The hurricane season officially began on June 1 and according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) initial outlook for 2021, we can anticipate an above normal Atlantic hurricane season with up to twenty named storms and up to ten hurricanes with as many as five reaching Category 3 or higher until the end of the season on November 30. BBB urges consumers to pay attention to weather warnings, take necessary safety precautions, and plan ahead to avoid potential scams following storms.

“It only takes a hurricane or a tropical storm to cause a disaster,” said Mechele Agbayani Mills, president and CEO of BBB serving east-central Texas. “And while our focus is largely on keeping our loved ones safe and reopening businesses, it’s also important to make sure our homes and businesses are weather-ready for what is expected to be a serious. hurricane season. ”

BBB recommends taking the following safety precautions to protect your home and other property in the event of a hurricane:

Keep all gutters and downspouts free of debris. Find a professional you can trust to help you by going to

Know where the water, gas and electricity cuts are in your home. You may need to turn them off quickly if a water line breaks during the storm, if you smell gas, or if the walls are torn and the wiring is exposed.

Create and maintain an inventory of your personal belongings. Use a camera to take photos or videos of the interior and exterior of your home as well as your property, including items stored on your property such as vehicles or lawn / farm equipment.

Make sure you have adequate insurance from a reputable agent / agency. Keep all of your insurance policies organized and in an easily accessible place. Talk to your insurance agent about the liabilities you may have, if any, if any of your personal items or trees cause damage to nearby homes or properties during a storm. Go to to find an agent or broker you can trust.

Create an emergency kit. Your emergency kit should include the following:

  • Enough food and pet food to last at least three (3) days

  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three (3) days

  • First aid kit / medication

  • Flashlight with extra batteries

  • Wrench or pliers to deactivate utilities if necessary

  • Mobile phone with battery charger, extra batteries

  • Portable radio with batteries and extra batteries

  • Non-electric can opener

  • Cash and credit cards

  • Important phone numbers

  • Appropriate footwear and clothing

  • Blankets, bedding or sleeping bags

  • Baby wipes or waterless antibacterial cleansers

Create an escape plan. Make sure your family knows the location of emergency shelters and designate a friend / family as a “Point of Contact” in case you become separated.

Secure the garage. Garage doors are often blown or vacuumed during hurricanes. Many garage door manufacturers sell reinforcement kits.

In case of bad weather:

  • Pay attention to evacuation advisories as well as flash flood alerts in your area.

  • Stay indoors at all times with all windows and doors closed.

  • In high winds, go to an indoor room on the lowest floor, such as a closet, hallway, or bathroom. Stay away from exterior walls, glazed areas, or areas with long span roofs like auditoriums and warehouses.

  • Wrap yourself in blankets and wear bike helmets to protect yourself from flying debris. Crate your pets in an indoor room.

  • Do not attempt to walk in water that is flowing more than the ankle, and do not allow children to play around streams, storm sewers, or other flooded areas.

  • If your home is prone to flooding, place sandbags or self-inflating flood barriers in front of doors.

  • Do not drive in flooded areas.

  • Remember to do your homework before choosing a company to do storm repairs by going to

For more tips on how to be an informed consumer, visit To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, call BBB at 903-581-5704 or report it through BBB ScamTracker.

About BBB: BBB is a non-profit, business-backed organization that sets and maintains high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB consumer services are free. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB company profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on matters affecting market confidence. Visit for more information. There are over 100 local and independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central East Texas, which was founded in 1985 and serves 19 counties.

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About Genevieve Swain

Genevieve Swain

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