Just the mention of El Niño makes Irvine residents nervous, especially after last week’s spate of storms. While any disaster can mean substantial loss, being well prepared can reduce stress and minimize loss. Here are a few tips to prepare for the next storm, present by local Irvine real estate agents.
1. Check Insurance
Homeowners should check their insurance policies to be sure their coverage is adequate. Policies should cover flood damage and personal property damage. Take pictures of important documents and valuables in case of loss or damage.
2. Check the Home
Check the roof for leaks and the foundation for cracks. Clean leaves and debris from gutters and drainage areas, and cover any roof vents and air conditioners that might allow water into your home. You’ll also what to trim tree branches away from power lines and windows. Don’t forget to secure any outdoor furniture and cover the pool if your home in Irvine has one.
3. Pick Up Sandbags
The City of Irvine offers free sandbags you can fill yourself, as well as, prefilled sandbags to fortify the outside of your home against flood waters. Empty sandbags can be filled with beach sand and emptied at the beach after the rainy season is over.
4. Create an Emergency Kit
Put together an emergency kit with enough supplies for at least three days. Include at least one gallon of water per person per day, non-perishable food, medicines, and a change of clothes. A well-stocked first aid kit is essential in case of injuries. Basic supplies should also include a battery-operated radio, flashlight, batteries, first-aid kit, whistle, cell phone, and solar powered charger. Disposable toiletries and paper products are also needed.
5. Know Your Neighbors
Be aware of any neighbors living alone, as well as those with small children and pets that may need extra help. Be aware of what family members to contact in case of emergency and what medications these neighbors need.
Always have gas in your vehicle and know your evacuation routes. Keep critical documents and keepsakes accessible. Keep an extra emergency kit in your car with a change of clothes, extra shoes, first aid supplies, flares, blankets, flashlight, and batteries. Keep a tool kit handy and know where emergency shut-offs are for utilities. You never know when the next storm will arrive, so always be prepared.