June 1 began our 2014 hurricane season, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) publishes measures you and your family should take to protect yourself in the threat of a Hurricane. We have also put together a list of tips for protecting your home and air conditioning system from damage. Please note the importance of inspecting your outdoor unit after a storm to ensure that it is safe to operate.
The NOAA predicts the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season will produce 8-13 named storms, 3-6 hurricanes and 1-2 major hurricanes. Joe Nimmich, FEMA’s associate administrator for Response & Recovery warns, “It only takes one hurricane or tropical storm making landfall to have disastrous impacts on our communities.” Know your risk and create your family’s plan now to minimize the storm's impact on your family and your home.
Prepare Early. Create a family emergency plan. Where will you and your family go in case of an evacuation? Be sure to include your pets. The National Weather Service and American Red Cross have free resources to assist you.
Put Together a Supply Kit. Some basics that it should include one gallon of water per day per person, canned and boxed nonperishables, 7 day supply of medications, flashlights with extra batteries, a first-aid kit and weather radio. Visit www.ready.gov/hurricanes for additional guidance.
Ensure Your Sump Pump is Ready.
• Check for and remove any sediment buildup.
• Check your battery backup and make sure that everything is hooked up correctly and ready to go.
• If you don’t have a battery backup sump pump, a water-powered one is an excellent choice. It does not require electricity to operate, so it may be a better option to protect your home from a flooded basement in the case of an extended power outage.
Batten the Hatches and secure your outdoor air conditioning unit.
• Turn off your air conditioning system at the thermostat as well as the circuit breaker, in case of a power surge.
• Tighten the bolts that secure your outdoor unit to the base and use hurricane straps to secure your system and protect it from movement.
• Move loose objects indoors and be especially careful to remove any objects that could damage the system.
The Storm Has Passed.
Once the storm has passed it is especially important to inspect your outdoor unit for damage, including an impact, movement or shifting, flooding or saltwater damage. If you suspect damage, your air conditioner may be unsafe to operate. Call a licensed professional to inspect your system before you turn it on.