ATLANTA — The effects of Hurricane Zeta are already being felt along the Gulf Coast, as the category 2 storm pushes ashore. Here in metro Atlanta, we can expect strong winds and rains overnight and Thursday as the remnants move through.
The time to prepare for the storm is now, though, before the weather threat arrives. Here are five things homeowners can still do now to keep their homes safe.
1. Replace batteries, charge phones
As soon as possible, you should test and replace batteries in flashlights and make sure all your cell phones and other electronics are fully charged. That way, if you do lose electricity, you’re not left in the dark. And if you usually use a bedside alarm clock, remember to set the alarm on your phone for the morning.
2. Clear leaves from drains
Clear out leaves from drains around your yard to prevent your yard and house from flooding. You’ll also want to blow or rake away other leaves nearby that could easily take their place.
3. Use downspout extenders
A disaster response expert 11Alive spoke to said one of the main reasons they get calls after a storm is because of water leaking in around the base of the house.
One way to prevent that from happening is to buy downspout extenders for each of your gutters. It’s like an extendable plastic bag that connects to the opening of the downspouts and funnels water away from your house. You can find them at the hardware store for around $10.
4. Remove decorations and signs
Although Halloween is around the corner, Zeta is expected to bring wind gusts as strong as 50 mph, so you should take down any decorations that could fly away.
The same goes for sports equipment, outdoor furniture and any signs you have in your yard. Winds and metal stakes are a dangerous combination.
5. Move to safer part of house
While it could be too late to call an arborist or tree cutting service, if you are concerned about a branch or tree near your house, you should move your family to another part of the house to ride out the storm.