Weather Preparedness: Equipment and Hurricane Checklists
- Using a leaf blower, clear all leaves off your lawn so that you can apply the fourth fertilizer application to your lawn after the Labor Day holiday. Don't forget to use TruFuel to keep your leaf blower running at optimal performance.
- Apply selective herbicides to the turf again to remove unwanted weeds.
- Install fall annual color by mid September (remove summer annual flowers if replacing with fall color).
- Aerate the lawn (second time of the season) and over-seed lawn as needed.
- Shear/prune plants for the last time of the season—15th at the latest.
- Continue with regular lawn mowing through the month. As the temperature drops, lawn mowing height can be lowered to about 2.5". Don't forget to use TruFuel so that your equipment preforms when you need it to preform and lasts longer.
- Fall clean-up begins. Remove all leaf and plant debris (particularly diseased plant parts) from the garden and dispose them off site.
- Install mulch around tender perennials and plants that need extra insulation during the winter.
- Water landscape plants well until the landscape is frozen.
- Dig and store tender perennials, tubers and summer bulbs.
- Divide perennials, reduce unwanted plants in beds.
- Top dress perennial beds with composted soil.
- Prune back roses and cover roots flares/trunks with mulch.
- Touch up bed edges for clean look through the winter.
- Blow out irrigation systems, drain pipes.
- Install spring flowering bulbs by the end of the month.
- Spray anti-desiccant on plants, particularly broad leaved evergreens, that are exposed to the winter winds.
- Fertilize trees and shrubs using balanced fertilizer.
- Turn off water to exterior sources by October 15th.
- Drain and winterize water features (as necessary) by October 15th.
- Inspect outdoor lighting, replace bulbs if necessary.
- Reset automatic timers on outdoor lighting when Daylight Savings Time ends on November 3rd.
- Clean out ponds by removing leaves and debris. For fish, fall is the least stressful time of year to clean out your pond.
- Continue to cut the grass until it stops growing (after air temperatures are consistently below 50 degrees F). Use TruFuel to keep your lawn mowers engine clean and running at optimal performance.
- Install winter snow fences and/or winter burlap screening to protect plants from drying winds and salt damage from streets.
- Apply your fifth and last fertilizer application around the middle of the month or before Thanksgiving after air temperatures are below 50°F.
- Cut down perennial beds after several killing frosts, leave plants with winter interest.
- Clean up any remaining leaves on the landscape.
- Clean catch basins, window wells and other drainage on the landscape.
- Drain and put away hoses and other gardening equipment for the winter. Oil hand tools to keep lubricated and prevent rust.
Lawn Equipment Storage:
Don't forget to use TruFuel in your equipment before you put it away for the winter. TruFuel will keep your lawn equipment's engines clean over the long winter months. And because TruFuel is Ethanol free, it's delicate on your engine, which is important because Ethanol will begin to wear away the rubber and plastic parts inside your engine during those few months when it's in storage. Ethanol is also a powerful solvent and when separation occurs, it often degrades rubber fuel lines and plastic components causing unnecessary maintenance problems and reduced lifespan for your outdoor power equipment. Trufuel is different, it never separates. Learn more.
» What should I do? (click to show/hide)
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Check your disaster supplies and replace or restock as needed.
- Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
- Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
- Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
- Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
- Fill your car's gas tank.
- Talk with members of your household and create an evacuation plan. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
- Learn about your community's hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for your pets to be cared for.
- Evacuate if advised by authorities. Be careful to avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
- Because standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding, it's important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.
» What supplies do I need? (click to show/hide)
- Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
- Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAAWeather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- TruFuel for your back up generator
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact Information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of the area
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Rain gear
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Camera for photos of damage
» What do I do afterwards? (click to show/hide)
- Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
- Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
- If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
- Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
- Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
- Stay out of any building that has water around it.
- Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.
- Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.
- Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it's not contaminated.
- Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
- Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
- Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
- Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
*Source - RedCross.com - 2012
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