With the hurricane season in full swing, now’s a good time to start stocking up on your home’s emergency supplies. Aside from the usual items such as food, water, batteries, and other essentials, poly tarps are another item you might want to make room for.
Short for polypropylene tarpaulin, this kind of tarp is made from a central weave of plastic strips bonded to sheets of the same material. The fabric is water-proof, tear resistant, and is normally used for covering vehicles and cargo. It’s a vital piece of equipment to have when your area is by frequented by hurricanes, providing a variety of uses after the disaster has passed.
The roof of a house is the part most exposed to a hurricane’s force, and thus it suffers the most damage. Once the hurricane has passed and everybody is safe and accounted for, the next thing you will need to do is to cover any damaged portions of the roof with a layer of poly tarps. This prevents it and other electronics such as TVs and computers from being damaged by any residual rainfall after the storm.
The tarps can also be used to cover windows and walls that were damaged by wind and debris. If your car has been hit by falling tree branches or rocks, it’s advisable to cover it up with a tarp to prevent its interior from being damaged by outside moisture.
Poly tarps can also be used as a temporary shelter if your house is too badly damaged to use, and for whatever reason you’re unable to travel to the closest designated evacuation points. In fact, some campers and hikers regularly use tarps as improvised tents due to their relatively low price, light weight, and durability.
To make a simple A-frame shelter, plant two large tree branches on the ground at least 3 to 4 feet high. Suspend a rope – any thick, sturdy rope will do – across them, and tie it taut. Once this is done, suspend any poly tarps you have over the rope, and anchor its grommets to the ground with rocks or any properly-sized tree branches.
Remember that using tarps to cover your home or as a shelter is strictly a temporary measure. If the weather gets really bad and the rains have started to endanger the lives of those around you, you will need to head to the closest evacuation center and wait until the weather improves and the roads have been cleared. Any damaged portions of your house should also be looked over by a professional builder as soon as possible to facilitate their proper repairs.
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