Advances in Smart Home and Security Technologies Can Help Homeowners Prepare for Hurricane Season

--The Electronic Security Association and Alarm.org Offer Tips for Hurricane Preparedness--

Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 7 – 13, and June 1 will mark the official start of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Hurricanes are one of the most destructive weather events and public officials often call for mandatory evacuations.

Last year, Hurricane Matthew called for the evacuation of roughly 2 million people, but even under mandatory evacuation orders many people refused to leave their homes due, in part, to concerns about looting and vandalism.

As Hurricane Matthew made its way up the Atlantic coast, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley reported that roughly 65 percent of those living in a mandatory evacuation zone did not evacuate. In Florida, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office reported that close to 70 percent neglected to evacuate, while in Georgia about 100,000 residents of Tybee Island disregarded Governor Deal’s mandatory evacuation order.

However, concerns about home security are well justified. In Georgia, the Glynn County Sheriff’s Office reported multiple burglaries the morning after Hurricane Matthew hit St. Simons Island. This isn’t due to a lack of diligence on the part of public safety officials – their primary responsibility at the onset of a hurricane and in the aftermath is human life.

While many residents use Hurricane Preparedness Week to protect their homes and businesses from potential storm damage, they often overlook measures that can help manage the security of their home upon evacuation, such as innovative smart home technologies.  

For example, a security system can be set up to send instant alerts directly to your smartphone, so you can be notified the moment your security or smoke detectors are activated. Additionally, video surveillance cameras within your home can be programmed to send a live feed from the area in which the security alarm has been triggered. This real-time technology allows you – and first responders – to react quickly and stay up-to-date during emergency situations such as hurricanes.

If an evacuated home or business is being burglarized, a professionally-installed and monitored security system with video and audio surveillance can help verify the activity so that authorities can prioritize and respond accordingly.

Having integrated smart-home technologies that provide data to monitoring centers, digitally authorized home access and visuals in real-time is of increasing importance as home and business owners look for ways to improve their preparation and security.

Another often-overlooked technology that can be crucial in hurricane-prone areas is the ability to remotely monitor the relative humidity and temperature, as well as the status of the air conditioner. After a storm – if the AC was damaged – mold can grow and spread, causing significant issues, especially if it is a vacation home.

Additionally, a professionally-installed and monitored system can be connected to a back-up generator, so that it continues to function once electrical power is out. The system can be programmed to send a notification if the generator loses power. While a homeowner or business owner may not be able to immediately act upon this information – the knowledge of what steps need to be taken to quickly repair damages once the hurricane has passed is inherently valuable.

In the event of an emergency requiring evacuation, the most important consideration should be getting to a safe location. Fortunately, though, there is smart home technology to fit any budget and provide homeowners with some peace of mind during weather emergencies.

For more information about smart home security systems or to locate an ESA member in your area, visit Alarm.org.

For more tips about hurricane preparedness, visit the National Weather Service.

About the Electronic Security Association and Alarm.org

Alarm.org is an online resource for consumers and business owners interested in electronic security. The site includes information about choosing, installing and operating an electronic security system. Consumers will also find security facts, news and tips that are relevant and important to you. Alarm.org is powered by the Electronic Security Association (ESA), which is the largest professional trade association in the U.S. representing the electronic life safety, security and integrated systems industry. 
 
     
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