For some of us, hurricanes are one of the seasons of the year. We have winter, mud, spring, hurricane, summer, and fall. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November, with the peak of activity being from mid-August to late October. Hurricane season actually encompasses spring, summer and parts of fall.
Preparing for hurricanes can be an involved and multifaceted topic. Hurricanes affect so many different areas of our lives that thinking about damage minimization and preparation can seem overwhelming.
Hurricanes can pack a double punch. They bring with them severe high winds and a lot of rain. Picking up ocean water as they travel along and storing it until it makes landfall. Once the storm hits land, it starts to quickly dump all its water. This fast and furious rain fall has the potential for floods, flash floods, rock slides, and coastal erosion.
Strong winds is the other major part of a hurricanes double punch. With winds upwards of 119 mph these forceful storms can literally uproot and remove stationary objects, making them into flying projectiles. The wind combined with the driving rain makes visibility all but zero.
F.E.M.A. (Federal Emergency Management Association) has a printable hurricane preparedness list and tips on their website; click here.
Some of these steps and suggestions are:
- Subscribe to a weather alert service to stay as current as possible to any weather changes and alerts.
- Communicate with your family regarding you plan and prevention tips.
- Educate your family about all the dangers that a hurricane can pose.
- Know your area and all the possible flood threats and evacuation routes.
- Check your home for loose siding, shingles or trim boards and secure or replace any that may easily become detached during a storm.
- Check all window and doors to be sure that all latches, security locks and parts are working properly. Repair or replace any that need it.
- Consider building a ‘safe room’.
- Assemble an emergency storm kit/stash that includes such things as batteries, lamps, water, non-perishable food, medical supplies and anything else that you need to survive for three days if necessary.
- Be sure that your home’s roof is securely attached to the frame with steel anchoring ‘hurricane clips’.
- Trim trees and shrubs.
- Clean all gutters and water drainage systems.
When a storm is heading your way here are few tips to help ready your family,home and property:
- Protect windows and glass doors by covering with ⅝” thick plywood or exterior shutters.
- Make sure all family members are in communication with each other and wearing current I.D.’s.
- Fill vehicle’s gas tank.
- Follow and listen to all public service safety announcements.
Remember, that a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning are two distinctly different terms. A watch means that the onset of hurricane conditions is possible within 36 hours and warning means that the window of time has dropped down to 24 hours.
Hurricanes can be a scary and deadly force to reckon with. Help keep your family and property more safe by making and following a proper hurricane preparation plan.