You must do all you can to protect yourself and your family from a hurricane when it threatens your town. It is important to prepare a hurricane checklist as quickly as possible and not to take it lightly. This could make the difference between getting through the storm safely and comfortably or being left without supplies or being stranded.
First, you should evacuate as soon as possible if there is a mandatory evacuation order in your area. In the hours before the storm, roads and highways leading to town will be jammed. Roads from Marco Island to Sarasota will fill up fast and choosing to leave sooner rather than later will affect how long you are stuck on the roads.
You can always choose to stay put and wait for the storm to pass, but make sure you have the supplies you need. After the initial strike, power and water might not be restored for several days or even weeks. Remember that gas stations and stores will run out of supplies quickly so stock up on supplies weeks in advance of a hurricane or even before it hits.
Make a hurricane checklist for supplies and fill it as soon as possible.
Whether you have to evacuate or choose to stay, it is important that you have a supply kit. Everyone will be flooding the stores and gas stations to grab all they can as soon as the news hits. You can reduce the stress and anxiety of an extremely chaotic situation by having your kit prepared ahead of time. These are some of the recommended items you should include in your hurricane checklist:
- Water that lasts at least three days
- Non-perishable food that can last for at least three days
- First-aid kit, including any prescription medication.
- Hygiene products and other sanitation items
- Battery operated radios
- Waterproof containers for cash and important documents
- Manual can opener
- Matches or lighter
- Books, magazines, and games for recreation
- Special needs items such as baby and pet supplies
- Ice and cooler packs
- Plan for evacuation or for separation of family members
Make sure you have plenty of fuel.
In hurricane-affected areas, gas stations can run out of fuel several days or even weeks before the first strike. It is important to make sure you have at least one full tank in your car during the days leading up. You can fill up additional containers if you have the option or plan to use one.
Generators should not be used in your garage, home, or near windows or doors. They emit carbon dioxide which can cause respiratory problems and lead to death.
Protect your home
Your home will be hit with damaging winds, storm surge, and flooding. Make sure you batten down the hatches, hire a professional if you are not familiar with boarding up your home.
- You can cover all windows with hurricane shutters, or with wood.
- Tape can be used to prevent the glass from breaking everywhere but it cannot stop the window from bursting.
- Secure clips or straps to fasten your roof to your home’s structure if possible.
- Clear gutters and trim all shrubs and trees.
- Reinforce your garage doors.
- All outdoor furniture, decorations, and garbage cans are welcome.
Learn the common meteorological terms used.
Understanding common terms used during hurricane forecasts is essential. Storm conditions can vary on the intensity, size, and even the angle at which the tropical cyclone approaches your area. It is vital you understand what the forecasters and news reporters are telling you. Some of the most common terms you will hear on the radio and news stations are:
- Tropical Storm Watch: Tropical storm conditions are possible in the area.
- Tropical Storm Warning: Tropical storm conditions are expected in the area.
- Hurricane Watch: Hurricane conditions are possible in the area. Watches are issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
- Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions are expected in the area.
Warnings are issued 36 hours in advance of tropical-storm-force winds.
- Eye: Clear, sometimes well-defined center of the storm with calmer conditions.
- Eye Wall: Surrounding the eye, contains some of the most severe weather of the storm with the highest wind speed and largest precipitation.
- Storm Surge: An often underestimated and deadly result of ocean water swelling as a result of a landfalling storm, and quickly flooding coastal and sometimes areas further inland.
The Dean Mitchell Group is dedicated to providing quality remediation, construction, and emergency project management services to our customers. To reach our Naples office, click here or give us a call at (239) 572-9164.