When you live in South Florida, it’s important that you know the difference between a hurricane warning and a hurricane watch. The media and organizations such as NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the NWS (National Weather Service) will issue hurricane warnings within 36 hours of a storm’s expected landfall. When a hurricane watch is issued, it’s usually 48 hours in advance. That’s when you should start preparing for the hurricane in the following manner.
First and foremost, secure your home – hurricanes are characterized by strong winds and potential flooding so start by securing your home first. This includes:
- Cut weak branches off trees and trim shrubs.
- If you have items in your front or back yards (garbage cans, landscaping décor, outdoor furniture, etc.) that strong winds can easily pick up, move them indoors or to an enclosed, protected area.
- Reinforce exterior doors and windows. This is where if you have impact windows and doors you don’t have to worry about reinforcements.
- Seal outdoor vents with caulk or a waterproof material.
- Secure rain gutters and roof.
Stock up on important supplies – make sure you have an evacuation plan prepared in case the authorities ask you to leave the area. The following supplies are critical:
- Basic tools
- Can opener
- Candles and matches
- First-aid kit
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- Food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated and has a long shelf life including baby food (if applicable) canned beans, canned fish and meat, rice, etc.
- Minimum 3 days of drinking water for each member of your family including yourself
- Personal hygiene items
Having a gas-powered generator can also be imperative if power outages are common during hurricane events in your area. Additionally, check the roof and other parts of the house for structural soundness. It is important to do all of these inspections before hurricane seasons start. This is the first month of this season so you still have time to get prepared.
Dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane or tropical storm – after the hurricane has passed, there could be a number of outdoor hazards so proceed with caution. Dangling power lines and loose tree branches are some of the more common hazards to watch for when venturing out after a storm. As an added precaution, never drink tap water until you’ve boiled it or the authorities ensure that it’s safe to drink.
These are just a few of the most important precautions to take when preparing for a severe storm event. For additional information regarding hurricane preparedness or to learn more about the benefits of impact doors and windows, contact V&V Windows at your earliest convenience.