Hurricane season is from June 1 to Nov. 30, but storms can happen any time the weather conditions are right. Anticipating the arrival of a hurricane or any severe storm strikes fear and anxiety in the people in its path for a good reason. Natural disasters significantly disrupt lives, creating physical and mental health problems and significant economic challenges. Preparation, however, can minimize storm damage if you live in a hurricane-prone area.
Reinforce these five critical areas: roof, straps, windows, doors, and garage doors. A cost-effective way to protect your windows is to cover them with plywood. Secure your rain gutters and clear the drains. Remember that water can likely enter your home through faulty spots in your roof, so you must give it a careful look and patch up any defective shingles or tiles. Inspecting the roof thoroughly becomes a crucial step to preventing damage to the inside of your home.
In some cases, a storm can also rip off the entire attic. Ensure that straps attach to your roof if you have attic space to avoid this catastrophe. Plenty of companies can attach roof straps to your home for a small fee.
Also, keep in mind that doors and windows are vulnerable because wind seepage can cause severe damage to your home. Therefore, to further secure the inside of your home, lock your doors and windows. You can also reseal each window if necessary. Look out for flooding, and downed power lines that may also require you to turn off your power, so become familiar with your circuit breaker and the electrical panel and be prepared to switch it off.
To prepare the inside of your home, follow these additional hurricane prep tips to help weather the storm:
- Charge your cell phone; before the storm hits.
- Use long-lasting LED lanterns and flashlights.
- Freeze ice blocks in plastic containers, which will keep the fridge colder and longer if you lose power. You can also drink that water later.
- Clean and fill bathtubs with water and use it to flush toilets and clean dishes.
- For a good supply of fresh drinking water, fill Ziploc bags three-quarters full of water and stack them standing upright in your freezer. Remember that doors and windows are a point of vulnerability because any wind seepage can cause serious damage inside your home. Therefore, to further secure the inside of your home, close and lock your doors and windows.
- Reseal each window if necessary. FEMA suggests turning your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and opening the doors only when necessary.
- Wedge sliding glass doors with a brace or broom handle to prevent them from being lifted from their tracks by strong wind vibrations.
- Discard, declutter and organize your garage; this will allow you to identify and repair any vulnerable spots before hurricane season.
- Garages that are temperature controlled are ideal places to store paperwork, childhood belongings, family heirlooms, and antiques.
- Have sandbags available in case of flooding.
- Move furniture to higher ground.
To find out if you live in an evacuation zone, go to: https://Floridadisaster.org/know
What to include in your Emergency evacuation Kit: https://youtu.be/pVEXDyKzQDw
Sandbags will be distributed at five locations: Barnett Park, Downey Park, Bithlo Community Park, West Orange Recreation, and Meadow Woods Park. The sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For Shelter information by County: https://www.floridadisaster.org/planprepare/shelters/