The warm Florida climate means that many families can enjoy the great outdoors, visit relatives and friends and lazy days by the pool or ocean anytime of the year. While these are some of the highlights of living in Florida, the hot weather and proximity to the ocean is also a breeding ground for severe storms. Even though the stray afternoon shower or thunderstorm is unlikely to do any severe damage, severe storms, are a completely different situation. A severe storm can strike at any time and families need to be prepared. Strong winds and heavy rains have the capability to destroy homes, total cars, flood the streets and put people in the hospital. With this in mind, there are several important tips that everyone should be aware of to stay as safe as possible during a severe storm, such as a hurricane.
1. Make Sure To Purchase Non-Perishable Groceries
Whenever a severe storm hits the weather radar, it seems people’s first reaction is to rush to the store to stock up on milk and eggs. These are perishable items. Should a storm strike the area, the power might go out. When this happens, food and drinks in the refrigerator are likely going to spoil; however, families still need to have a steady supply of food and water. This is where non-perishable groceries are going to be essential. While bottled water is always a must, think about other non-perishable food items as well. This might include protein bars, canned foods and other snack items. These supplies will prevent families from going hungry as they wait for the power to be restored.
2. Invest in a Battery-Powered Radio for Important Information
If the electricity goes out, people are going to have trouble keeping up with what is going on in the outside world. Storm alerts, severe flood warnings and other important information will often be communicated over the airwaves. Without power, families are going to have to rely on a battery-powered radio to hear these important updates. Furthermore, it will be important to have spare batteries on hand just in case the radio drains the batteries in use. This radio will be important for tracking the storm’s location, potential disaster zones and hearing when it is safe to go outside.
3. Flashlights are Always a Necessity During a Storm
Everyone is going to need a source of light should the electricity go out. Flashlights are an inexpensive and convenient tool to fulfill this role. Particularly during the evening and night hours, flashlights are important for lighting the way, locating stairs, searching through the cabinets for food, drinks and other equipment, and for identifying hazards that might be present. These flashlights should also have their batteries checked regularly to make sure that they are present and working. Radios and flashlights often require different-sized batteries, so make sure that there are batteries in the home for both devices. Flashlights can also be used as a signal light if help is needed.
4. Protect the Shingles on the Roof
Many people neglect to prepare the roof in the event of a storm, and this could prove to be a crucial mistake. Severe storms that have strong winds can blow shingles right off of the roof, causing major damage to the home and sending flying projectiles down the street. In order to prevent this from happening, people should nail down any loose shingles to the roof to make sure that they still in place. In some cases, people might be able to add a little bit of roofing cement underneath the edges of each shingle. This will help hold the singles in place, preventing them from flying away. As always, whenever roofing work is being done, safety needs to come first. If you are unable to do this yourself, contact an able-bodied family member or friend or a professional.
5. Take Care of the Windows
The windows are often the first part of the home to be damaged in the event of a severe storm. If windows break apart and shatter, the glass can act as shrapnel, causing severe injuries. Therefore, every precaution needs to be taken. First, close up all of the shutters and try to board them up if possible. This will prevent the shutters from flying off. Next, take strong tape (such as duct tape) and use it to draw a long, sturdy “X” across the glass panes in a diagonal manner. This tape will provide a bit of extra resilience to the glass panels and might be able to prevent them from cracking and shattering. If possible, try to board up windows from the inside as well. The goal is to prevent the glass from flying through the home, particularly if people are sheltering in place.
6. Take a Look at the Trees and Identify Threats
Take some time to go outside and take a look at the trees. Try to identify the trees that might collapse and cause major damage to the home. This means looking for signs that the tree is tilting, dying or that the branches are close to breaking. If there are branches hanging over the home, try to cut them back so that they don’t threaten the house. If the tree looks unstable, it might be a good idea to completely remove the tree. Any tree that is hanging directly over the house is a significant threat in the event of a severe storm. A large tree branch can easily penetrate a home, potentially harming the people inside and damaging a lot of valuable furniture and equipment.
7. A First-Aid Kit is a Must for Every Family
It is crucial for everyone to have a first-aid kit at home in case someone gets hurt. Inside of this first-aid kit should be bandages of different sizes, alcohol swabs, Tylenol, Motrin, Neosporin and anything else that someone might need in the event of an injury. Other potential items include ace bandages, slings and splints (if there is someone comfortable creating a splint for an injured limb). People should know where this first-aid kit is located, how to use everything inside and ensure that the medications inside are not expired. If people are unsure of what to put inside of a first-aid kit, many local pharmacies sell first-aid kits that have already been put together. Try to store this in a location that is easy to access.
8. A Backup Generator is Helpful and Potentially Lifesaving
Should the power go out, it is helpful to have a backup generator ready to go. While a backup generator can help power essentials such as refrigerators, cooking equipment and lights, a backup generator can also be helpful for those who rely on medical equipment powered by electricity. In this event, a backup generator could also be lifesaving. Most of these backup generators run on fuel so it is important to make sure that the backup generator is fueled up and ready to go. In addition, try to keep a small gasoline canister filled up to keep the generator running. This gasoline canister should be stored far away from anything that might be flammable. A gas fire will only compound an already serious situation.
9. Know the Evacuation Route
While it is important to take steps to prepare a house for a potential severe storm, people should also heed any evacuation order that is issued. Of course, this evacuation route is only going to be helpful if people know how they are going to get out of town. Most storm-prone areas are going to have a well-marked evacuation route in the event of a hurricane. This is typically a blue sign with a white hurricane symbol in the center. Know every possible route out of the residential area because some roads could be blocked by downed trees. Then, try to get to the hurricane evacuation route and heed any warnings, issues or traffic directions issued by the local authorities. While it is tempting to shelter in place, all evacuation orders need to be obeyed. They are being issued for your safety.
The Cabana is the Place to Be During a Severe Storm
Every family needs to be prepared because disaster often strikes when people least expect it. If you are not as able bodied as you once were in your youth, or you are concerned about the safety of an older relative, you might be wondering how you are going to be ready for an impending storm. Fortunately, The Cabana is the place to be should a severe storm strike the Florida area. The Cabana is a sturdy concrete block structure, allowing it to withstand the winds and rain that come with even a major hurricane. Furthermore, if the power goes out, there is a backup generator in place that will keep the lights on, the water running, and any medical equipment powered. Finally, The Cabana has also been built on a high elevation on top of the dunes, allowing it to stay far away from the water should the streets start to flood. Trust The Cabana to keep family and friends safe in the event of a severe storm. It has been built with this goal in mind. Contact us to learn more today.