Hurricane Preparedness


Up North there are usually two seasons – Winter and Road Repair. Here in FL, we have two seasons as well Paradise and Hurricane. June 1st is the official start of Hurricane Season for us here in Paradise. This article will highlight some of the information about preparing your home and yourself should we have to deal with a hurricane this year.

 

An effective Hurricane Preparedness Plan should include the following areas:

  • Develop and Communicate a Family Plan (Don’t forget your Pet – they are family too)
  • Creating a Disaster Supply Kit
  • Having a Place to Go
  • Securing your Home

  Family Plan should include things like:

  • Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind. (These are the true dangers in a Hurricane).
  • Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.
  • Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet.
  • Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
  • Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate. Remember a lot of shelters will NOT take Pets.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
  • Check your insurance coverage - flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
  • Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a Disaster Supply Kit.
  • Use a NOAA weather radio. Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with your smoke detectors.
  • Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.

Your Disaster Supply Kit should contain at least:

  • Water - at least 1 gallon daily per person for 7 days
  • Food - at least enough for 7 days
  • (non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices, foods for infants or the elderly, snack foods, non-electric can opener, cooking tools / fuel,  paper plates / plastic utensils)
  • Blankets / Pillows, etc.
  • Clothing - seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes
  • First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs
  • Special Items - for babies and the elderly
  • Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes
  • Flashlight / Batteries
  • Radio - Battery operated and NOAA weather radio
  • Cash (with some small bills) - Banks and ATMs may not be open or available for extended periods
  • Keys
  • Toys, Books and Games
  • Important documents - in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag (insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.)
  • Tools - keep a set with you during the storm
  • Vehicle fuel tanks filled
  • Pet care items (proper identification / immunization records / medications, ample supply of food and water, a carrier or cage, muzzle and leash)

Securing your Home

RETROFITTING YOUR HOME

The most important precaution you can take to reduce damage to your home and property is to protect the areas where wind can enter. According to recent wind technology research, it's important to strengthen the exterior of your house so wind and debris do not tear large openings in it. You can do this by protecting and reinforcing these five critical areas: ROOF | STRAPS | SHUTTERS | DOORS | GARAGE DOORS

 

A great time to start securing - or retrofitting - your house is when you are making other improvements or adding an addition. Remember: building codes reflect the lessons experts have learned from past catastrophes. Contact the local building code official to find out what requirements are necessary for your home improvement projects.

 

FLOOD INSURANCE

The National Flood Insurance Program is a pre-disaster flood mitigation and insurance protection program designed to reduce the escalating cost of disasters. The National Flood Insurance Program makes federally backed flood insurance available to residents and business owners. Flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance. Do not make assumptions. Check your policy.

 

Above all – BE SAFE. Check the forecast often and know what is going on. Hurricanes don’t “sneak up on us” like a tornado does. Evacuate if you don’t feel safe. You are much more important that your home or possessions.

Links to additional information

  NOAA Links:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/disaster_prevention.shtml

NOAA Spanish:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/espanol/intro_espanol.shtml

Channel 13: http://www.cfnews13.com/

Red Cross: http://centralflorida.redcross.org/home.php

 

FL Division of Emergency Management:http://www.floridadisaster.org/

Health and Human Services Hurricane Prep:http://www.hhs.gov/news/facts/hurricane.html

 

Central FL Hurricane Info:  http://flhurricane.com/

NOAA Melbourne Forecast: http://www.srh.weather.gov/mlb/atlas.html

 

City of Melbourne:  http://www.melbourneflorida.org/

City of Palm Bayhttp://www.palmbayflorida.org/

Brevard County http://countygovt.brevard.fl.us/

State of FLhttp://www.myflorida.com/

 

Additional Website For Hurricane Information:

http://tradewindsheating.com/info/tropical-air-winds-and-rain-all-about-hurricanes