Hurricane season generally begins June 1st and ends around November 30th. It’s imperative to get prepared for the potential high winds and dangerous weather, especially those states bordering the Atlantic Ocean. So how exactly do we get equipped for the most dangerous storms on Earth?
1. Pre-Season Preparation
Identify all evacuation routes. For the sake of your well-being and your family’s, it is always necessary to know evacuation routes in case of an emergency evacuation. On the flip side, you should also have a designated safety room. There is always the possibility of losing power during and after a storm. So this room should be equipped with the supplies mentioned below. You should also ensure that this room does not have windows as these may break and endanger someone.
- Supplies Needed
- Non-perishables (canned goods)
- Basic tool kit
- Plenty of water
- First-Aid kit
- Battery-powered weather tracker/radio
Make sure your home is ‘storm-proof’. When evaluating the strength of your home, look at the shutters, windows, and doors. These are areas where destruction is most common. Below is a list of tasks to do before a storm arrives.
Before the Storm
- Move any noticeable rocks that could cause exterior damage and broken windows
- Trim surrounding trees to avoid flying branches
- Install storm-proofing to exterior, such as storm-resistant shutters and windows (tempered glass is your best bet)
- If there are any openings, make sure they can be safely covered
Prepare for damages that could occur as a result of the storms and winds. It is important to keep inventory of your household items prior to hurricane season. Insurance is very useful in cases where damage occurs. Accurately evaluating how much insurance you need is vital to preparing for this scenario.
2. Put your plan in action
Make sure to keep updated by watching the weather channel and the news. Hurricanes can progress quickly, so it is important that you know how to apply pre-hurricane plans. But what’s the difference between a watch and a warning of a hurricane?
Watches vs. Warnings
- A hurricane watch is less severe as it implies there is a possibility of a hurricane within an area. These are generally issued 48 hours before such winds might affect the area. This still requires attention as weather patterns change frequently. Despite it being a ‘watch’ you still want to be prepared as if it were a hurricane.
- A hurricane warning is more serious as it means a hurricane conditions are expected. A warning is generally issued 36 hours before the winds are expected to affect the area. This means you should take immediate action to prepare for hurricane conditions.
3. Protect your business
Create an emergency plan for the business. Most businesses have a plan for weather emergencies. This plan should include how the business will respond to the emergency in order to keep the staff safe and to continue with the business during and after the weather emergency. If you’re an employee at the business, make sure you know the ins and outs of the emergency plan so that you’re not left out the loop.
Keep in contact with employees. It is always a good idea to have a contact list for all employees in order to update them on a course of action after a hurricane, as well as ensure their safety.
Assess the damage as soon as it is safe to leave your safe place. You want to make sure to take note of all issues as soon as you’re able to. If there is any damage, it is best to use the inventory list (as mentioned under “Pre-Season Preparation”) in order to accurately account for all property. Insurance will generally only cover property that can be shown to have existed and be damaged or missing.
You may want to get your supplies and equipment sooner rather than later because stores can get packed and run out of items as soon as the possibility of a hurricane is mentioned. In Florida, the governor has authorized a tax-free week where you can purchase supplies that are exempt from taxes. View a list of the qualified items here. Of course, our main concern is your safety and well-being, so please get prepared before hurricane season begins. We will keep you updated if there is any reason our offices may close, and let you know of any valuable aid resources should the need arise.
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