Politicians, environmentalists, scientists, and the public argue whether the number of hurricanes and their intensity are on the rise because of factors related to global warming. As the arguments continue, a new hurricane season begins, and those living in affected areas no longer care about the reasons. The focus is on preparing for a hurricane or tropical cyclone and ensuring that property is safe. Regardless of whether someone purchased house and land packages in Brisbane, Australia, or live on an oceanfront property in sunny South Florida, the proximity to the ocean makes them a target for a tropical cyclone. Therefore, following the guidelines that experts in the field provide are key to reducing or avoiding property damage and preventing possible loss of life. Preparation, however, is a gradual process that involves different activities depending on the threat level.
What to do in the Meantime
Individuals should perform most of the preparations before a storm develops. The first task is to develop an evacuation plan. In many areas, evacuation orders will depend on the intensity of the storm. Obtain maps of the evacuation zones and know when you need to leave. Learn the routes and have a designated place where you will go in case local authorities issue the order. Remember, storm surge is the main cause of death associated with these weather events. Therefore, heed the orders if called upon. As you prepare the plan, keep in mind that you will need enough supplies to last several days. Do not wait until there is a warning to purchase critical items. Stock up on store necessities such as gasoline, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable foods, baby formula, and blankets. If the plan includes heading to a shelter, make sure to keep the supplies in a “ready-pack” bag. Also, make sure that friends and loved ones are aware of the plan and know how to contact you.
If you are not in a mandatory evacuation zone and plan to ride out the storms, follow the process of stocking up on supplies. After a storm, understand that it may be days until power is restored. Therefore, make sure to have enough supplies to last at least a week. Be sure to store enough water. The general recommended amount is one gallon per person per day. Prepare an interior room, preferably a closet or bathroom without any windows. This should be the safe place that you will use when the conditions outside deteriorate and where the emergency supplies will be stored. Also, before a storm hits, make sure to test the hurricane shutters or panels and ensure that they fit and are in good condition.
As a Storm Develops
The idea is to be ready before a storm develops. People that prepare before a storm only need to make minor adjustments when a tropical storm or hurricane warning is issued. While the storm is still a few days away, refill any prescription medication. As the storm approaches, make sure that all cars have a full tank of gas, fill up any empty containers, and take inventory of the supplies. If anything is missing, replace the items. Once watches are posted, begin preparing the property by installing the shutters, store items that can be blown away by the wind to the garage or a safe location, and activate the evacuation plan. Monitor the storm closely by tuning to local television or radio stations.
Storms cause a lot of stress. By preparing early, you will avoid long lines and possibly encountering situations where supermarkets and other providers run out of needed products. Do not wait until the last minute and remember that it is in everyone’s best interest to take all warning seriously. Also, when living near the ocean, hurricanes are a common threat. So, think about long-term solutions. Consider upgrading windows in the property to impact-resistant windows. Also, keep in mind that much of the damage associated with storms is caused by water and flooding. Therefore, part of the thinking of long-term solutions includes concrete raising and repair. Such modifications can significantly increase the value of the home. Furthermore, these investments will be minor considering that the threat of a hurricane repeats each year.