Capital Area Chapter Blog

American Red Cross

Don’t Lose Your Stuff When Hurricane Comes!

Remember extensive flooding of many streets and neighborhoods across Florida in Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005? Horrible emotions are intensified by the feelings of helplessness at the impact of this natural disaster.

Over recent years, hurricanes have struck many lives of Floridians. Proximate to the tropics and surrounded on three sides by warm water, Florida can be particularly vulnerable to hurricanes.

A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone or severe tropical storm that is accompanied by thunderstorms, and in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth’s surface. Parts of the Southwest United States experience heavy rains and floods each year from hurricanes. Hurricane season lasts from June to November, with the peak season from August to September.

Catastrophic damage to coastlines and several hundred miles inland can be caused by hurricanes. Hurricane hazards include storm surge which is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm. Additionally, hurricanes can create extensive damage from heavy rainfall which is known as instant flooding. Hurricanes can also produce tornadoes that add to the storm’s destructive power. Tornadoes are most likely to occur in the right-front quadrant of the hurricane. Flying debris from poorly constructed buildings and mobile homes also result from Hurricane-force high winds.

Click here to see a video of hurricane destruction.

Are You Ready for A Hurricane?

Preparing your home for a hurricane is vital. Make sure you take the following measures:

  • Know your surroundings.
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone.
  • Know community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground.
  • Make plans to secure your property.
  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • At the beginning of hurricane season (June), check your supplies, replace batteries and rotate your stock of food and water.

It’s rather simple to find information on how to prepare your home and how to evacuate for disaster. However, the best way to plan in advance is to keep your family safe by building an emergency kit and making a family communications plan. Flood insurance protection is also needed to financially protect your property or business from flood damage. To learn more about flooding risk and protection, please visit the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (NFIP) or call 1-800-427-2419.

What Do You Do During A Hurricane?

If a hurricane is likely to occur in your area, you should:

  • Listen to the radio or TV for information.
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
  • Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purpose such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
  • Keep your food safe during an emergency.
  • If you are directed by local authorities to evacuate. Be sure to follow their instructions. Read more about evacuating yourself and your family.

  How Do You React After A Hurricane?

Don’t take hurricanes lightly. By always preparing well beforehand and know how to react, we can save lives!

References for researching this article:

http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/

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One comment on “Don’t Lose Your Stuff When Hurricane Comes!

  1. My blog
    June 18, 2012

    Hurricanes terrify me! I’m thankful to God that I’ve never experienced one myself, but I’m glad that I will be prepared if that day ever comes. I think my city is more earthquake-prone than hurricane-prone, though, but I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.

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This entry was posted on February 2, 2012 by in Preparedness.

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