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Well, we have our first tropical depression forming off the coast of Africa… wait, what? It’s too early to be saying that, it’s not June yet. Hurricane season isn’t here already, is it?
The reality is while hurricane season is not here it is right around the corner. Let’s have a look at a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to your home and hurricane season. If there’s a storm approaching, in the immortal words of Douglas Adams, “Don’t Panic”. Rule number one is protecting yourself and your family first, material things can be replaced, you my faithful reader cannot.
Once we know what the plan is for remaining safe during the upcoming storm let’s have a look around the house to see what needs to be done before the storm hits.
You’ll need supplies:
- At least a gallon of water per person per day for 10 days
- Flashlights, battery operated radio or TV
- Batteries obviously
- At least 2 weeks’ worth of any medications you or your pets need
- Canned or dried foods
- Gas grille or propane operated cook top
- I recommend a backup generator
- At least 10 gallons of gas if you have a portable generator
If you have never gone through a storm before be prepared as you may not have electricity for as long as 3-4 weeks in the worst-case scenarios. I remember after Wilma in 2005 I personally didn’t see power back for 16 days and it was the worst 16 days ever. Sleeping with no air conditioning is zero fun. If you have been here for a major storm I’m sure you can relate. Okay, we have our supplies what about the house?
If you have impact windows you are not only smart, you’re lucky – no shutters or plywood for you. If not get the shutters put in place or head to your local home improvement store and get enough ¾” plywood to cover all the windows in your home if you can. Please be extra careful when putting up shutters or plywood, every time we have a major storm on the way our news always reports someone dying doing something in an unsafe manner.
Next, anything outside that is not tied down needs to come inside; potted plants, little sculptures, patio furniture… all these things make great missiles when the winds start gusting. The landscaping in your yard needs to be trimmed back as much as possible, especially the coconut palms if you have them. Coconuts can do some real damage at 100 mph. I know, nothing like stating the obvious.
Remember earlier I recommended a backup generator? Rule number one is NEVER, EVER run a generator in an enclosed space. If you do you are very likely going to die. Generators are machines that run just like the motor in your car. They give off carbon monoxide so remember, if you have the portable version they are for outside use only and need to be at least 20’ from any open doors or windows. Also please remember to check the oil levels in the generator before the storm gets close to ensure proper function. I also recommend starting it up to make sure no repairs are needed. In many cases we go years between hurricanes and the generators sit dormant.
While thinking about a hurricane is not a pleasant thought it is a reality. We need to be prepared. It’s not IF a hurricane is going to hit, the question is WHEN is a hurricane going to hit, and we have that chance with every storm that approaches.
Alright, I gotta scoot… I’ve got a dead AC unit in Kendall to attend to. Until next time friends, if you set out to fail and you succeed what have you actually done?
House Whisperer out!!