Since this week is hurricane preparedness week I figured it would be a good time for some Hurricane Tips. The season kicks off June 1st, but for the first time in 75+ years there have been two named storms already. The folks in Florida have seen over 6 inches of rain associated with Tropical Storm Beryl.
Pay attention to the weather forecast
The path of the storms can wiggle and change as they are steered by the wind currents. It has always amazed me how a storm that can do so much damage can be tossed around so easily. I remember one storm that actually backed up and came and hit the same area twice. They can change very easily and so you must pay attention to the updates as they come out to be sure you know the path,
3 to 4 days before the storm secure yard items
If it appears you are going to be in the storms path than you must go ahead and secure items around the yard. The last thing you want to have happen is your items become an airborne menace. You need to secure all your things in a storage building or in your house. The last thing you want to do is try putting it all away when the winds starts picking up. If you do not secure it good luck finding it.
Decide whether to evacuate or stay
This for a lot of people is an easy decision. Some will leave for any named storm, some will leave when it hits a certain strength, and then their are some that will never leave. I think it depends on your comfort level and your housing and responsibilities.
If leaving plan route and destination
If you decide to leave then figure out the best route and where you plan on staying. If you plan on staying with friends or family that will make it easier. If you are planning on staying at a hotel or shelter than be prepared to travel a good distance. You also need to figure out where the animals will stay if you leave.
If staying how to prepare for animals
If you are going to stay than you will need to figure out what to do with the animals. The livestock will need to be secured and make preparations for wet conditions.
Board windows before wind picks up
As hurricanes can spawn tornadoes and high winds than you can imagine that flying debris can do a number on windows. Plan on putting up plywood to cover the windows. An even better way and traditional is to build some hurricane shutters.
Have a Bug Out Bag ready
A bug out bag is something that should be packed at all times. Make sure yours is accessible and ready to be put to use. It should help you get through the first three days of the storm and afterwards.
Prepare for long term power outage and limited supplies
The effects of a storm can take power out for weeks at a time. Despite the efforts to replenish a widespread area and a JIT system will equal shortages for a long time for certain things.
Avoid flooding areas
One of the biggest killers in inland areas during a hurricane is from flooding. Folks if you get 6″+ of water in a 24 hour period be very cognizant of the water. It can be very deceptive how quick the water is flowing and the force it carries.
Clean up and getting life back to normal
Expect it to take several months to clean up and get things back to normal for moderate storm. I have seen some areas that still can be affected five years later. There will be a ton of trash to pick up and trees will be down that need to be cut up.
I hope these Hurricane tips will help you get ready for a storm. They are a good start to develop your own plan and list. If you live in a Hurricane prone area these will become routine. Please let me know your hurricane tips!