Safety – Hurricane Preparedness

Are you prepared for hurricane season? Hurricane season begins on June 1st and ends on November 30th. Some may believe hurricanes only affect people living along the coastal communities, however, they can cause damage hundreds of miles from the shore. It is imperative that we are prepared for the upcoming hurricane season for our business operations and homes. If we wait until a hurricane is on our doorstep it may be too late.

 

Take the time now to write down your hurricane plan, know who issues evacuation orders for your area, determine locations on where you will ride out the storm, and start to get your supplies now. It is also important to be familiar with the warning terms used for hurricanes, as well as your local community’s emergency plans, warning signals, and shelters.

 

Hurricane/Tropical Storm watches mean that a hurricane or tropical storm is possible in the specified area. Hurricane/Tropical Storm warnings mean that a hurricane or tropical storm is expected to reach the area, typically within 24 hours. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed. This scale estimates potential property damage. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage. Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous and require preparatory measures.

 

Category

Sustained Winds

Type of Damage Due to Hurricane Winds

1

§  74-95 mph

 

Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding, and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.

2

§  96-110 mph

 

Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.

3

111-129 mph

Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.

4

130-156 mph

Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

5

157 mph or higher

Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

 

 

Hurricane Preparation Tips

 

Get your family ready – Discuss hurricane evacuation plans and or plans to stay home and ride the storm out.

 

Evacuation

  • Fill your car’s gas tank, in case you decide to evacuate.
  • Grab your emergency supply kit and only take what you really need with you (cell phone, chargers, and medicines, identification like a passport or license, and cash).
  • Unplug your appliances. If you have time, turn off the gas, electricity, and water.
  • Follow the roads that emergency workers recommend even if there’s traffic. Other routes might be blocked or flooded. Never drive through flooded areas—cars and other vehicles can be swept away or may stall in just 6 inches of moving water.

Staying at Home

  • Get your home ready – Clear your yard so items can’t blow around, cover up windows, and ensure you have enough supplies to ride out the storm such as:

o             Batteries

o             Flashlights

o             Radio

o             Nonperishable food items

o             Medications

o             First aid kit

o             Water

  • Listen to your local news
  • Stay in the house and stay away from windows.
  • Keep some cash on hand, power may be out post – hurricane, and stores may only accept cash

Stay safe!