Living in an area prone to hurricanes, such as the state of Florida, means being on a constant lookout for a potential storm during an entire summer. These hurricanes can seriously damage your material belongings, your business, as well as the health of your loved ones.
According to the Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale hurricanes can vary from Category 1 with 74 mph winds to Category 5 with 175 mph and above wind strikes. The worst hurricanes that occurred in Florida were Category 3 or stronger.
Luckily, owing to the extreme weather tracking systems we can know if a hurricane is expected up to a week in advance. It is usually announced through media as a Hurricane Watch if the hurricane is expected in your area within 36 hours or Hurricane Warning if the extreme winds are expected within 24 hours.
Either way, you should have a disaster plan for the safety of your business, your family as well as your pets.
Protect Your Interior With Strong Impact Windows
Of course, if the storm is severe and the wind speed is too strong, there is very little you can do except finding the nearest shelter. It is never advised being in a room with windows during a hurricane.
However, in the case of weaker storms, you can protect yourself and your interior by installing impact-resistant windows that are able to sustain certain wind impacts and some flying debris. Windows and doors made out of cheaper materials are especially vulnerable even to the weakest of hurricanes. Make sure all of your windows are closed during the storm to keep the water out of the interior as much as possible since it can cause the spread of bacteria and diseases.
Prepare a Disaster Supplies Kit
It is important to have a disaster supplies kit in your home and your car that can last you for at least three days. Make sure your car is filled with gasoline, too, and that you have cash on you since a lot of banks and ATMs may be closed or out of order in times like these. Disaster packages should include canned food, bottled water, first-aid kit, protective clothing as well as radio receivers, batteries, some tools, and flashlights. Sometimes it isn’t safe to drink tap water after a hurricane so you should make sure you have enough water on you.
Evacuate from Mobile Homes and Flood Areas
When a hurricane strikes and emergency managers order an evacuation, then a local community shelter is the safest place to be. When evacuation is not obligated, you should avoid any type of mobile home or staying in the low lying areas prone to flooding. You might be a bit safer if your home is on the higher ground. Also, be on the lookout from the nearby levees and dams, as well as floods that can occur after the hurricane has passed and try to stay away from any still water altogether, even if you are in the car.
Make Sure Your Utilities Are Turned Off
In order to minimize the possible damage in your home or your business caused by utilities make sure to turn them off in the extreme weather especially before leaving the premises. This can reduce the number of malfunctions once the storm is over and protect you from any water and gas leakage or electricity shocks.
In Category 1 hurricanes, your home can be a good shelter as long as it is improved with requirements recommended by the state. However, if you don’t feel safe in your home, no matter how secure it is, make sure you know all the evacuation routes in your area and hideaway in the nearest hurricane shelter.