It’s the heart of hurricane season, which means named storms are typically lining up in the Caribbean and making their westward advance. As Floridians, we typically say, “Yeah, we know the drill.” Many of us will say “no biggie” or “hurricane party anyone?” and point to the fact that over the past 150 years only 35 major hurricanes have made landfall in the Sunshine State.
But just because a Donna or Irma or Andrew isn’t barreling down us, doesn’t mean that storm prep shouldn’t be in our DNA. After all since 2000, the number of tropical cyclones to hit Florida jumps to 80, with 33% of those storms landing in the month September.
Here’s a few reminders to have on your to-do list. Let’s not think of these as your last minute “uh-oh-here-comes-the-big-one” hurricane prep list though. And instead let’s make these part of the “life in the tropics things I should be thinking about.”
Yard Darts & Pool Chair Projectiles
Protect your home (and your neighbor’s home for that matter) as flying debris can damage roofing, siding, screened enclosures, and even outside air conditioning units.
Any loose object like chairs and even bicycles can become missiles, so have a stowage plan for movable items outside your home.
Annually inspect your fencing for any loose or damaged boards (check the stability of your mailbox as well).
Dead or decaying tree limbs become major problems. They’re much heavier than they look – a 10’ limb can easily crush a condensing unit.
Storm Surge, Supermarket Surge, & Power Surges
The flood of water, rush of anxiety, and fluctuation of power have varying degrees of impact during tropical
Storm Surge: If you’re in the direct path of a major storm, the rapidly rising waters are the most devastating aspects of hurricane. Sandbag where you can and move what important items you can to higher parts of your home. But most of all —Heed your official warnings and follow evacuation orders – stay safe people!
Supermarket Surge: This is the one where everyone waits to go buy their beer, chips, peanut butter, and bread. But it’s no party when you get to the store and there’s no water left. So, plan accordingly, make your lists, don’t forget your pets, and purchase your supplies early.
Power Surges: It’s often that the power goes out when leading edge winds start to hit. Don’t forget to have LED flashlights handy and a USB battery backup, there’s even solar powered versions available. You probably have surge protectors for your home computer and televisions but did you know they’re available for large appliances like air conditioning equipment. Check with your electrician for home energy options.
Let’s do “damage control” before it has a chance of happening – a little preventative maintenance goes a long way.