Storm PreparationWhen a storm approaches, the best protection is to be prepared.
As the old proverb says, “Prevention is better than cure”, hence we should always be prepared for the worst. If you are living in Florida, you should consider your self fortunate. We get sunshine all year round. However, like most things in life, there is a price to pay for all that beautiful weather. Storms can be a threat but with some good and common sense and good protection you can be better prepared and minimize damages from a storm.
What does a hurricane imply?
Hurricanes are tropical cyclones that are generated in the sea due to the pressure difference between two masses. This makes high velocity winds to enter the landmass and as a result properties are ripped apart. Hurricane storms are often accompanied by high whirl counter clockwise winds and thunder storms. The maximum damage is done by these when it sucks up debris all along its path and simultaneously it is flung. With some hurricanes, even trees and small vehicles get sucked up and then sent flying.
The four stages of hurricanes
Hurricanes form in four stages. The first stage is called the tropical disturbance stage. In this stage moist air from the ground rises and forms rain clouds.
The next stage is the formation of low pressure thunderstorm winds and is called the tropical depression stage.
If the above stage lasts longer topical storms begin to form with a speed averaging 38miles per hour. Here is when rough seas are generated.
If pressure differences still exist the circulation of winds fastens with speeds increasing to around 74 miles per hour. These storm clouds have a definitive eye and eye wall. This is what is known as a hurricane.
Learn more about hurricanes…
The Effects of Hurricanes
STORM SURGE – When hurricanes build in the middle of the sea, as they usually do, the water is pushed towards the shores. The high velocity winds with the extra pressure surges up waves and normal tides are converted into high ones. This pushing of tides towards the shores also rises up the water level and sometimes this may mount to even 15 feet.
INLAND FLOODING – With increase in the tides levels along the shore the sea enters the landmass up to long extents sometimes. This causes inland flooding. In the United States, this has been the reason of more than half of the deaths during the tropical cyclone season.
HIGH WINDS – Hurricane winds have been recorded to uproot big trees and destroy poorly constructed buildings. Road signs, roof materials, and other things left outside are sucked up by the wind and become missiles as they are flung as debris all along the way.
TORNADOES – high velocity hurricanes can produce tornados and this adds to the storm’s power. A tornado is more likely to get developed in the right frontal quad of the storm.
- HURRICANE WATCH – In tropical coasts like Florida, towers and instruments are built and installed respectively so that a developing hurricane can be identified and necessary steps may be taken. Any approaching hurricane is followed by disaster management techniques and giving you time to clear up possible debris and protect the property. Sometimes even evacuation is advised.
- HURRICANE WARNING – When hurricane winds at the speed of 74 miles an hour are expected to hit the coast within the next 24 hours, a hurricane warning is established. Once this warning is presented, the residents should put in place their protection measures.
Preparing your house
- No part of your housing structure should be loose such that it can be easily uprooted by the hurricane. Not only will this damage your property but the debris gathered increases the extent of damage by the hurricane.
- Look for shaky parts of your house. This may be the patio; the fences, the porches, etc. either secure them or remove them completely from their place.
- Buildings are blasted up by hurricanes due to the pressure difference that is created inside the house to that of the outer environment. Thus you need to completely secure your house such that no wind is able to enter.
- Install and secure your hurricane shutters such that the doors and windows are not ripped apart. If a house doesn’t have protected openings, there is a great danger of it being blown away.
- Check that you have your vehicles parked under proper protection in the leeward side of the wind such that it doesn’t get overturned.
- Remove all items that can be sucked up and cause damage. If there is a chance of any loose electric or gas connection check immediately.
- You may even take down the hanging pictures and décor down for the length of the storm. Make sure all the heavy items are strapped to the building in such a way that they don’t move and get damaged due to the pressure.
Supplies and Equipment
- You should have a stock of supplies ready for the next week to come. Refuel all your vehicles and make sure you have enough hard cash ready to sustain you for days. Also keep your identity proof ready with you such that you would be permitted to reenter your property in the event you have to evacuate.
Watch Weather Reports Closely
- Although the announcement and warning is made to get prepared for a hurricane, you should also take personal steps in monitoring weather reports closely. This will enable you to understand the dangers better and you would be better prepared.
Allow yourself enough time to be prepared instead of rushing at the last minute