South Florida is no stranger to hurricane season! Although the last nine years have been kind to us, especially compared to the onslaught we faced in 2004 and 2005, the fact remains that hurricanes are inevitable, and it only takes one storm to remind us of Mother Nature’s fury.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting that there will be a 70 percent likelihood of six to eleven named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which between three and six could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher) during the 2015 Hurricane Season. At most, two of those are expected to become major hurricanes, defined as Category 3, 4 or 5, characterized by winds of 111 mph or higher.
We hope that South Florida will be spared this season, as we were last year. However, it is imperative that we must always be prepared and remain attentive. Ultimately, it is up to each and every resident to be prepared for the possibility of a hurricane. Developing a hurricane plan ahead of time and stocking up on vital supplies is a must! This will go a long way toward helping you and your loved ones stay safe in the event of a storm.
Don’t wait until a hurricane is bearing down to make these important decisions. It will save you time, money, and worry too.
The following are good tips to include in your Hurricane Preparedness Checklist:
- Keep your car’s gas tank above half full through hurricane season.
- Test generators regulary to insure proper working order.
- Have cash on hand in case of power outages for year-round preparedness.
- Trim the trees and shrubs around your home.
- Tie down small or young trees to prevent uprooting.
- Clear loose and clogged downspouts and gutters.
- Put away all objects that are outside your home and might create a flying hazard in high winds, like barbeque grills, patio furniture, potted plants, etc.
- Perform an inventory of home contents (electronics, jewelry, appliances, clothing, etc.) and store in a safe place.
- Take detailed photographs and videos of home property and contents (internal and external) and store in a safe place.
- Store all important documents (insurance papers, etc) in a waterproof container in a secure location.
- Prepare an evacuation plan.
- Turn off propane tanks for outdoor grills.
- Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water for sanitary purposes (cleaning, flushing toilets, etc.)
- Stock potable drinking water ensuring a supply of up to three to five days for each individual in your home.
- Board up your windows or close storm shutters.
- Maintain a portable battery powered AM radio.
Above all, please make sure that you and your family are prepared for the 2015 hurricane season. Be ready, be set, and most of all, be safe!