|Hurricane Helene 18 sept 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
By Mark Goldwich
“Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.” At least that’s the way that Mark Twain saw it. Here in Florida, as well as the Gulf Coast of the US at this time of year we do more than talk about the weather. We fret over it, since hurricane season is once more upon us. Beginning on June 1st and ending on November 30th, this six month time span is also known as the time when storm preparation can literally mean the difference between life and death. Anywhere in between there can be expected a number of “Named Storms” including those containing hurricane force winds of 74 mph or greater. While the current hurricane season has been quiet thus far, NOAA is predicting a dozen named storms with half of these growing to hurricane strength. It’s this sense of false security that lulls many people into being complacent when it comes to preparing for the worst. As we all remember from a late season hurricane that ravaged the Northeast in October 2012 named Sandy, when it comes to hurricane preparation, talk is cheap.
|Projected path of Tropical Storm Norman (2006). From NOAA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Below is a list of items that every homeowner needs to consider this hurricane season:
|Hurricane Preparedness Program @ Your Library (Photo credit: hcplebranch)|
|A hurricane evacuation route shield in New Orleans, Louisiana, after Hurricane Katrina (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Evacuation: In the event that discretion becomes the better part of valor and you decide to evacuate your neighborhood due to a major storm, make sure you not only know the best evacuation route, but also pack enough provisions to enable you to get to where you are going. Many times, highways turn into parking lots as the populace all try to get out of Dodge at once. When this happens, traffic snarls are inevitable and many times gasoline will be unavailable at any price. Bringing extra fuel along with food, water and even a tent is a good idea if you decide to evacuate. Also, make sure you have a battery powered radio with you so you can receive updates on the continuing crisis.
Communication: Once the power goes out so will most means of communications, including the Internet and cellphones. Unless you have a backup generator, this also means that your television will go dark as well. Make sure you have a battery powered radio on hand with a substantial supply of batteries.
|English: Orange, TX 9/28/05 -- Ice, food, and water are given to Rita victims at a distribution center coordinated by FEMA. Photo by:Liz Roll (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
|Burning brightly ~ hope for Haiti (Photo credit: EraPhernalia Vintage . . . (playin' hook-y ;o))|
|Sun Insurance Policy Receipt (Photo credit: Laineys Repertoire)|
Insurance: Once again, proving that the last shall be first and the first shall be last, it is vital to your ability to recover from a major weather event that your insurance policies are current, comprehensive, and at-hand before the lights go out and the wind and rain starts to assail your property.
In short, if you live in any part of the country that is vulnerable to storms or flooding, preparing for the worst can be one of the best things you can do to keep you and your family safe and help you weather the storm.