Hurricane Season Preparedness
Hurricane Season runs June 1st, through November 30th, and we want to keep you up to date with whatever comes our way. Hurricanes can produce widespread torrential rains. Floods are the deadly and destructive result. Slow moving storms and tropical storms moving into mountainous regions tend to produce especially heavy rain. Excessive rain can trigger landslides or mud slides, especially in mountainous regions. Flash flooding can occur due to intense rainfall. Flooding on rivers and streams may persist for several days or more after the storm.
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Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
Sustained winds of 74-95 mph; no significant structural damage; coastal flooding; widespread power outages.
Sustained winds of 96-110 mph; considerable damage on poor construction; power outages, loss of potable water very likely for days.
Sustained winds of 111-130 mph; destruction of homes and building without a solid foundation; power loss for weeks.
Sustained winds of 131-155 mph; heavy, irreparable damage, power loss for weeks.
Sustained winds of more than 156 mph; complete roof failure on majority of buildings; evacuations required; very few buildings stay intact; power and water loss possible for months.
Hurricane Readiness Kit
Your home should be stocked with supplies that may be needed during the hurricane emergency period. The CDC recommends that at a minimum, these supplies should include:
- At least a 3-day and preferably a 7-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day)
- Non-perishable food
- Water purification (iodine tablets or chlorine bleach)
- Formula, diapers, and other baby supplies
- Manual can opener
- First aid kit
- Prescription and non-prescription medicines
- Toiletries (toothbrush/paste, soap, feminine products)
- Hand sanitizer
- Cell phones and battery-powered cell phone chargers
- Battery-powered radios and flashlights
- Plenty of batteries
- Extra cash
- Blankets, sleeping bags, books, and games (especially if evacuating)
- Gas up your vehicles and generators
Hurricane Terms Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a hurricane hazard:
Tropical Depression: An organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 38 MPH (33 knots) or less. Sustained winds are defined as one-minute average wind measured at about 33 ft (10 meters) above the surface.
Tropical Storm: An organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39-54MPH (34-47 knots).
Hurricane: An intense tropical weather system of strong thunderstorms with a well-defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74MPH (64 knots) or higher.
Storm Surge: A dome of water pushed onshore by hurricane and tropical storm winds. Storm surges can reach 25-28 feet above normal tide level.
Storm Tide: A combination of storm surge and the normal tide (i.e., a 15-foot storm surge combined with a 2-foot normal high tide over the mean sea level created a 17-foot storm tide).
Hurricane/Tropical Storm Watch: Hurricane/tropical storm conditions are possible in the specified area, usually within 36 hours. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Hurricane/Tropical Storm Warning: Hurricane/tropical storm conditions are expected in the specified area, usually within 24 hours.
Short Term Watches and Warnings: These warnings provide detailed information about specific hurricane threats, such as flash floods and tornadoes.
Before a Hurricane To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:
- Make plans to secure your property. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8 marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
- Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Determine how and where to secure your boat.
- Consider building a safe room.
During a Hurricane If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:
- Listen to the radio or TV for information.
- Secure your home, close storm shutters, and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
- Turn off propane tanks. Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
- Moor your boat if time permits.
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
- You should evacuate under the following conditions:
- If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
- If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure such shelters are particularly hazardous during hurricanes no matter how well fastened to the ground.
- If you live in a high-rise building, hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
- If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.
- If you feel you are in danger.
If you are unable to evacuate:
- Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
- Close all interior doors, secure and brace external doors.
- Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm - winds will pick up again.
- Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.
- Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.