When there is a hurricane warning most people panic. However there are a number of things one can do beforehand. A hurricane warning means a hurricane with winds of 74mph or higher is expected to arrive within 36 hours. Everyone, including those living inland in central Florida as well as those living in the coastal areas, need to be prepared.
Hurricanes bring devastating losses with their forceful winds, and these losses include cars, homes, and lives. What can a homeowner do to ensure his or her home stays as safe as possible? In addition to tracking the hurricane through news updates, it’s a good idea to have a hurricane checklist handy. The checklist should include what to do inside and outside one’s home. Here is a hurricane checklist for Orlando, Florida homeowners.
1. Anything outside that can be picked up by the wind should be brought in. This includes bicycles, skateboards, lawn chairs and tables. Tree limbs that are down need to be removed from the ground. If there are dead branches on the trees make sure to trim them.
2. Close all windows in the house. Close the doors that lead to the outside. If the windows and doors don’t have hurricane shutters, board them up with plywood. This will protect anyone inside from flying glass, should the high winds break the windows. For those who wish to make temporary hurricane shutters, it’s best to do this before a warning is issued.
3. Move furniture away from the windows.
4. Turn up the refrigerator and freezer to the highest settings. Keep them closed as much as possible; this will help preserve the food in case of a power failure.
5. Have an evacuation plan ready if ordered to evacuate the area.
6. Keep important documents, such as insurance papers and identification documents in waterproof containers.
7. Have flashlights handy. Keep a supply of fresh batteries on hand.
8. Gather together some necessary medicines and if possible, have an extra supply handy.
9. A first aid kit should be prepared and ready.
10. Store ice in coolers. The tub of the washing machine will also work as storage for ice.
11. If evacuating, turn off gas, water and electricity.
12. Disconnect electrical appliances if evacuating to minimize chances of shock when power is restored.
13. If staying in the home, keep away from windows and doors. Seek the safest place in the house. An interior room, bathroom, or basement is best. The bathtub can be a good shelter, especially if one is covered with plywood.
14. Keep vehicles filled with gas, and if possible, keep them under covers.
15. As always, one should keep a three day supply of food and non-perishable food handy for each person in the house. If there is a baby, or a senior with special needs, make sure to have three days worth of supplies handy for them.
16. Keep a portable, battery operated radio handy, and do not go outside until ordered to do so, or until told the storm is over.
Being prepared has saved many lives, and as a homeowner, one can keep a house safe if precautions are taken.