For the last few years, we residents of South Florida have waved goodbye to Hurricane season after season with little more than a few thunderstorms as evidence of Mother Nature's violent temper. Those that were here during the summers of 2004 and 2005 have very different memories, with Charley, Ivan, Frances, Jeanne, Dennis and Wilma all wreaking havoc on the sunshine state. At some point our luck will run out, and as much as we all hope it won't be this year, being prepared for the worst is always a good idea. Seeing as today marks the official start of the 2016 Hurricane Season, this blog will provide some tips to staying safe and coping with the aftermath should a named storm hit.
Know if you live in an evacuation area. Assess your risks and know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind. Understand National Weather Service forecast products and especially the meaning of NWS watches and warnings.
Everyone needs to be prepared for the unexpected. Your friends and family may not be together when disaster strikes. How will you find each other? Will you know if your children or parents are safe? You may have to evacuate or be confined to your home. What will you do if water, gas, electricity or phone services are shut off?
Review the FEMA Evacuation Guidelines to allow for enough time to pack and inform friends and family if you need to leave your home. FOLLOW instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately if ordered!
Consider your protection options to decide whether to stay or evacuate your home if you are not ordered to evacuate.
When waiting out a storm be careful, the danger may not be over yet...
Be alert for:
Tornadoes – they are often spawned by hurricanes.
The calm "eye" of the storm – it may seem like the storm is over, but after the eye passes, the winds will change direction and quickly return to hurricane force.
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