Hurricane Safety Tips Before, During and After the Storm

There are several television stations in Jacksonville, Florida that are excellent and keep you abreast of the dangers when hurricanes or tropical storms are threatening the North Florida area. However, my favorite station is WTLV 12. They have an awesome staff of meteorologists, headed by Tim Deegan. He recently went over some tips of what to do before, during an after a hurricane. I also did some research on my own to add to the list, as one can never be too prepared. So if you live in a hurricane or storm proned area, what should you do before, during, and after a storm to assure your safety and that of your families?

Before the Storm

The first thing to do, and what my own family has done already, is to survey the outside of your home. See what items might serve as guided missiles in a storm. If they are not needed, go ahead and put them up for the season. If they are needed, be sure and put them in the storage shed or garage when the storm is approaching.

Survey the outside of your house also for any shingles that might be loose. We found several boards that were missing a nail and were apt to come lose, so they were fixed. We also found a gutter that had come off the roof. All of these are important to have secured. Make sure all windows are secure and screens are in place.

Once the storm is approaching, be sure and fill the tub with water in case you lose water or have well water. Unplug all appliances and be sure to turn off all gas and electricity at main points. This is necessary only if you will be evacuating your home. Be sure that you have disaster supplies handy also, and that your supply list with batteries, flashlights, games, food, and medicine is handy. You never know when you might have to leave your home. Also have your important papers with you including insurance papers. During hurricane season, I have a suitcase packed with supplies ready to go. Also be sure that you have left your evacuation location with families and friends so they will know where you are during the storm.

During the Storm

Head advise of the authorities. Stay inside until the storm has passed. During the storm that hit our area three years ago, I noticed people going outside in the eye to survey things. You never know how long the eye will be, so stay inside. Listen to the radio or TV to stay tuned to what is happening, not only in regards to the weather, but to safety and evacuations. Also, don’t use candles. Candles are dangerous. Use flashlights or halogen lamps. Wind can blow over a candle and start a house fire easily.

After the Storm

If you have been evacuated, stay inside until you are told it is safe to go home. On the way home, watch for downed electrical wires. You might be the first to happen upon the downed wire. Don’t assume all that are done have been marked by authorities. Also be careful when driving to avoid debris that may liter the street.

When you arrive home, make sure your home is safe and not flooded. Record any damage before contacting your insurance agent. They will want to know what damage occurred. Make any temporary repairs that you can, such as putting sheets over broken windows or repairing holes in the roof. These not only keep you safe, but prevent further damage.

Hopefully, these hints will keep you safe if you should have to deal with a hurricane this season. I believe North Florida is one of the most prepared areas should a major hurricane come our way. I hope all communities are as prepared.

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