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prepare for a hurricane

How Should You Prepare for a Hurricane in Advance?

1024 683 Ryan Johnson

It is never wise to wait until a hurricane watch or warning to prepare. In fact, you will compete with many other persons looking to do the best they can at the last minute. Though early forecasts are made of the hurricane season. There is still a level of uncertainty as to when a storm or hurricane will come and how destructive it will be. Here are some ways to prepare for a hurricane in advance:

Make a Preparedness Plan

Nothing beats a well-thought-out plan that guides your household should there be a hurricane or a tropical storm. Rather than making decisions based on panic, having a plan will guide the following as you prepare for a hurricane:

  1. Emergency supplies needed for your household
  2. Family and national emergency contacts in case you need to reach them
  3. Evacuation procedures: the nearest shelters should be located along with knowledge of shelter procedures (COVID-19 considerations), supplies needed at the shelter, and the best route to get there considering potential road damage

Talking with your children about hurricanes is also important in planning. They should have a general idea of what can happen during a hurricane and know their roles in the family plan.

Store Essential Supplies for your Family

Emergency supplies are critical because you never know how long you will be forced to live without essential utilities. Your supplies should be constantly updated should your needs change, and they should be kept in a safe place. In case evacuation is required, have a bag of core items ready, to keep your family safe and healthy. Here are some considerations for your emergency supplies:

  1. Water: one gallon per person for several days to cover both consumption and sanitation. Ensure that drinking water is stored in clean bottles and kept covered to avoid contamination. 
  2. Food: non-perishable items that are easy to prepare should be purchased. A 3-day supply in evacuation and a 2-week supply for the home is recommended
  3. A 7-day supply of medicine of both prescription and nonprescription medicines 
  4. A first aid kit
  5. Sanitation and personal hygiene items such as feminine items, moist towelettes, garbage bags
  6. Extra cash because ATM services are likely to be disrupted
  7. Extra fuel for the car and generators 
  8. A battery-operated radio and extra batteries for all battery-operated devices
  9. Chargers for all electronic devices
  10. Copies of important documents such as – prescriptions and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, passports, insurance policies. These should be stored in a waterproof area and can be in both physical and digital copies. 
  11. Multi-purpose tools, wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  12. A sleeping bag and/or warm blankets for each person
  13. Baby items: infant formula, diapers, bottles wipes
  14. Pet food and water
  15. Fire extinguisher
  16. Matches in a waterproof container
  17. Change of clothes and sturdy shoes should evacuation be required 

Your family should know where the emergency supplies are, and a similar kit should be built for employees stationed at your business during a hurricane.

Prepare your Property

Do not leave it to chance that your home or business is structurally sound, hurricane winds can be as strong as 157MPH thus taking anything in its path. Take the following precautions: 

 

  • Check on your insurance policies to understand your coverage
  • Trim trees around your property 
  • Inspect the condition of your roof and window shutters

 

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

What is the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale?

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Hurricane categories are rated by wind speed using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. This is hurricane-specific and does not factor in the impact of hazards like storm surges and rainfall flooding. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is an efficient measure of property damage caused by hurricane winds. 

Origin of the Scale

The scale was created in 1969 at the request of the World Meteorological Organization by two meteorologists, one of whom was a director of the National Hurricane Centre. The goal was to clearly classify hurricanes by wind speed, to determine potential population and infrastructure damage. The scale only applies to certain basins, one of which is the Atlantic and the wind speed is tested over a period of a minute using the scale to categorize a hurricane. 

Evolution of the Scale

Weather patterns have significantly shifted since 1969, and climate change is fueling the strong hurricanes and tropical storms being formed in the Atlantic. The 2005 hurricane season which saw the likes of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and Tropical Storm Ivan in Grenada was pivotal in raising questions about the classification system. Though there were suggestions to have a sixth category, minor changes were made by the NHC to categories 3, 4, and 5. 

Here is a breakdown of the hurricane scale from the National Hurricane Centre/ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Category Sustained Winds Type of Damage 
1 74-95 mph

64-82 kt

119-153 km/h

Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed homes could have damage to the roof and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.
2 96-110 mph

83-95 kt

154-177 km/h

Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.
3

(major)

111-129 mph

96-112 kt

178-208 km/h

Devastating damage will occur: Well-built homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.
4

(major)

130-156 mph

113-136 kt

209-251 km/h

Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months
5

(major) 

157 mph or higher

137 kt or higher

Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas

 

the ultimate guide to hurricane protection in the caribbean

The Ultimate Guide to Hurricane Preparedness in the Caribbean

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“Be Prepared”

Hurricane Preparedness is the central theme of the annual Atlantic Hurricane Season from June 1 to November 30. The Caribbean is one of the most hazard-prone regions in the world thus making preparedness extremely critical. When one thinks of hurricane preparedness, it’s often stocking up on food and securing windows just before a hurricane strikes.

However, as climate change continues to strengthen the intensity of hurricanes forming each year, hurricane preparedness is mandatory before the hurricane season even starts. In this guide, we delve into what it means to be holistically prepared for the hurricane season at each stage before a hurricane strikes. 

Familiarize yourself with your National Disaster Offices and Emergency Shelters

The National Disaster Office (NDO) in every island holds the responsibility of coordinating a multi-hazard response with respective authorities. National and Regional response is coordinated with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). Here are some offices within the islands:

  1. Antigua and Barbuda: National Office of Disaster Service 
  2. Barbados: Department of Emergency Management 
  3. British Virgin Islands: Department of Disaster Management 
  4. Dominica: Office of Disaster Management
  5. Grenada: National Disaster Management Agency 
  6. St. Lucia: National Emergency Management Organization
  7. St. Vincent and the Grenadines: National Emergency Management Organization

The NDO, Met Office, and Government Information Systems are usually the first points of credible information for activity in the Atlantic. Hurricane watches and warnings would be issued to the public, but they are often misunderstood:

A hurricane watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours. A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions (winds of 74 miles per hour or greater, or dangerously high water and rough seas) are expected in 24 hours or less (cdema.org) 

Persons residing in flood or disaster-prone areas must be aware of emergency shelters within the parish because evacuation may be necessary. 

Prepare a Checklist of Important Personal Items

When a country is impacted by a hurricane, the severity of the damage can result in the loss of buildings, utilities like water and telecommunications.

It is of utmost importance to ensure that you stock up on key items like food and toiletries. Here are some items to consider for your hurricane preparedness checklist:

  • Water: persons with families should have a gallon per person for at least three days for drinking and sanitation purposes. A water purification kit (tablets, bleach, chlorine (plain) and iodine) is also a good investment 
  • Food: a three-day to two-week supply of non perishable items should be stored in a cool place. A manual can opener is also essential
  • Baby formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for pets
  • Change of clothes with sturdy shoes
  • First aid kit, prescription medicine and non-prescription medicine like pain relievers
  • Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
  • A portable, battery powered radio to stay tuned for pending updates
  • Flashlight 
  • Extra batteries to power devices
  • Cell Phone with charger and extra batteries – ensure the phone is fully charged before impact
  • Toiletries including feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Handy items like wrenches, pliers, garbage bags and plastic ties should also be added to your kit
  • Plastic sheeting can be used as shelter and held in place with duct tape. A sleeping bag and blanket should also be added
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Cash or traveler’s checks – electronic systems for credit cards may fail after an impact. Having an emergency supply of cash is advised. 
  • Matches kept in a waterproof container
  • Masks, soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces

Preparing your family for a hurricane

Preparing families for hurricanes is a critical factor in keeping children safe. There are many steps that can be taken to ensure the entire family is adequately prepared for an incoming hurricane.

An emergency plan must be developed, whereby each person is briefed on what to do through the different phases of a hurricane. Turning off gas, electricity, and water is a role each family member should have, and children should be knowledgeable of emergency numbers to call should something happen to parents.

Families living in flood or disaster-prone areas should plan to go to a hurricane shelter, and ensure to have as many items on the checklist as possible to be self-sufficient. If the family is separated, a plan to get back together must be developed. Here are some ways to plan for children during a hurricane:

  • Pack essentials like raincoats, masks, sanitizers, and medicine, especially given COVID-19 is now a factor.
  • Essential items like books, games, handheld and toys should be packed to keep children occupied. 
  • Ensure all devices are fully charged.
  • If your child is special needs know which shelters are accessible.

Preparing your home for a hurricane

In addition to preparing the members of your family and securing mandatory items on your checklist, the home must be prepared effectively given that it will be your first choice of shelter. Here are some hurricane preparedness tips for preparing your home:

  • Check into your Home and Auto Insurance: it is essential to review the extent of your coverage within your existing insurance policy for both the home and vehicle before impact
  • Trim branches from trees: if there are trees on or around your property that can fall on your home, ensure to trim them before the hurricane arrives.
  • Important documents must be stored in waterproof containers, or pictures should be taken of the papers to store them within the cloud of your device
  • Turn the refrigerator to the coldest settings and only open when it is necessary
  • Bring outdoor furniture like chairs inside, or anchor them safely outside from the wind. 
  • Store drinking water in clean jugs or bottles to ensure they remain safe for consumption 
  • Fuel the car in case you have to evacuate your home before an impact comes.
  • Invest in solutions to protect your windows and doors from impact

Preparing your business for a hurricane

Businesses stand to lose valuable documentation and other assets from hurricane damage. It is important to develop a plan specifically for businesses that factors in staff and property value:

A written hurricane preparedness communication plan is advised, alongside employee training for implementation. Before this is written consider the following:

  • Include plans for protection of plants and equipment
  • Develop a staffing policy that identifies which employees, if any, must be on site during a hurricane. A predetermined timeline of when employees must be onsite is necessary should telecommunication services be lost. 
  • All phases of hurricane must be accounted for: pre-season, hurricane watch, hurricane warning and after the hurricane. 

After preparation of a written communication plan, there are steps to be taken before a hurricane approaches:

  • Compile an emergency list with the contact numbers, addresses, and emergency contacts of employees, especially those assigned to remain onsite during a hurricane
  • Review insurance policies to ensure contents, records, and office equipment are covered 
  • Take account of all vital documentation like customer records and accounts receivable files. Make additional copies of these documents, secure them in waterproof storage, and store them above ground level and away from windows and walls. If possible, take photos of the documents to store them in the cloud of a device, on an external hard drive, or on microfilm. If the business is located in a disaster-prone area, consider storing documents off-site.
  • Check into facility maintenance to prepare the physical building as much as possible. This includes: 
    • Patching the roof and/or windows.
    • Checking security and floodlights.
    • Securing lightweight items around the property or moving them indoors.
    • Identifying emergency power options such as a generator, which should be tested frequently leading up to hurricane season.
    • Verifying if computers are needed during a hurricane and if so ensuring a laptop or another device is fully charged as back up.

Ensuring that external communications are operational

Lastly, a hurricane preparedness checklist of supplies for the business should also be purchased, clearly labeled, and stored in a secure area that staff is aware of. The checklist includes:

  • A battery-operated radio or TV: test the building’s reception before the hurricane
  • A flashlight for each person working during the hurricane.
  • Extra batteries for both radio and flashlights.
  • First-Aid kit.
  • Emergency tool kit, if necessary.
  • Non perishable food items and water supplies for staff assigned to the facility during the hurricane. Be sure to include needed utensils.

Preparing livestock for a hurricane

Farming in the Caribbean is without a doubt a necessary form of survival for individuals and families. For those rearing animals, a hurricane preparedness plan of action is needed to secure them. Here are some tips for effective preparation:

  • Evacuate livestock before a hurricane comes. If they cannot be evacuated, find solid shelter preferably on high ground or near a tree for cover. 
  • Ensure that the shelter is equipped with feed and hay (safe from water and wind), water and veterinary supplies. Should an animal be injured, a first aid kit would be handy. 
  • Smaller animals like rabbits could be kept indoors, wooden pens can be built to keep the animals in the garage
  • Only check on livestock after a storm has passed for personal safety

Securing your home and business

Hurricanes can result in significant destruction to homes and businesses. While persons tend to cover their windows with plywood, it is always safer to invest in fixtures that have been tested to withstand the strong winds and rains.

Talius offers a wide range of affordable hurricane protection products worthy of investment before and during the hurricane season. Each product can be tailored to the style of your property, and the range of choices allows you to decide on the look you want without compromising functionality. 

Rollshutters

At Talius Caribbean, our security rollshutters are crafted from resilient, durable aluminum. They are strong, secure, and durable thus creating a solid barrier between projectile objects on the outside and the contents of your property. They are retractable and are available with either a manual or motorized operation to ensure smooth, and convenient use. 

Colonial Shutters

Colonial shutters combine a decorative appeal, durability and superior weather protection. Both interior and exterior colonial shutters are created with multiple panels, allowing them to be operated individually  They are built to code and comply with the toughest standards, making them an excellent choice for hurricane-prone areas. 

Bahama Shutters

Our Bahamas shutters are the perfect additions to any property and are fitted with added security features, giving customers the best hurricane protection. The shutters can be quickly closed and secured without lifting or tools, which is effective when the weather changes. They are made out of the highest quality materials to provide year-round protection from extreme weather conditions

Accordion Shutters 

Accordion shutters are a popular form of hurricane protection, ideal for sliding glass doors, balconies, and windows. The cost effective component has caused a greater demand on the market, alongside the ease of operation for customers. This makes them suitable for both the young and the elderly. Our shutters are permanently installed to provide reliable protection. 

Hurricane Fabric 

An alternative to shutters that is worthwhile is Hurricane Fabric. Fabric storm panels have many advantages over traditional plywood or metal storm shutters, including:

  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Can be put up and taken down quickly
  • May fold or roll up for easy storage
  • Translucent material allows light to illuminate home

They consist of a strong, lightweight layer of woven fabric that is coated with a geo-synthetic PVC material. This reinforced material can be used to cover windows and doors, providing a barrier from flying projectiles and wind-blown rain in the strongest of tropical storms.

Talius Storm Panels 

For persons not looking to have a shutter system permanently installed on their property, Storm Panels are the ideal alternative as they can be removed and conveniently stored after a storm has passed. Our Storm Panels offer quick and reliable installation either horizontally or vertically. They’re easy to handle, easy to store, extremely strong, and they allow natural light to fill your living space while storm winds rage outdoors. Storm panels are less expensive than rollshutters, while still meeting all code and insurance requirements.

Clearly SAFE Panels 

Clear hurricane shutters are increasingly popular because they can be left on for the entire hurricane season. Business owners capitalize on this solution because the business does not appear closed in the last hours before the storm strikes. Clearly SAFE Panels are made from polycarbonate that has been proven to withstand impacts from debris without shatter, rust, or corrosion.

Generac Standby Power Generators

Our range of standby power generators by Generac offers confidence in knowing that your regular routine doesn’t need to come to a stop because of a power outage caused by hurricanes and storms. Standby power generators automatically start when there is a loss of power. Because it is automatic, you don’t have to leave the safety of your home to go outside and manually start a generator, where you’d be putting yourself at risk for injury or even death. Generac is a world leader in the portable and standby power generators systems.

2019 hurricane season

100 Years Later: 1919 Vs 2019 Hurricane Season

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With the 2019 Hurricane Season firmly in the rearview mirror, we are tempted to look back at previous years and compare data, but normally we only tend to compare a span of a few years, hoping to see trends that may help us to better predict the coming Hurricane Seasons. But what significant changes might we see if we did a head to head comparison of this last hurricane season with its predecessor 100 years ago?

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Talius Hurricane Shutter

Are We in the Caribbean Hurricane Ready

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The Caribbean islands are incredibly beautiful vacation destinations. Luxurious resorts and wonderful local vibes make it a great place for residents and tourists alike. However, recent hurricanes with record-breaking wind speeds have caused significant damage to the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean.

Last year, hurricanes Maria and Irma wreaked havoc on the Caribbean island. Buildings and homes in Dominica were damaged beyond repair and the entire island’s annual agricultural production suffered a huge loss.

Barbuda’s entire population was evacuated to Antigua and other islands. Findings revealed by the World Bank suggest that Irma led to losses equivalent to 14% of GDP for Barbuda and Antigua, and around 200% of GDP for Dominica. The growing occurrence of hurricanes poses great risks to the security of 40 million people living in the region and the island’s economic development.

Development institutions and the World Bank were prompt to act and provided support to evaluate losses and damages. However, there is a great need to focus on preparing the Caribbean island and building infrastructure that resist the effects of natural disasters and that can be called hurricane ready.

Government authorities are striving to protect the island from the disastrous effects of climate change.  Building more resilient infrastructures will definitely prove to be more cost-effective than continually rebuilding weak structures which can be destroyed by hurricanes and storms.

The architecture of a hurricane-proof building or home must feature systems that sustain the effects of a hurricane. The elements that require the most attention are doors, windows and roofs.

Glass doors and windows are also vulnerable to flying objects. Homeowners can choose impact-resistant glass. However, this is an expensive solution. Another way to protect your home or building is to cover the glass with storm shutters.

People living in the Caribbean should also pay special attention to secure doors and window frames. Residents should also ensure that all lightweight roofs are securely fastened to the walls.

How to Stay Safe during a Hurricane?

The best course of action to be hurricane ready is prevention. Investing in robust and durable shutters is a great way to protect your family and house. Make sure you install good quality hurricane shutters around your house well before the hurricane season starts.

Moreover, every household or a commercial building in the Caribbean must be equipped with a backup generator that powers through an outage. Talius provides all the basic amenities you need to survive the fury and devastation of a storm or hurricane.

A reliable and robust Generac generator meets the power demands of businesses and consumers alike. The brand is committed to manufacturing innovative designs and machines that are environmentally friendly. The automatic version comes in handy when you can’t go outside to turn it on manually, especially during a hurricane.

At Talius, we offer premium products so everyone in the Caribbean can protect their houses and buildings.

Final Thoughts

Don’t forget to stock up on other emergency supplies including protective clothing, water, food, medications, flashlights, tools and other important accessories to stay safe during a hurricane in the Caribbean.

 

Hurricanes affecting children with trauma

How Hurricanes Impact Children and What You Can Do

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The impending arrival of a major storm or a hurricane can be a very stressful time for anyone, and children are not immune to this. In fact, it can probably be argued that children are perhaps the most susceptible to psychological trauma associated with natural disasters. Trauma occurs when there is sufficiently a scary or dangerous situation. Hurricanes and other major weather phenomena can provide lots of scary and dangerous situations for kids – especially with all of the sensational imagery out there on news channels and other media.

Adults understand the potential loss of property and potential harm or injury that can occur with the advent of a hurricane. Children have a basic understanding of these risks but the problem gets compounded when they are kept out of the loop, and instead of being part of the discussion they end up sometimes pushed to one side. Even if this is inadvertent, the damage is still done.

Though the trauma can affect a child before, during, and after the hurricane; it is the aftermath of the storm that parents or guardians need to be mindful of. Children are resilient but there can be outbursts or strong emotions that can be symptoms of the uncertainty that children feel especially if there has been widespread and life-altering damage. Parents should pay attention to changes in behavior like bedwetting for kids under 6, temper tantrums, changes in appetite in both directions, nightmares, difficulty sleeping, problems focusing, and a fear that a hurricane may happen again in the short term.

What Can You Do to Lessen the Trauma?

Here are a few suggestions for what you can do to lessen the trauma in the aftermath of a hurricane:

  • It may seem silly to some adults, but sometimes children can blame themselves for bad things happening. It is the duty of every parent to let their kids know that they are completely blameless and none of it was their fault.
  • Some children may have difficulty expressing negative emotions at this time. You should let your child know that all emotions are perfectly fine and understandable.
  • Young children may be clingy and might need to be around their parents on a continual basis (some may even need to sleep in the same bed for a while after). If possible, concessions should be made to make kids as comfortable as possible after the storm.
  • Set up a regular time each day to discuss your child’s feelings towards recent events surrounding the hurricane and its effects. Ideally, it should well before bedtime, and in a quiet place devoid of distractions.
  • Most importantly, you need to reassure children that they are safe and that the likelihood of another disaster happening again is low. Children crave a safe, structured environment and even if we, as parents, can’t always provide it, we should make all efforts to let our kids feel safe and secure.

All children aren’t the same and many can go through a hurricane and come out with no psychological trauma, but for those that do come out with some ill effects, we hope that this article will help you.

hurricanes stronger than typhoons

Hurricanes Stronger Than Typhoons For The First Time

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A remarkable thing has occurred regarding cyclones. For the first time in modern history, north Atlantic hurricanes were recorded as being stronger than south Pacific typhoons.

What’s the Difference Hurricanes and Typhoons?

Strictly speaking, cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons are all synonyms for the same thing. The difference stems from the location of the three systems. All of them are intense low-pressure systems, but hurricanes form in the North Atlantic, while typhoons form in the South Pacific Ocean. In the curious case of Hurricane Genevieve, this hurricane formed in the Atlantic and traveled all the way to the Pacific, where it crossed the international dateline and suddenly became Super Typhoon Genevieve.

Which is Stronger?

Generally, typhoons are traditionally stronger than hurricanes, but that dynamic has shifted with last year’s batch of tropical cyclones. Typhoons are usually stronger because of the warmer temperatures of the Pacific Ocean, but this too is changing because of climate change and the heavy reliance of man on fossil fuels.

The trend of hurricanes being on average stronger than typhoons isn’t expected to be a fluke of 2017 and is expected to continue for some years to come. As greenhouse gases continue to rise in concentration in our atmosphere so will hurricanes continue to gain in strength.

Coastal regions like Florida and many small islands like Dominica, the British and US Virgin Islands were devastated by hurricanes Irma and Maria, and many of these regions are still trying to pick up the pieces from these natural disasters.

What can be done?

The question of how to combat climate change is a big, many-layered question; and there is no single, magical answer that will make everything okay. We have spent a long time developing our infrastructure around the fossil fuel industry. However, what is agreed upon is that something to needs to happen. Suggestions, like cutting do2wn on your energy consumption and switching to solar energy or other renewable energy sources, is important, but so is making sure that you are adequately prepared for the hurricane regardless of how strong it is.

hurricane making landfall

How to be Hurricane Prepared on a Limited Budget

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When it comes to hurricane preparedness, there are many things that you can do on a limited budget. Structural additions like rollshutters may not always be a feasible solution for a low-income family – even with financing options available for such purchases.

When a hurricane approaches, households across many Caribbean islands tend to go on a mad scramble to get supplies for their homes and themselves. In this article, we’ll look into some things you can do for cheap to prepare for the storm.

Buy a Crank Radio

Crank Radios are like conventional radios in every way except for the power source. As the name may suggest, crank radios are powered by turning a crankshaft, which charges a battery in the radio.

Conversely, there are also solar powered radios on the market as well, but without a light source, these radios will stop working. It is important to get a radio that you’ve tested the speakers, reception, and the rechargeable battery. Radios are important to have so you’ll be kept informed as to what is going with the storm and if the all-clear has been given.

Stock Up on Sale Items

grocery items

A popular hurricane preparedness tip is to stock up on canned goods and other non-perishable foodstuffs. However, you can buy the items you need over time and wait for them to go on sale. Overall, sometimes you can save anywhere between 10% and 40 % on some grocery items, and upwards of 25% on other items.

Plywood Sheets Vs. Storm Panels

hurricane preparedness storm panels

Firstly, it should be stated that plywood sheets over your windows are simply not an effective method of protection. There is one way but that requires some special equipment, which for those on a budget usually isn’t possible for financial reasons.

Using masking tape or duct tape across your windows is equally not a good idea, because if they are impacted by flying debris, the window will still be broken but instead of shattering, larger pieces of glass will remain, which can cause serious injuries or even death to those inside the house.

If aluminum rollshutters, Bahama or colonial shutters are not options, then we recommend using storm panels. Storm panels are made from extremely durable polycarbonate and represent the least expensive option of the permanent shutter systems. Storm panels are removable, so they don’t alter the aesthetic of the property. The downside is that they often require assistance in putting them up and can take around 20 minutes per window or door. When not in use, storm panels require storage but can be stacked for efficiency in space.

Request Hurricane Preparedness Items as Gifts

With Christmas and birthdays coming every year, it makes sense to ask friends and family to offer some inexpensive items for hurricane preparedness as gifts. It might seem a little tacky but it will save you money in the long run.

rollshutters residential

How to Create a Hurricane Safe Room

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Many people don’t think about creating a safe room in their home for the advent of a hurricane. While circumstances can leave some with few choices or no choice but to take refuge in a local hurricane shelter and can give others valid reasons to stay. Anyone who lives in a low-lying area that could be flooded by torrential rain, high tides, and/or overflowing rivers, lakes, and streams created by a hurricane should do everything possible to find a way to evacuate when authorities recommend it. Drowning, after all, is the main cause of death during a hurricane.

That being said, a home that is outside of potential flood zones and that has been built with hurricane-resistant techniques and materials may be a safer alternative for some than evacuating. For example, evacuating can be a stressful experience for elderly parents or grandparents, or it may be important for a family member with health problems to remain near the health care providers who are familiar with his or her treatment and healthcare history. In such cases, building a hurricane safe room in your home adds an additional layer of reinforced protection.

Hurricane Protection Starts With Your Home’s Exterior

Hurricane resistant building techniques include the use of fasteners to anchor each part of your home to every other part of your home. The roof should be anchored to the walls and the walls should be anchored to the foundation to resist the uplift created as hurricane-force winds blow over the house. The walls should be anchored to each other to resist the horizontal force of the winds.

Standard practice for protecting homes and businesses before a hurricane is to board the windows up with plywood. If you plan to shelter in place in your home, though, rollshutters are a safer, stronger alternative. Rollshutters eliminate the worry that the plywood may sell out before you are able to purchase it. They eliminate the need to purchase new sheets of plywood each time a hurricane approaches, and the need to purchase and store sheets of plywood in advance to avoid paying exorbitantly high prices for it as a hurricane approaches. Rollshutters also eliminate the need to place more nail holes in the exterior of your home.

Choosing Your Safe Room

Your safe room should be a small, centrally located room on the first floor of your home. It should not be on an outside wall, and it should have solid walls and a solid ceiling with no windows or skylights. You should have as many walls as possible between you and the wind and any wind-borne objects, small and large. Because you will need to stay in your safe room for a number of hours and you may need space for sleeping, experts recommend that hurricane safe rooms should provide 10 square feet of floor space per person who will occupy the room.

If your proposed hurricane safe room does have windows, the ideal solution is to install high quality, long-lasting, aluminum hurricane shutters.

Constructing Your Safe Room

Line the walls of your safe room with two layers of 3/4″ (1.905 cm) plywood, one with the grain running vertically and one with the grain running horizontally. For added protection, you can line the interior side of the plywood with Kevlar® or 14-gauge steel. If you nail this protective shell to a frame of 2” x 4” (5.08 cm x 10.16 cm) boards with the Kevlar® or steel facing the frame instead of the walls of your room, you can create a room within a room that has walls and a ceiling that is independent of the walls and ceiling of your home. Anchor the ceiling of this independent safe room to its walls, anchor the walls to each other, and then anchor the entire independent safe room within a safe room to the foundation of your home. Apply drywall to the side of the frame of two-by-fours that faces the interior of your safe room, and finish it as you choose.

Because you may need to remain in your safe room for multiple hours as the hurricane passes, you should install a ventilation system that exchanges air with the interior of your home at a rate of between 5 ft3/m and 15 ft3/m (cubic feet per minute) per person who will occupy the room. You will need to create an opening for that.

Finally, replace the door and doorjamb of your safe room with a stronger one. Choose a steel doorjamb and strengthen the wood in the wall surrounding the door with steel angle iron.

Choose a heavy steel door or heavy, solid wood, exterior door to replace the lighter weight interior door. Choose a door with a 2-inch (5.08 cm) deadbolt lock, or replace the door’s lock with a 2-inch (5.08 cm) deadbolt. Mount the hinges so that the door opens inward so that it cannot be blocked by debris.

Before you begin installing the lock and door handle, strengthen the wood around them with either a brass or steel strike plate. You can choose either a keyless deadbolt or one that uses a key. Install the deadbolt so that it locks from inside the room. A deadbolt lock that uses a key might be the safer option if you have young children because they could lock themselves in a safe room with a keyless lock. If you choose a deadbolt that works with a key, have two keys on hand and keep them in two different locations in your home.

In Closing, creating a hurricane safe room in your home can be the most economical solution to defending against the high winds, and projectiles caused by hurricanes. Our superlative hurricane shutters are the first choice for your hurricane protection needs.

North Beach

How Do I Safeguard The Items I Need For The Aftermath Of A Hurricane

1024 683 Ryan Johnson

If you live in certain hurricane-prone areas, you always have to be ready for one. Many people stop at securing the home from the outside. Meanwhile, protecting your belongings that are inside is just as important. Whether you leave your house to wait for the hurricane to subside or stay inside, these tips can help you weather the storm with minimal damages.

  1. Protect Important Documents

important documents

When hurricane season comes, you have to get all of your important documents together in one place. Once the hurricane is underway, pack all the documents into a brightly colored Ziploc bag. Be realistic about what you can carry with you if you need to leave. Don’t pack any unnecessary things that can make your load too heavy. All the secondary documents should be packed in a waterproof bag and left at home.

Don’t forget to pack:

  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Stock certificates
  • Bank information
  • Insurance policy

 

  1. Use Rollshutters

rollshutters hurricane protection

If you haven’t installed rollshutters yet, prior to the hurricane season is the time to do so. Rolling shutters can protect your doors and windows from the strong winds. Once the hurricane gets inside your home, it can wreak havoc. While you can protect some of the belongings, most of them are bound to be ruined. That is why protecting the weak spots in your home, such as windows, is vital.

Rolling shutters don’t just offer hurricane protection, they can serve as blinds and keep your house safe from break-ins.

  1. Adjust Your Refrigerator

Power outages are common during hurricanes. If you want to keep your food safe for as long as possible, adjust your refrigerator to the lowest settings. Put as many items as you can inside the freezer.

  1. Unplug the Appliances

If you are planning to evacuate during the hurricane, make sure to unplug all the appliances and remove the air conditioner fuses. This can keep your belongings safe during the power surges and prevent a fire.

  1. Protect Your Data

data protection hurricane preparedness

If you have any important files on your desktop computer, make sure to copy them all to a cloud or an external drive, which you can take with you. In fact, don’t stop backing the data after the hurricane so you are always ready for a computer failure.

  1. Do Necessary Repairs

If you want to ensure your belongings stay safe inside your home, you have to reinforce your house. Before the hurricane season hits, fix the leaky roof and reinforce loose siding. Take care of all the hanging tree branches that could pose a danger for damaging your home.

  1. Clean Drains and Gutters

If you don’t want to risk roof leaks that will lead to serious property damage, make sure all the drains and gutters are cleaned so the water is properly diverted from the house.

  1. Take a Smart Approach To Storage

If you have items that you don’t use on a regular basis, take them out of your house. Consider sending them to hurricane-safe storage for the season.