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Hurricane Preparedness

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.

 

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?

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.

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

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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.

A 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.

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 are 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 a 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 in locations in your home.

North Beach

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

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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.