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How to Best Prepare for Hurricanes

How to Best Prepare for Hurricanes

How to Best Prepare for Hurricanes

Hurricane season 2016 is upon us. You may be wondering, like most property owners, how active this season will be. The 30-year average is 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. The expectation this year is almost identical. Meteorologists expect to see 13 named storms, five hurricanes, and two major hurricanes. You don’t have to remember very far back to realize the devastation just one hurricane can bring. If you haven’t already prepared, now is the time to make sure your family will be safe and your property is carefully protected.

Preparing Yourself and Your Family

First things first, you want to be sure that you and your family are prepared for the risks that hurricane season impose. The safety of you and your loved ones should be a top priority. When a hurricane watch or warning is issued is not the time to begin your preparations – start before the season begins.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure you and your family are ready for hurricane season:

  1. Know evacuation routes.
  2. Gather all tools and supplies you may need, including non-perishable food items, plenty of fuel and water, and a complete first-aid kit.
  3. Be sure you have somewhere secure in your home to shelter in place from the storm if evacuation is not deemed necessary.
  4. Pay attention to local news sources for information on the weather and any impending danger to you and your family.
  5. Develop a communication plan and determine a place to meet, should you and your family become separated during the storm and lose phone and internet service.
  6. Invest in a generator to power the main part of your home and any life-saving medical equipment, if applicable.

How to Prepare Your Home

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, you are familiar with the damage that can be caused to your home. And not just from the dangerous wind speeds, but the massive amount of water that is released during the storm. Inland flooding is a deadly hurricane threat responsible for more than half the deaths associated with tropical cyclones in the United States.  Most homeowners are prepared with insurance policies to cover the resulting damage, but many times are not aware of preventative measures you can take to minimize the risk of said damage.

Here are a few things you can do to prepare your home and minimize the risk:

  1. Invest in storm shutters for your windows or protect them with plywood boards.
  2. Secure outside objects that may be picked up by the high-speed winds and thrown against your home.
  3. Purchase or rent a flood barrier and install it around your home to keep flooding waters from entering your property and home.

Learn More

While there is no way to completely avoid hurricane season, learning how to prepare for hurricanes can literally save your life as well as your home or business. Contact us to learn more about preventative measures you can take to minimize your risks.

Inland Flooding: A Deadly Hurricane Threat

Inland Flooding: A Deadly Hurricane Threat

You are probably well aware of the dangers of the initial impact of a hurricane, tropical storm or tropical cyclone. You may not be as aware of the dangers of the “after shock” or what is commonly known as inland flooding.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), inland flooding has been responsible for more than half the deaths associated with tropical cyclones in the United States. For example, 1999 brought intense rains and record setting flooding in the Eastern part of the U.S. Fifty of the 56 people who perished in the storm died from inland flooding.

What is Inland Flooding

Inland flooding is severe flooding that occurs in conjunction with major tropical storms and hurricanes. It can extend as far inland from the coast as 100 miles. This hurricane flooding is the result of intense rainfall most often associated with weaker storms which travel slowly or stall over a specific area.

The National Weather Service refers to hurricane flooding as a deadly inland danger. It also has devastating financial impact. Hurricane Katrina produced flooding ranked as one of the most devastating in US history and the most financially shattering natural disaster, costing $81 billion. More than 1,800 people died in that storm, due largely in part to the flooding.

How to be Prepared

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted the 2016 Hurricane Season to be near normal, with at least a 70% expectation of 10-16 named storms, including up to four major hurricanes. The National Weather Service offers these 7 preparation tips:

  1. When a hurricane is expected, plan for hurricane flooding.
  2. Determine if you live in a flood zone before the hurricane strikes.
  3. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  4. Listen to the news for alerts about dangerous road conditions.
  5. Move to a safe area before it is cut off by flood water.
  6. Do not attempt to cross flowing water. As little as six inches can cause you to lose control of your car. Two feet of water will carry most cars away.
  7. Develop a flood emergency action plan with your community leaders.

Protecting Your Home

With more hurricanes expected than in recent years, it is more important than ever to be prepared and be protected. Protecting your home can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. That’s where Hydrological Solutions comes in.

Our Water Inflated Property Protector (WIPP®) provides the ultimate flood protection for both residential and commercial property. We can help ease the worry of protecting your home during natural disasters like hurricanes and associated infland flooding. Contact us now for more information about our flood damage prevention devices.

Hurricane Categories and What They Mean

Hurricane Categories and What They Mean

With hurricane season upon us, it is time to start preparing your disaster recovery plans just in case a storm decides to head your way. While every storm has its own risks, not every hurricane requires the same level of planning. You need to adjust your disaster plans around the strength of the storm.

We measure hurricane strength with the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, a 1-5 categorization that tracks wind speeds. However, do not be fooled by this. Hurricanes bring more than just wind, and to properly prepare for them you must understand how these other aspects of the storms will affect your business.

Category 1 Hurricane

When the winds reach 74 miles per hour, a rotating storm becomes a hurricane. If the sustained winds stay under 96 miles per hour, the storm gets the Category 1 label. Category 1 storms bring minor damage and flooding risks to property, people, and animals. Most protected glass remains intact in these storms. If you have a good back-up generator, you can even continue doing business the day after the storm passes. Otherwise, you might have to deal with an occasional power outage that could last for several days. Hurricane Dolly from 2008 was a Category 1 hurricane.

Category 2 Moderate Hurricane

At 96 miles per hour, the storm is now category 2, and it will stay that way until it tops 100 mph. The winds are now strong enough to both damage to property and injure people. You should pan for flooding in low-lying areas as well. The power outages can last for a few days or a few weeks. You can expect to have to close your business during that time. Hurricane Frances of 2004 was a Category 2 storm.

Category 3 Major Hurricane

Category 3 hurricanes have winds anywhere before 111 and 130 miles per hour and are considered major storms. These storms present significant risks to both life and property – even sturdy buildings. Roads may get blocked, while electricity and water could be unusable for days if not weeks. Flood waters can extend far inland as well. 2004’s Hurricane Ivan was a Category 3 hurricane.

Category 4 Major Hurricane

Category 4 hurricane winds range from 131 to 155 miles per hour. These storms bring catastrophic damage to both life and property, and will require major planning to keep your business running after the storms hit. These storms can rip off roofs and shatter exterior walls, topple trees, and cause massive flooding that can leave an area uninhabitable for weeks or months. Hurricane Charley from 2004 had Category 4 winds.

Category 5 Major Hurricane

Hurricanes do not get worse than category 5. These monster storms, with winds of 155 mph, are why you have disaster recovery plans in the first place. Expect your office building or factory to not exist after one of these storms hit as they often bring total wall roof failure and collapse. Your area could be render uninhabitable for months as well. Hurricane Katrina from 2005 was a Category 5 storm.

Stay Connected for More Information

According to the 2016 Hurricane Season Predictions, we could see at least three storms of category 3 or higher. Follow our blog for tips and strategies that will keep your business operating and home protected from whatever nature decides to throw our way.