What you do during a hurricane has a tremendous impact on how you and your home safely make it through the lashing winds and torrential rains of each cylindrical rotation a tropical storm system brings.
While we all hope for hurricanes to take a wayward spin back into the sea and wreak their havoc far from the presence of humans, the fact of the matter is that hurricanes are bound to make landfall sooner or later.
How you prepare before, during and after a hurricane can be the difference between life and death and your home making it through the storm scot-free. If you take the following five hurricane safety tips to heart, you’ll have a better chance at seeing both of those positive outcomes come true.
5 Hurricane Safety Tips for What to Do During a Hurricane1. Stay Inside & Away From WindowsIf there’s a mandatory evacuation order for your area, we highly suggest you evacuate as soon as possible. The best place to be during a hurricane is far away from its path of potential destruction. They issue those orders for good reason, and getting far away from the hurricane is the easiest way to stay safe during it.
What to do during a hurricane depends on the scenario of whether you’re going to evacuate or not. If you decide to stay and forgo evacuating, you need to stay inside at all times and away from any windows and doors. Hurricanes are extremely powerful storms, which can thrust entire cars through the air without a moment’s notice.
Hurricanes can easily throw a two-by-four through a window or door. Even if you have impact-resistant windows and doors, it’s still a good idea to remain a safe distance away while the hurricane is passing through.
The second-best place to be during a hurricane is an interior room, such as a closet or bathroom, on the first floor of your home. Even if the storm seems to have calmed down and dissipated outside, stay inside because it may be the calm eye of the storm.
2. Stay in Tune with Local and National AlertsIf you’re riding out the hurricane at home, there’s a good chance you’ll lose all power supply to your home. This knocks out TVs, internet, cell service, wireless capability and pretty much all the high-tech communication methods you have with the outside world.
That’s where a battery-powered portable radio comes in handy. Having a portable radio that runs on battery power ensures you always have an internal connection with the outside world, so you can stay up to date about the storm system, path and when the hurricane has safely passed.
All you need to do is tune into the National Weather Service, which is a frequency that broadcasts all storm forecasts, warnings and watches 24 hours a day. It’s also important to stock up on extra batteries before the storm, so you can stay tuned in after the storm.
3. Be Ready to Turn Off Main Energy SourcesYou may be surprised to know that many people don’t know how to turn off the main power, water or gas sources to their home. Knowing where the master valve is for each of the three utilities may be the difference between staying safe and facing potentially dangerous conditions.
If a hurricane knocks out the power to your home, it’s important to turn off the main power source to your home. If you leave on the power source, and the power comes back on, there’s a chance it could send an unnecessary amount of electricity to your appliances, air conditioning or anything else with a power source, and fry them beyond repair. This could also cause a house fire, so you want to be extremely careful.
Although the water won’t work if the power goes out, the main water supply still needs to be turned off to prevent overflowing and potential flooding from your sinks, toilets or showers.
Turning off your home’s main gas supply is extremely crucial in the event a hurricane cuts off power to your home. If you have a gas grill, gas fireplace or any other gas sources in your home, leaving it on while the power is out can have grave consequences.
While it’s rare, this could overflow the gas supply to your home and cause your home to catch fire or blow up. Turning off the main gas supply is an easy way to be safe rather than sorry.
4. Use Hurricane Equipment CarefullyIf a hurricane causes the power to go out, you may consider using a generator to temporarily utilize everyday appliances until the power is restored. If you are operating a generator, it’s imperative to do so the right way.
First thing’s first, you should always read the generator’s owner’s manual before turning it on. You must also set it up away from doors and windows because generators release toxic carbon monoxide fumes that can become fatal if they make way into your home.
It’s also smart to keep a carbon monoxide detector inside the door or window that’s closest to the generator. It will keep you safe by informing you if any toxic fumes are making their way inside your home.
If you’ve opted to ride the hurricane out by candlelight, be sure to do so carefully. It might sound like obvious advice, but you must always keep candles away from anything even remotely flammable and make sure to blow them out when going to sleep.
5. Beware of Water Coming into Your HomeIf any water is coming into your home from the outside, whether it’s through a broken window or another source, turn off your home’s main power source immediately. The water could surge the power and turn into an electrical fire.
After turning off your home’s main power source, try to round up some towels and any other items that could help prevent the water from continuing to pour into your home. This will help prevent further damage from occurring.
Make a Plan.Hurricane season starts on May 15 in the north Pacific and June 1 in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. It ends on November 30. Before hurricane season each year, make sure you and your family are prepared by planning ahead.
That’s why it’s best to be prepared—stock up on everything you might need now. Be sure to prepare the following:
Know the difference between a hurricane “watch” and “warning.”Listen for National Weather Service alerts on TV or radio or check for them online. There are two kinds of alerts:
Get your car ready.Make sure your car is ready before the storm hits.
Get your family and pets ready.
Get your home ready.
Be ready to evacuate or stay at home.Always listen to authorities regarding whether you should evacuate or stay at home.
If a hurricane is coming, you may hear an order from authorities to evacuate (leave your home). Never ignore an order to evacuate. Even sturdy, well-built houses may not hold up against a hurricane. Staying home to protect your property is not worth risking your health and safety.
You may hear an order to stay at home. If driving conditions are dangerous, staying at home might be safer than leaving.
If you need to evacuate:
Hurricanes can pose a serious threat to both your life and property. These natural disasters produce winds ranging from 74 to 200 miles per hour. A storm with that much power can cause catastrophic damage and severe flooding. Weather can be unpredictable, so it’s vital to have a hurricane safety plan in place for your business or facility. Here’s everything you need to know about hurricane preparedness:
Creating Your Hurricane Safety PlanIf you are on or near the east or gulf coasts of the U.S. it's important that you plan a safe evacuation route that will take you 20-50 miles inland. Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter, and ask for the community’s emergency preparedness plan. In addition, take the time to discuss your plan with any family members, friends or coworkers so that everyone is on the same page if this natural disaster happens to strike.
Stock up on disaster suppliesDon’t wait until the storm hits to get all the products and supplies you need to stay safe. Start now. Here’s a list of basic emergency supplies to have on hand:
Know the protocolThe National Weather Service forecasts, updates and directs the public during a national disaster via TV, radio, cell phones and computers. Your local authorities will also issue statements if need be. Be sure to stay in the loop, and follow whatever instructions are made to avoid danger. If an evacuation order is given, leave as soon as possible. Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges. Secure your all the rooms. Unplug appliances and turn off electricity and the main water valve. If time permits, elevate furniture to protect it from flooding or move it to a higher floor. Take your pre-assembled emergency supplies and warm, protective clothing, cash and credit cards, rain boots, and copies of important papers, including bank accounts, insurance, and household and business inventory records.
Getting back to business post hurricaneAfter the storm is over, it’s time to assess the damage. Enter the building carefully and keep an eye out for anything that could be harmful and unsafe. Wear sturdy shoes when walking through debris, and use gloves when moving it out of the way. Be diligent with your search. Possible hazards in your facility may include:
Safety still mattersKeep in mind that recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process. Above anything else, safety is still a primary issue, as is the mental and physical wellbeing of your employees. If assistance is available, knowing how to access it makes the process faster and less stressful. Your first concern after a disaster is your co-worker’s health and safety. You need to consider possible safety issues and monitor employee health and well-being.
However, don’t forget to monitor your own health. Be aware of exhaustion. Don’t try to do too much at once. Set priorities and pace yourself. Get enough rest. Here are some general tips to keep in mind:
Creating a hurricane safety plan ahead of time can help you and your business make a comeback after a disaster.
The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.
If you live on the Atlantic coast, then hurricanes are a possibility between the months of June and November. These storms may not be common in your area, but hurricanes bring heavy rain and strong winds. Therefore, it is important to be prepared in case one does come your way.
These storms can cause damage to not only your home but your car, too. Certain steps must be taken to protect your vehicle from the approaching storm. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for hurricane season:
Complete Car Maintenance. Throughout the year, you should be keeping up with car maintenance. However, not everyone does. As you are preparing for a hurricane, it is even more important to ensure your vehicle is in good condition. This is because an evacuation may be required, and you will rely on your car to get you to a safe location. Check the car’s fluid levels. This would include oil, transmission, brake, power steering, coolant, and windshield wiper fluids. In addition, you should check the vehicle’s belts, tires, and battery. If you do not feel comfortable performing these maintenance tasks, take it to a local mechanic. Check out more information on routine car maintenance.
Assemble An Emergency Kit.You may not have roadside assistance. Even if you do, a car emergency kit can come in handy in the case of an emergency. When preparing for a storm, pack your trunk full of items that will aid you if an unexpected situation were to arise. You could even keep these items in your vehicle after hurricane season comes to an end. Here are a few items to include:
Fill Up The Tank.If you know of an approaching hurricane, fuel up the tank ahead of time. You can also fill up a gas canister, just in case. It can be difficult to get to a gas station if you wait. Along certain routes, supply may be limited. Plus, you will have to sit in long lines, because you waited until the last minute.
Be Informed.Keep up with the progression of the storm. When is it expected to reach your area? How bad is it supposed to be? Watch the local news to find out this information and their recommendations. Be informed on the emergency evacuation routes. Go over this information as a family.
It’s that time of year again: hurricane season. The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and the Eastern Pacific season May 15, and both run through November 30. During an average season, 12 tropical storms will form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico, and six of these will become hurricanes. During that time, your home is threatened by disasters including destructive winds, tornadoes, storm surge flooding and inland flooding caused by heavy rains.
Did you know that pools face special risks of their own in extreme weather? But fear not: Proper preparation both throughout the year and directly before a storm can limit damage during tropical storms or hurricanes. This guide will help you get your pool and patio area prepared so you can worry less about damage and more about your own safety when the storm hits.
BEFORE THE STORM: PREPARING YOUR POOL AND OUTDOOR AREAS DO NOT EMPTY YOUR POOLPeople may ask, "Won't the pool overflow if we don't at least lower the water?" Yes it may, but no more so than if a patio or a plot of grass were there instead. Adequate drainage has most always been provided for in the design of the pool. Keeping the water in the pool provides the important weight to hold the pool in the ground. An empty pool is subject to "floating" or "popping" out of the ground due to "lift" pressure from excessive ground water caused by the heavy rains that may accompany the storm.
Set up a siphon hose before the hurricane hits, using a garden hose running from the pool edge to a point 2-3 feet lower. Leave the hose in place so that you can start the siphon quickly if the pool begins to overflow.
TURN OFF ELECTRIC POWER TO SWIMMING POOL EQUIPMENTTo prepare a pool for a hurricane, circuit breakers at the main electrical panel should be turned off to prevent pump motors, lighting, chlorinators, and heaters from operating during the worst parts of the storm. Run the pumps and filters while it’s calm, but when heavy rain, wind and lightning arrive, shut them off for the duration of the hurricane.
PROTECT THE ELECTRIC POOL EQUIPMENTAfter the equipment is shut off, wrap the pump motor, time clock, light transformers and electric heaters with a waterproof plastic membrane and tie it securely in place to prevent sand and driving water from entering. If flooding is expected, it may be best to disconnect these devices and store them in a dry place, especially the pump, if a pool pump is submerged, the motor will likely be ruined. Spend some time if necessary to clear the areas around the equipment pad of mulch, leaves, debris and soil, to ensure that water drains away rapidly from the equipment pad.
REMOVE ALL LOOSE ITEMS FROM THE POOL AREALoose objects such as chairs, tables, toys and pool cleaning tools can become dangerous projectiles in hurricane force winds and should be stored inside of buildings. It's not advisable to throw patio furniture into the pool unless it is a last resort. If it is necessary to do so, gently place these items into the pool to prevent possible damage to the interior finish and remove as soon as possible to avoid staining. Skimmer lids should be screwed in place to avoid becoming a Frisbee®. Inspect the fence for loose sections, and secure any loose light posts or signs.
Protect the Screen EnclosureSome damage to the frame of a screen structure may be prevented if you provide a "vent" for wind to flow through. Consider removing screen panels on opposite sides of the enclosure by pulling out the vinyl spine that retain the panels.
ADD EXTRA CHLORINE TO THE POOLTo prevent contamination from the anticipated debris and excessive storm water, good swimming pool hurricane preparation suggests that you add a "shock" dose of liquid or granular chlorine. Lower the pH first to around 7.2 for best results, and run the filter after shocking for several hours to circulate.
DO NOT COVER THE POOLIt a natural instinct to run out and put on a pool cover to prepare a pool for a hurricane. DO NOT DO IT! Storms bring wind, and wind can cause falling branches and other flying debris that can damage pool covers. It's much easier to remove debris from the pool after the storm, than it would be to replace an expensive cover.
Patio and Yard Preparation
General yard and tree upkeep throughout the year can help you be prepared in the event of a hurricane. Keep large trees around your home trimmed and be especially wary of weak and low-hanging branches. Remove Spanish moss and keep limbs less than five feet long to reduce the risk of them becoming weak and breaking in strong gusts of wind or heavy rainfall. Have branches close to utility lines trimmed by a professional, or contact your utility company to have the tree trimmed. Gravel has been known to shred vinyl house lining, so consider replacing gravel and rock walkways with shredded bark or wood chips.
If your pool is in a lanai or screened-in area, your structure is also at risk for damage. Remove screening panels and doors to create a vent for the wind to escape. If very strong winds are a guarantee and you suspect wind damage is inevitable, you can also cut “X” shapes into multiple screens around the pool to reduce the wind resistance. Insurance won’t cover the slashes, but rescreening is significantly less expensive than replacing the entire framework.
Remove all loose items from the pool area, including furniture and plants. If possible, bring gas and charcoal grills indoors, but never use them once they’re inside. For heavier, bulkier outdoor objects, anchor them to something solid and secure with rope or chains. Never store propane tanks in your home or garage. Instead, chain them in an upright position to a secure object away from your home. Some choose to toss things like lawn furniture into the pool to prevent it from flying around in strong winds, but because it could cause damage to your pool’s finish and you risk chemical damage to your furniture (especially if you super-chlorinate the pool water), it is not always your best option.
AFTER THE STORMWhen the storm has cleared, check your surroundings before inspecting for pool damage. If you chose to submerge items in the pool, remove them as soon as possible. Don’t use your pool water for drinking or sanitation as it may be contaminated or still super-chlorinated. Inspect your pool’s plumbing, pumps and filters for cracks and leaks. Check water and chemical levels, and set your valves to the circulation position before turning on the pumps. Then turn the power back on to the outlets.
Don’t reconnect the power until debris is removed and you are sure there is no damage to the electrical system. You may want to consider calling a professional before you turn the system back on, especially if you suspect electrical damage.
AS BEFORE THE STORM, DO NOT EMPTY THE POOLAfter a hurricane, an empty pool is subject to "floating" or "popping" out of the ground due to "lift" pressure from excessive ground water caused by heavy rains that may have accompanied the storm. If it appears necessary to drain the pool due to excessive debris, mud or damage, start by draining less than half the water, cleaning the pool and refilling. If a complete draining is required, wait until the ground is less saturated and any high water tables have receded.
REMOVE DEBRIS FROM POOL FIRSTRemove large objects by hand and use a "leaf rake" or "leaf bagger" to remove smaller debris from the pool. Do not attempt to use the pool's vacuum system for large debris that is likely to plug the plumbing. A Leaf Rake type of skimmer net is best for removing heavy leaf volume from the surface or floor. Bring a large trash can on the pool deck to empty the leaf net into while cleaning.
CHECK ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT BEFORE RESTARTING SYSTEMRemove waterproof plastic membrane from electrical devices and be sure they are dry before turning circuit breakers on again. If these devices have been exposed to water, they should be checked by a licensed professional. Then turn on electricity, prime the filter system, and check for normal operation. Backwash or Drain to Waste to lower water level in pool to mid-skimmer.
If your electrical power has not been restored, you can still manually clean the pool of debris using a Leaf Rake or garden hose powered pool vacuum. Test the water and add chemicals as needed, using a pool brush to circulate the water and help distribute the chemicals. Daily skimming and brushing, and a good chlorine and pH level will keep the pool from turning worse, until power can be restored to the pump.
START THE FILTER EQUIPMENTStart the filter pump and run the system for long hours each day. When the water has attained proper clarity then reset the time clock for a normal daily cycle. Backwash the filter as needed to maintain flow rates.
BALANCE THE POOL WATER CHEMISTRYReadjust the pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness and conditioner levels and continue to check them carefully over several days. Heavy addition of soils or debris to the pool can cause dramatic changes to water chemistry. Balancing is important to help chlorine sanitize the water and to prevent staining.
ADD CHLORINE TO POOLTo prevent contamination from the storm debris and excessive storm water add a "shock" dose of liquid or granular chlorine to the pool water. If your pool was flooded and has turned the color of soil, a flocculant can be used to sink the heavy solids to the pool floor, for vacuuming. Heavy soil or debris will likely raise the phosphate level in the pool. Using a phosphate remover chemical is recommended for flooded pools.
MONITOR THE POOL OPERATIONIt is important to monitor the overall operation of the entire system for several days after a hurricane to be sure everything is operating properly, and there are no electrical hazards, pool leaks or flooding dangers.
ADDITIONAL HELPFUL RESOURCESBesides the care of your pool, there are (of course!) many safety measures to consider in the event of a hurricane or other tropical storm. The following resources will help keep you, your family, and your home ahead of the storm.
The National Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service has helpful tips for ensuring you and your family are prepared for a hurricane’s arrival.
The American Red Cross has great information on disaster alerts and preparation.
Ready.gov has information on hurricane preparation, as well as information on preparing for other natural disasters.
The National Weather Service is one of the best resources to get up-to-date information on hurricanes that are headed your way and those which are still forming.
There is only so much you can do to prevent damage to your pool once a hurricane is on its way. Being as well-prepared as possible ahead of time and proactive once the warning is issued can make a world of difference. Remember to always put your own safety first — pools can be repaired, but you and your family are irreplaceable!
The best time to prepare for a hurricane is before hurricane season begins on June 1. It is vital to understand your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding, and wind. Here is your checklist of things to do BEFORE hurricane seasons begins.
The three groups of people most at risk during a tornado are those who are outdoors, those in mobile/manufactured homes, or those on the road in vehicles. The first two locations are detailed in other sections of this safety guide. How to handle severe weather situations on the road is detailed below.
Being In A Vehicle Vehicles - cars, trucks, sport utility vehicles, RVs, 18-wheelers, boats, trains, planes, etc. - are terrible places to be when a severe thunderstorm threatens. Fortunately, these situations can be avoided most of the time by being ALERT to the possibility of severe storms and tornadoes.
All types of vehicles can be blown over, rolled, crushed, lifted or otherwise destroyed by even a weak tornado. People have been hurt or killed when large trees crushed their cars. Below are some safety tips.
If the tornado is far enough away and road options and traffic allow, you should try to find a substantial building for shelter. Follow the basic tornado safety guidelines (get in - get down - cover up). Motorists have found truck stops, convenience stores, restaurants and other businesses to be adequate shelters in a tornado situation. Walk-in coolers can sometimes make a good shelter.
While you should never try to outrun a tornado in your vehicle, you may, in some situations, be able to get out of the tornado's way by driving out of its path, or simply stopping and allowing the tornado to pass. Again, this can be extremely dangerous unless traffic, time of day and road options allow you to see the tornado, determine which way it's moving (and how fast), find a road option that will take you out of its path (while avoiding other storms) and to safe shelter.
The worst-case scenario for motorists would be to be trapped in your vehicle on the road with no escape possible. This scenario could occur in more densely populated areas, in metropolitan areas at rush-hour or in high traffic situations, or on limited access roadways, such as interstates or turnpikes, where it might not be possible to quickly exit and find safe shelter. It is in these situations when it may become necessary to leave your vehicle and seek shelter in a ditch, culvert or low spot.
Highway overpasses are NOT tornado shelters, and these should be avoided. The reasons, which are numerous, have been listed and explained in a presentation.
Taking Shelter Outdoors Ditches, culverts, and ravines should be used only as an absolute last resort. You will be exposed to flying debris, rain and hail, lightning and extreme wind. People have survived by seeking shelter in ditches, but people have also died. If you must leave your vehicle to seek shelter in a ditch, you should try to get as far away from the vehicle, as well as any other potential "missiles" as possible.
Hurricane season begins June 1. Is your home ready? Here’s what you need to know before the next storm heads your way.
For more information on insurance and being prepared for hurricanes visit the Disasters: how to prepare and recover web page.
Shared from https://www.tdi.texas.gov/tips/protect-home-hurricane.html
Smart steps to protect your air conditioner during hurricanes and summer storms
If you’re anxious about the Atlantic hurricane season (June 1 – November 30) or just wary of summer storms, it’s wise to protect your HVAC system from whatever weather blows through this season.
Storms don’t just bring rain and wind. They also cause power outages that can leave you without the comfort of your air conditioning and other home appliances for hours or days. Check out Ready.gov for ways to prepare your entire home for bad weather. Be sure to take special care with your A/C system, so you can stay cool between storms.
PROTECTING YOUR AIR CONDITIONERBelow are 6 steps you can take before, during and after a storm to minimize damage to your air conditioner and get it up and running faster when the power comes back on.
Remember, it’s hard to stop a Trane for a reason! We love seeing amazing video of Trane systems that have weathered some serious storms. If you have a great Trane story to tell, please share it on our Facebook page — #itshardtostopatrane.
If you live in the projected path of Hurricane Florence, you should be prepping your home and finalizing your emergency and evacuation plans.
Here are some Dos and Don’ts to consider for prepping and riding out the storm.