Updated: Mar 28
As a South Florida homeowner, having an effective hurricane preparedness plan is essential to keep your home and loved ones safe during hurricanes. South Florida hurricane season typically begins by June 1st and continues for about 5 months.
And amid these times, residents may experience powerful winds, torrential rains, and several other disturbing climate changes that can cause rivers to flood their banks and threaten the safety of lives and properties.
In Florida, hurricane storms are most powerful around August and September, possibly pulling up trees out of the ground, moving heavy objects such as cars, and damaging power lines and buildings.
Effective hurricane preparation involves understanding the right steps to take before a storm and what you should do during severe weather conditions to help you manage the situation appropriately. It's better to prepare for hurricanes and be safe with your family than regret recording unbearable losses after the wind.
In South Florida, the hurricane seasons are often accompanied by water damage and mold infestations which often require the services of home management experts near you. Notably, Safe Home Management offers full-service home management solutions that include water extraction, storm damage restoration, mold remediation, water restoration, and a full home remodeling even.
In this piece, the Safe Home Management experts talk about the hurricane season in South Florida, what to expect, and how you can get past it.
Categories of hurricane
Not all hurricanes are the same. Some are more dangerous than others, and the degree of potential danger is often determined by their wind speeds. The categories of hurricanes based on wind speed include
Tropical Depression or storm: having a wind speed of 39-73 miles per hour.
Category 1: having a wind speed of 74-95 miles per hour
Category 2: having a wind speed of 96-110 miles per hour
Category 3: having a wind speed of 111-130 miles per hour
Category 4: having a wind speed of 131-155 miles per hour
Category 5: having a wind speed above 155 miles per hour
Florida has experienced a number of devastating hurricanes over the last hundred years, with the most costly incident (called Hurricane Andrew), which caused about $30 billion in damage occurring in 1992. Other similar hurricanes, such as the Okeechobee hurricane, Wilma hurricane (in 2015), and so on, also resulted in significant losses, including lives and valuables.
While hurricanes in Florida are not always devastating and do not always lead to loss of lives, they often impact power supply and prevent access to food, healthcare, and several basic needs. 2022 hurricane season is estimated to be an above-normal season and will likely be a very active one. An active hurricane season implies that the chances of tropical storms and hurricanes making landfall are high.
As a result, preparing for the inevitable can help you and your family stay safe and worry-free and minimize the potential damage that could result from a challenging weather situation.
What to do before a hurricane
There are a number of things you can do to prepare your home for the winds, storm surges, and flooding. These include:
a. Close your accordion shutters
Leaving your window shutters open puts your home at great risk as the extreme wind can get into your home and lift your roof, causing a huge financial loss. If you're a member of Safe Home Management (SHM), you don't have to worry about closing your doors and windows accordion shutters, even if you're far away from your property.
For a small fee, we will help you close your accordion shutters before a big hurricane or tropical storm to ensure your home and properties are safe and secure. Also, closing your accordion shutters can protect your home against debris and other objects that fly around during a storm.
After the storm, we come out, open the shutters and make sure your house is back to full functionality. If there are any problems or damages with your water, AC, power, etc., our technicians can help you fix them.
If you don't have shutters yet, our lightweight polycarbonate storm panels will be a perfect fit for your Boca Raton home. Additionally, we offer free delivery of our highly durable hurricane panel to Boca Raton and also a 20% discount for membership orders. So, you will not only be enjoying peace of mind ordering the polycarbonate storm panels through us, but you will also be saving more considering our discount and free delivery offerings.
b. Strap down your roof
Preparing your home for the hurricane season also involves strapping down your roof to reduce its chances of getting blown off during a heavy storm. If your roof gets exposed to heavy winds from the hurricane, it can lift it off your home and further expose your valuables to greater danger. But with hurricane straps and clips, you can help your roof sit more firmly on your building and enable it to withstand extreme weather conditions.
c. Be careful with outdoor items
Houses with pools, yard decor, and several outdoor items are at greater risk in the event of a hurricane. The wind speed can throw the items at your building and cause damage or possibly create a pathway for flood and wind.
Before the hurricane, bring in as many of your outdoor items as possible. They are safer indoors and will not be a threat to your safety that way. If the items are too big or dirty to come inside, you should find a way to keep them safe outdoor without making them a threat to your home.
For instance, if you have a pool and you need to keep your waterproof properties, submerging them in the pool might be a better option than leaving them on the ground. You may also use a rope to tie your items or find a safe storage space for them, even if it means paying to rent the space.
d. Trim your trees
In the face of extreme wind, tree branches can break off the tree body and cause serious damage to your home, vehicle, or even neighboring homes. It's essential to prepare your trees for hurricanes annually by trimming them and ensuring they aren't a threat to lives and properties. And if you're unsure about keeping a tree or not due to safety reasons, it's better to eradicate it than regret risking leaving it.
e. Provide an alternative source of power
Power outage is a common experience during a hurricane. In some cases, the outage may continue for several days, which makes an alternative source of power crucial for survival.
You will need to buy batteries to serve as an alternative source of power for your lanterns, flashlights, portable radios and TV, fans, and other household equipment. You can also buy some solar panels to help you charge your batteries in case power doesn't return on time after the hurricane.
f. Stock up on non-perishable food and save water
Since your electronic appliances wouldn't be working during these times due to power outages, you're better off storing non-perishable food than keeping perishable food in your freezer. You may as well prepare alternative ways to cook your meal, such as charcoal or gas. In everything you do, avoid depending on electricity during hurricanes. Fill your bathtub and any big container with water for flushing and washing only.
g. Prepare a hurricane emergency kit
As we hope that the hurricane season doesn't go beyond control, it's important to prepare for the worst. Prepare a hurricane emergency kit that you can just grab in case you need to evacuate IMMEDIATELY. Emergencies don't allow you a minute to prepare, so you must be ready before any situation arises. The emergency kit should contain essential supplies that will help you survive if you are forced to evacuate your home.
If you need suggestions on the items you should include in your kit, below are some recommended items:
Non-perishable food that can last at least 3 days
Water enough to last at least 3 days
First-aid kit (including any prescription medication you may need)
Personal hygiene items and sanitation items
Flashlights with extra batteries in your bag
Battery-operated radio with extra batteries in your bag
Cash and important documents
Manual can opener
Lighter or matches
Cooler and ice packs
An evacuation plan, especially if family members will be separated
Other things you can do to prepare your home include:
Reinforcing your garage doors.
Place sandbags around your home entrance to serve as a barricade against floodwaters.
Park your vehicle on a higher ground
unplug all of your household electronics and shut off electricity to avoid potential electrocution if your home becomes flooded. Alternatively, you can purchase a surge protector to help keep your electronic appliances safe in case of a voltage spike.
Insure your home and vehicles against flood to avoid incurring an overbearing repair burden
Dos and don'ts during a hurricane
Stay away from windows and doors when the winds become severe, and make sure internal doors are closed.
Listen to the radio for weather warnings and to know if there are any evacuation orders.
Never go outside, even if you're experiencing the least of hurricanes
Don't use electronic appliances, e.g. laptops, microwaves, etc., during hurricane
Avoiding using the shower during the storm
Don't make phone calls on cellphones
Wait for a signal from the authorities before opening the door
Get away from locations that may get swept by high tides or storm waves.
Clear your house of debris to reduce the possibility of debris attack by strong winds
Avoid touching loose and dangling wires from lamp posts as they may carry some electric current.