Every year in Florida, the first of June means one thing, it’s hurricane season again! There are many benefits to living in the sunshine state, but even with all of the good things Florida has to offer, there are things that need to be prepared for. Since Hurricane Andrew hit south Florida in 1992, there has been a heightened awareness of possible storm damage. Even though the last few years have seen very calm seasons, the potential exists for serious risk for the unprepared. The most costly part of a hurricane event is not the total destruction seen in hard hit areas. The partial roof damage, water intrusion, and other seemingly minor damages actually cost more each year due to the sheer numbers of these occurrences. There are things that can be done to help minimize the damage as well as to help families “weather” these storms.
First and foremost, being prepared for a hurricane involves knowing what to expect. The effects of a hurricane can last days or even weeks after the initial storm has subsided. Once a storm has destroyed the infrastructure of a neighborhood, having the right supplies on hand will go a long way to easing the ongoing effects caused by the event. The National Weather Service has an excellent hurricane preparedness guide entitled “Tropical Cyclones”, which offers a lot of practical advice and information about these storms and how to prepare for them. Below is a checklist of things to have on hand at all times during hurricane season:
Water – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
Food – at least enough for 3 to 7 days
— non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices
— foods for infants or the elderly
— snack foods
— non-electric can opener
— cooking tools / fuel
— paper plates / plastic utensils
Blankets / Pillows, etc.
Clothing – seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes
First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs
Special Items – for babies and the elderly
Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes
Flashlight / Batteries
Radio – Battery operated and NOAA weather radio
Telephones – Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set
Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards – Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods
Toys, Books and Games
Important documents – in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag
— insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.
Tools – keep a set with you during the storm
Vehicle fuel tanks filled
Pet care items
— proper identification / immunization records / medications
— ample supply of food and water
— a carrier or cage
— muzzle and leash
One of the most important things to do now, before a storm hits, is to have an evacuation plan, including a pre-arranged meeting place for all family members in case of separation. The above items will not lessen the effects of a severe storm, but they will have a profound effect on how well your family tolerates the aftermath.
Maronda Homes has been building reinforced concrete block homes throughout Florida since 1972. These durable, quality built homes have provided many Florida families with a safe and energy efficient alternative. Block homes are more resistant to the effects of tropical storms and have long been the standard in many areas of the state. Even in areas where wood frame construction has become the norm, such as the North Florida and South Georgia areas, Maronda builds exclusively with reinforced concrete block.
Since this topic is so critical this time of year and there is so much information available, this will be continued in “Hurricane Preparedness ….Maronda Homes Style”, part two, next week. The above information has been primarily directed towards making preparations for people, next we will discuss preparing your home for a storm!
If you are looking for a new home and want more information on Maronda Homes and how concrete block construction is the right choice for Florida, please visit a sales center today or online at www.marondahomes.com/northflorida.