Hurricane season could be uncertain and turbulent. Heavy and sustained rainfall accompanying a hurricane or tropical storm can cause rivers, streams, and lakes to flood within minutes or hours, causing irreparable damage to human lives, properties, and homes. Although hurricanes can be incredibly damaging, in the invent of a hurricane emergency, residents of Orange Park, Florida, a suburb of Jacksonville, Florida (a city renowned for hurricanes) will be notified through series of announcements (like road closures, debris collection, power outages, etc.) and alert notifications (such as tropical storm watch and warning, and hurricane storm watch and warning) by the media.
A hurricane is a storm with violent winds that are formed over tropical or subtropical waters and has a maximum sustained wind speed of at least 119 kilometers per hour.
Memorable images of total damage resulting from the most significant storms to hit Jacksonville-Hurricanes Irma, Matthew, Dona, Floyd, and Dora-may cause some residents of Orange Park, Florida to believe that not a lot can be done to protect property from such a terrible storm. However, there is a need to remain vigilant at all times and take necessary steps to minimize the impact of hurricanes on your home.
1. Start now to operate your ice makers and use freezer bags to bag the ice. Fill your space as much you can. Consume your groceries to create room for ice in the freezer.
2. Freeze tap water in glass or plastic food storage containers (tubs) that have snap-close lids for drinking, cleaning, and pets. Leave a little space between the kids and the water top to allow the expansion of the ice and prevent the container from cracking.
3. Check your vehicle’s oil and tires and replenish the gas. Get all digital devices charged.
4. Keep enough cash that can help you make payment for fees and get you out of town. Inform your bank if you plan to leave the state. This will prevent your ATM card from been restricted for suspicious transactions.
5. Screenshot all useful documents and email them to yourself and family members that reside outside your state. Keep originals in plastic bins or sealed bags.
6. Make provision for food and supplies for livestock and pet. If you want to shelter your pets and livestock in a facility that is free from a storm, vet their numbers.
7. Prepare and share an evacuation plan with members of your family so they can be aware of your movements.
8. Put photos and treasures in plastic bins and keep them in a safe place if you don’t wish to take them along with you.
9. Keep all ammunition and firearms in a safe place.
10. Place beach towels and rags at the bottom of doors and windowsills to keep away leaking water due to wind pressure. Having a few dampen towels is preferred to a soaked floor and drywall.
11. Shield doors and windows. Bring all useful things outside into your home or garage without delay rather than wait for first responders.
12. Ensure you get all the needed medications for a minimum of one week.
13. Unplug all household electronics. Shut down your electricity to prevent a power surge if you know your home will be flooded.
For more information on hurricanes visit the national hurricane centers website.