The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA.gov) is predicting an above average Atlantic hurricane season for 2017.
What does that mean? Well, according to NOAA, the average hurricane season sees 12 named storms of which 6 will become hurricanes, and 3 of those 6 will be Category 3 or higher. This year they are predicting 11 to 17 named storms with 5 to 9 becoming hurricanes, and 3 of those may be Cat 3 or higher.
What does hurricane season mean for us in Southwest Florida?
Know the evacuation zones in your area, and make a plan with your family for when you will evacuate and to where. You can find out from your emergency information center if your residence is in a standard evacuation zone and where the closest shelter would be. Finding out this information before an emergency will allow you to create a plan and also have a plan B.
Have an emergency contact who is outside of your area. That way, all family members can check in the event phone lines / towers are down in one area.
Well, you should have a preparedness kit put together. Including:
- Food & Water for 3 or more days
- Portable radio
Make a plan for how to secure your property. No tape on the windows is not enough to protect the windows. Shutters are the best options for windows, but in a pinch plywood screwed down will work.
Don’t forget about the largest opening on your house. For your garage, securing it depends on how old your door is. Older doors may have braces that have to be secured to the wall / roof and the floor. If you have this type of door, now would be a great time to find the braces and make sure you have the correct screws to fasten them.
Getting your garage ready if you have newer Clopay Garage Door from Action Automatic Door & Gates makes securing your garage the easiest opening in the house to secure. 1: Lock the slide bolt on either side of the door in place. 2: Release the motor from the pulley (just pull the cord until you hear it release). Your garage is now ready for a hurricane.
Let’s hope we don’t need to put any of this into practice this year, but since there has already been on storm this season and there is currently one crossing over Mexico from the Pacific into the Gulf, it is better to be safe than sorry.