As lifelong Floridians we are all too aware of the dangers that a hurricane poses. Florida is the most ravaged state in the continental US when it comes to damages sustained by hurricanes. We have been hit directly by 120 since the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began recording, which is almost twice as many as Texas who are in second place (64) [source].
Although the most recent hurricane is expected to miss Florida, we do feel it is right to produce important information regarding preparation for a hurricane and what the residents of North and South Carolina, and Virginia should take in to account. Hurricane Florence is likely to be diminished to a category 3 when it hits land (ETA Friday morning), but this is still a perilous time for those residents and their homes and businesses.
Hurricane Preparation Kit
East-West Electric, Inc. helps our fellow Floridians in time of need, and together, we’ve learned a lot about hurricane preparedness. We want to share a list of basic emergency kit requirements with our neighbors in the path of this hurricane:
At least one gallon per person for three days. This is the minimum amount you should have, and make sure to ration it properly if it looks like you could be isolated for a few days.
Three-day supply of non-perishable food per person in your household. Include a manual can-opener.
Battery Powered Flashlight
Try to avoid using candles. During the stormy conditions, they are not reliable if there are drafts in a house and they can also be a fire hazard. A good trick to illuminate an entire room is to have the flashlight directed into a bottle filled with water – [watch here]. Also, supply yourself with extra batteries. They are worth their weight in gold during these chaotic times.
One per person. Should be worn as an attachable if you get separated or need to signal for help.
First Aid Kit
Always handy to have, especially if somebody has sustained an injury during the chaos that ensues, and you are unable to get to an emergency unit. Our good friends at Ready South Florida have the basic first aid kit items listed
Cell Phone & Chargers
Most smartphones should work fine in the aftermath and will be needed if you’re seeking help. Supply yourself with portable chargers that are ready to be used in case you lose power in your home. Turn off phones during the storm to save battery, even if the kids are begging to play their favorite game when they succumb to boredom.
To turn off utilities which should always be a precaution taken.
Battery Operated Radio
There is a good chance that cable and phone lines can be down or damaged. A portable battery-powered radio can help you stay informed of the emergency procedures in place and hourly updates on the area.
To help filter contaminated air. Plastic sheeting and duct tape can also be purchased to quarantine a contaminated area.
Cash or Traveler’s Check
Due to the potential extent of the damage, you are safer having cash as card machines could be destroyed or nonoperational.
Secondary Hurricane Emergency Kits
Depending on individual circumstances there are additional items that could be included in your kits such as medication, contact lenses, infant care (bottles, diapers, formula, diaper rash cream, and sanitizing wipes), pet food, fire extinguisher, feminine supplies, and important family documents in a fire/shatter/waterproof container. If you have children, remember how quickly boredom sets in. Pack books, board games, and playing cards — anything that doesn’t require electricity to help pass the time.
Electrical Safety in a Hurricane Storm
We take electricity for granted but don’t forget that it is incredibly dangerous. Storm damage to regulated safety structures presents the greatest electrical danger. Follow these tips to keep you and your family safe from electricity during and after a hurricane:
Switch Off Power
Locate the circuit box in your home and switch all power off during a storm. This is the only way to stop excessive power surging into your appliances, causing them to blow or cause a fire hazard. Learn more about power surges for details.
Stay Away from Flooded Areas
Electricity passes through water and it could be charged by live power sources or outlets close by, in, or outside of your home. The above rule also applies to furniture or areas that have been affected by water damage. Electricity can still pass through it if enough moisture is present.
Downed Power Lines
They may look damaged, but they can still be live and fatal. Never try to move them by yourself, keep your distance and call for help.
Faulty Electrical Appliances
If you think they have been damaged by water take them to a professional to inspect their safety. Always better to be safe than sorry.
Be aware of overusing portable generators in enclosed spaces as they can produce high levels of carbon monoxide, a silent killer. Have a battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm in your home and keep a close eye on it.
Florida Relief for Hurricane Florence
The Salvation Army in Florida is deploying mobile feeding units, staff, and volunteers in an effort to lessen the destructive impact that Hurricane Florence will cause. Each unit can feed between 500 – 1,500 people. If you want to donate to the Salvation Army for Hurricane Florence relief, you can go here.
East-West Electric Storm Damage Relief Program
We are still in recovery mode from the effects of Hurricane Irma in 2017. East-West Electric has carried out extensive reconstruction projects throughout Pinellas County. We are proud to serve the people of Florida and help in any way we can. If your home or business has been affected by recent storm damage, call us at (727) 771-9403 or submit an online contact form. We will get back to you promptly to visit the site to assess the full damage and provide an estimate for the repairs involved. The official US government also has a Hurricane Safety Manual is very helpful also.