Being a Floridian is great! We have year-round summer weather, beaches, beautiful wildlife and destinations. We live where everyone vacations! With that said, living in Florida also means that from June 1st to the end of October, we are highly susceptible to severe storms and dangerous hurricanes.
Since severe storms are a yearly occurrence, it’s smart to make sure to be prepared year in and year out. Keep reading to learn how!
What you need to know About Tropical Depressions, Tropical Storms, and Hurricanes
Hurricanes and storms vary in intensity, size, and trajectory depending on environmental conditions. It’s important you understand the terms forecasters are using in regards to these storms as they approach your area.
Tropical Depressions are storms formed by a group of thunderstorms with winds between 23 and 39 mph.
Tropical Storms are storms that originate over low pressure systems in the ocean. These storms typically have winds between 39 and 73 mph, and represent an intermediate stage between tropical depressions and hurricanes.
Hurricanes are swirling storms of 74 mph winds or more that form over the ocean. A hurricane’s intensity can vary, categorized between 1 and 5:
- Category 1: 74 - 95 mph winds
- Category 2: 96 - 110 mph winds
- Category 3: 111 - 129 mph winds
- Category 4: 130 - 156 mph winds
- Category 5: 157 mph winds or higher
Although the extent of harm varies, all three of these storms can be damaging to people and homes and should be taken very seriously.
Make sure your home is Safe
Securing your home and belongings in the event of an impending storm is crucial. Here’s how:
Cover all your windows with either hurricane shutters or plywood.
If you can, use straps or clips to secure your roof to your home.
Make sure your property is cleared of all dead or weak trees, loose branches and shrubs.
Clear your rain gutters.
Reinforce your garage doors.
Bring anything that isn’t tied down like furniture, outdoor decorations, garbage cans, and gardening tools, into your garage or home.
Stock up on Necessary Supplies
Here are some things you’ll need:
Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
First aid kit
Whistle (to signal for help)
Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
Manual can opener (for food)
Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Dealing with Power Outages
To avoid major issues If you get caught in power outage due to a hurricane or storm, here’s a list of things you can do to be prepared:
Get a high quality surge protector for all of your computer equipment and to protect your valuable devices from harm. If you own a computer, always keep your files backed up in a safe location. Make sure to turn off all computers, monitors, printers, copiers, scanners and other devices when they’re not in use so that if the power goes out, your equipment will have already been safely shut down.
You may also want to consider using a generator system for your home to keep your essentials such as your refrigerator, freezer, outlets, well pumps and other critical areas in your home up and running.
If you have a telephone at home or at work that requires electricity, plan to use other forms of communication. This can mean having a standard telephone handset, cellular telephone, or radio on hand.
Beware of Electrical Hazards during a Hurricane!
Keep away from downed power lines, which could be live and pose an electrocution hazard.
Always be aware of wet areas or moist wood in your home. Avoid stepping in any puddles. These could be charged by live power sources such as outlets or wires. Water conducts electricity, stay away!
If possible, use flashlights and avoid candles. Candles can become fire hazards.
Familiarize yourself with where your circuit breaker box is, and make sure everyone in the household knows how to shut off all power.
If you’re in a vehicle that is touching a downed power line, remain in your car unless the car catches fire, or the authorities tell you to get out.
Don’t ever touch a person who has been electrocuted without making sure the person is no longer in contact with the electrical source, as you could also get electrocuted.
Don’t use electrical appliances that have been wet. Water can damage the motors in electrical appliances, such as furnaces, freezers, refrigerators, washing machines and dryers.
Any electrical equipment or appliances, such as switches, receptacles (outlets), light outlets and junction boxes, furnaces, freezers, refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers that have been under water must be replaced. They cannot be safely reused.
Wiring that has become wet or damaged during a disaster cannot be safely reused, even if it has dried and appears okay. It must be replaced.
Never replace a fuse or reset a circuit breaker with wet hands or while standing on a wet (or damp) surface.
Take special care with portable generators. If improperly installed or operated they can become deadly.
MOST importantly, always be aware of your surroundings.
Damage Prevention and Repair
Aside from all the safety precautions mentioned above, to help prevent damage to your home’s appliances, you may want to look into installing whole house surge protection. Whole house surge protection starts in the panel and will help shield your valuable appliances and devices from damage caused by power surges and lightning strikes. Installing generators and generator transfer switches will also help keep your essentials running as they should.
Whatever your need, we want to help! If your home gets caught in a severe storm or hurricane and suffers electrical damage, remember: “You’re Fine With Tru-Line!” Our dedicated New Port Richey team of service experts are here to help you in your time of need with any necessary electrical repairs or installations. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (727) 308-6680 or contact us online to learn more.
We also offer special savings and coupons to our customers!