Hurricane Preparedness: Determine Your Risk

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Hurricane Preparedness: Determine Your Risk

when it comes to hurricanes, What are you at risk for?

It is important to remember, hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. The impact of hurricane force winds can be felt hundreds of miles inland, and significant impacts can occur without it being a major hurricane. Consider the following threats:

While storm surge is largely a coastal problem, it can also present it self along major lakes (like Lake Okeechobee). 

As defined by NOAA: “Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tides. Storm surge should not be confused with storm tide, which is defined as the water level rise due to the combination of storm surge and the astronomical tide. This rise in water level can cause extreme flooding in coastal areas particularly when storm surge coincides with normal high tide, resulting in storm tides reaching up to 20 feet or more in some cases.”

Consider these facts!

  • From 1990-2008, population density increased by 32% in Gulf coastal counties, 17% in Atlantic coastal counties, and 16% in Hawaii (U.S. Census Bureau 2010)
  • Much of the United States’ densely populated Atlantic and Gulf Coast coastlines lie less than 10 feet above mean sea level
  • Over half of the Nation’s economic productivity is located within coastal zones
  • 72% of ports, 27% of major roads, and 9% of rail lines within the Gulf Coast region are at or below 4 ft elevation (CCSP, SAP 4-7)
  • A storm surge of 23 ft has the ability to inundate 67% of interstates, 57% of arterials, almost half of rail miles, 29 airports, and virtually all ports in the Gulf Coast area (CCSP SAP 4-7)

Even when storms are located hundreds of miles away and don’t “hit” the coast, they can still pose significant threat through rip currents.

Rip currents are channeled currents of water flowing away from shore, usually extending past the line of breaking waves, that can pull even the strongest swimmers away from shore.

For boaters, mariners and beachgoers alike, keeping informed on the tide & current information can be a matter of life and death. Don’t be fooled by a hurricane’s location.. be aware of rip currents during hurricane season!

Tornadoes don’t occur just along the coast during a hurricane. They can form close to the center of the hurricane eye wall or can exist in the rain bands that extend off the center of the hurricane. Tornadoes post a threat within hundreds of miles of a hurricane due to the disturbance the hurricane is causing in the atmosphere. Even if the hurricane is not directly hitting your area, be aware of tornado warnings and have your safe room ready.

Hurricanes are full of rain and often produce widespread, torrential rains in excess of 6 inches, which may result in deadly and destructive floods. In fact, flooding is the major threat from hurricanes for people living inland. Flash flooding, defined as a rapid rise in water levels, can occur quickly due to intense rainfall. Longer term flooding on rivers and streams can persist for several days after the storm. When approaching water on a roadway, never try to drive through moving water. It is best to turn around versus risking drowning.

Rainfall amounts are not directly related to the strength of hurricanes but rather to the speed and size of the storm, as well as the geography of the area. Slower moving and larger storms produce more rainfall.

While 75 mph winds don’t scare most Floridians, think about the damage they can cause. Would you want a pineapple, piece of wood or piece of glass flying at your body at 75 mph? Even the weakest hurricanes cause wind damage.

Mobile homes and buildings that have not been built since newer building codes were enforced will still be affected by 75 mph winds. These buildings can product the flying objects that can affect your home or business.

It is for this reason, you want to take measures to secure loose patio furniture, lawn decorations, trim trees and protect windows even for the smallest hurricane.

When it comes to dealing with disasters...

We have 40 years experience and have seen it all. We put together this guide to help you serve your household the best you can. We want you to be successful.  Reach us 772-567-4435 anytime of the day or night.

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