A colleague once shared with me that she felt ill-prepared for an approaching hurricane, and sought some advice. Offering such advice can be problematic, as I never know quite where to start. For example, I sure don’t want to be that guy who reminds others to have the obvious items —- bottled water, batteries, flashlights, etc. Everyone knows this, right?! Well, as it turned out my friend was not even sure she had any flashlights in her house. I told her she might want to get one or two, and reminded her most require batteries.
This column provides less obvious but important risk management lessons I have learned from hardened hurricane survivors in FL who have shared the valuable lessons they learned having endured numerous hurricanes. For example:
- Wind will enter a home through the most vulnerable area, and that area is often the large exterior door of an attached garage. Once winds enter a garage, they cause an “uplift” on the ceiling, creating pressure that removes the roof of the garage that often enable winds to enter the interior of the home.
- Since it is hard to know whether the door is inherently strong enough to resist hurricane force winds, steps should be taken to fortify it.
- Consider parking the cars inside the garage so that the rear bumper abuts the garage door. Many in FL fortify their garage door with ply wood, 2 x 4 reinforcements, etc. to prevent the door from collapsing and wind from entering.
- If you do not already own one, it may be a bit late to buy a generator locally. Meanwhile, it may not be too late: all who use Amazon should be aware that the best way to assure fastest delivery is to select Amazon as the seller, and not one of the other resellers who market on their site. Many generators can be purchased from Amazon with a one day delivery option.
- For those with generators, it’s a good idea to test it to ensure it is operational, and to make sure there is ample fuel.
- A comedian once observed that the danger in hurricanes is not THAT the wind is blowing, rather the danger arises from WHAT the wind is blowing. Please be sure to bring inside all that is outside that can be hurled through your windows!Do not forget easily overlooked items like gas grills, portable propane tanks, and picnic tables.
- Expect power surges before an outage, and unplug vulnerable electronic equipment.
- For a much more complete list of suggestions, your tax dollars are hard at work providing this information: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1409003345844-0e142725ea3984938c8c6748dd1598cb/How_To_Prepare_Guide_Hurricane.pdf