What You should Know About Hurricanes

What You should Know About Hurricanes

Hurricane FactsWhile hurricanes can occur at any time of year, they are more likely during hurricane season. It’s currently hurricane season in the Northern hemisphere; most hurricanes occur between June 1 and November 30. The following are a few things that you should know about hurricanes to best protect your loved ones and your property.

How Do Hurricanes Form?

Hurricanes, also referred to as “tropical cyclones,” form over the Atlantic Ocean or the eastern Pacific Ocean. They only form over warm water near the equator, because the warm, moist air essentially acts as fuel. The air rises upward, leaving less air and lower air pressure near the water’s surface. The surrounding higher-pressure air then pushes into the low-pressure area, which then becomes warm and rises as well. When the air rises and becomes cooler, the condensation forms clouds. This creates a system of winds and clouds that continues to spin and grow.

How Are Hurricanes Classified?

Hurricanes are classified using the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, which features 5 categories:

  • Category 1: 74 to 95 mile per hour winds
  • Category 2: 96 to 110 mile per hour winds
  • Category 3: 111 to 130 mile per hour winds
  • Category 4: 131 to 155 mile per hour winds
  • Category 5: winds greater than 155 miles per hour

What Are the Risks of Hurricanes?

As any Floridian will tell you, hurricanes can be serious business. They’re known to cause devastating damage to coastlines as well as hundreds of miles inland. In extreme cases, winds can reach more than 155 miles per hour, and can create tornadoes and coastal storm surges. In addition to wind damage, hurricanes can create torrential rainfall with deadly floods and flash-floods.

What Should I Do After a Hurricane?

Those who have lived through a high-category hurricane will attest to the devastating damage that can occur. Especially for coastal towns, it’s possible for entire homes to be destroyed, leaving families with nothing. In cases of less catastrophic damage, homes can experience water damage from flooding, structural damage, and the like. In cases like these, it’s important to have a disaster recovery plan in place, as well as seek assistance from a professional disaster recovery provider.

It’s always best to stay current on the news and prepare as much as possible in the face of a hurricane. For those who experience unfortunate damage to their home, call us at 855-352-2281 to bring life back to normal as soon as possible.

Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities

Emergency Preparedness DisabilitiesFor those with disabilities that affect mobility, fires, floods, and other disasters can pose a serious threat. Evacuating a building and seeking shelter is a little more difficult when there are mobility aids involved. Creating a plan and taking steps to ensure preparedness can save lives and prevent injuries, especially when individuals with mobility issues are involved.

Preparing the Home

Home modifications like wheelchair lifts, ramps, home elevators, and keyless door locks can be helpful on a daily basis for people that use wheelchairs, crutches, or canes to move around, but these modifications can become life savers in the case of an emergency. If a fire or flood threatens the safety of an individual with mobility issues, they may be able to safely evacuate themselves from the home if these types of modifications are in place.

Developing an Evacuation Plan

Developing an evacuation plan can help people with disabilities to keep a calm head and go through practiced steps, rather than panicking during an emergency situation. An evacuation plan can be especially helpful for individuals that generally rely on the assistance of others throughout the day. If no one is around, it can make a person feel helpless when they are used to assistance, but they may be able to remove themselves from the premises if safeguards and plans are put in place.

Making Preparations with Support Network

In addition to making sure that immediate family knows what to do to help and that the person or people with disabilities are well informed about how to react to an emergency, it can be helpful to make preparations with an outside support network. Local emergency response agencies or other organizations may be able to provide swift assistance when needed. Agreeing upon communication methods and giving local agencies information about how to help in case of emergency can improve response time.

Assembling Emergency Supplies

Emergency supplies may include medications and spare mobility aids in addition to basics like water, clothing, and important information. When an emergency occurs, it may be difficult to obtain medical supplies, so it is best to have extra medications and spare supplies on hand. A personal contact list should be assembled that will make it easier for the disabled individual to get in contact with doctors, therapists, and other important people. The emergency contact list should also include a restoration company that can assist with home repairs.

To make sure that you or a loved one are as prepared as possible for a disaster, contact an emergency response company in your area today.

Be Aware of Summertime Home Hazards

Summer Home HazardsThe summertime in Florida is an extreme season that brings with it a number of different potential hazards to your home. In addition to environmental hazards, certain activities that are common during the summer may also have the potential to cause damage to your home. As summer approaches, it is important to be aware of these hazards in order to take action to mitigate the risks.

Storms and Wind Damage

Thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornados commonly occur throughout Florida during the summer months. Many summer days are characterized by an intense afternoon storm that does not last throughout the day, but that may come through with strong winds and cause damage. Winds may knock trees over and cause loose debris to collide with the home.

Cleaning up the yard and securing loose items can help to protect the home from damage. Ensuring sturdy construction of the home and surrounding structures can also be helpful. Hiring professionals to assess the stability of the roof, fencing, and other structures may prevent costly wind damage.

Rain and Flooding Dangers

The powerful storms that are common during the summer may bring heavy rains that can flood a yard and home very quickly. This is an even greater risk in areas that are close to the water. Taking action to ensure that water will drain away from the home can prevent damage to the foundation. Filling in low areas in the yard can help to keep the yard from flooding, possibly preventing damage to the lawn and landscaping.

Lightning Dangers

Lightning strikes more often in certain parts of Florida than most other places in the world. Lightning strikes can cause damage to home structures, electrical systems, and belongings. Lightning can also start fires in homes and yards, potentially burning the home, surrounding structures, and belongings. While it is difficult to protect the home from lightning damage, unplugging appliances when storms start can help to mitigate damage to belongings and possibly prevent a fire from starting.

Campfire and Grill Hazards

Grilling outdoors and starting campfires in the backyard are common activities that have the potential to become hazardous. It is important to keep fire extinguishers nearby when grilling or having a backyard campfire. Fires should never be left unattended and the area surrounding the pit or grill should be kept clear of debris and flammable materials. All fires should be completely extinguished after use to protect the home.

If a home suffers damage due to Florida summertime hazards, it is important to take steps to restore the home right away. If your home has been damaged, contact restoration services in your area to protect the home from further damage and to keep home inhabitants safe.

What You Should Know about Flooding

Flooding FactsFlooding can be caused by a variety of different things, including burst pipes, hurricanes, dam failures, and high tides in coastal areas. It is important to understand that flooding can happen basically anywhere, no home is completely immune to flooding, even if it is uncommon for the area. If the area is prone to flooding, it is even more important to understand a few facts about the phenomenon so that you are better prepared.

Flooding Is Not Always Covered by Insurance

Flood insurance is not always included in homeowners’ insurance policies, particularly in areas where flood risks are highest. If your home is damaged by flooding, this oversight can be costly. Short circuiting by damaged wires and structural damage can put the integrity of the building at risk and make the home unsafe for inhabitants.

Water Damage Should Be Immediately Repaired

Without immediate repair, water damage can lead to serious structural damage and can cause health problems for inhabitants. The longer wood or drywall is allowed to sit with water damage, the more warp and rot is likely to occur. Mold may also form in the moist environment and cause mild to severe health issues. Contacting restoration services immediately after flooding occurs may save the building, mitigate the costs of repairs, and help to avoid these issues.

Flood Proofing Techniques May Protect the Home

In areas that are prone to flooding, it may be wise to take precautions to flood proof the home. Installing plastic sheeting over the foundation can help to keep water out. Sloping the land around the home can help to drain water away, as well. In some cases, it may also be helpful to devise a system to allow some water into the home in such a way that it is dispersed without causing damage. The roof, windows, doors, and other seals should be checked for security.

Restoration Services Can Help Salvage Furnishings

After a flood, it may seem that all furnishings are ruined, which can be overwhelming. Instead of throwing precious heirlooms and favorite furniture away, contact restoration services to find out if items can be salvaged. In some cases, restoration companies may be able to use special techniques to dry items. This can save money on recovery and help you to salvage pieces that had emotional value to the family.

To find out more about how to prepare for a flood or for help with restoration after a flood, contact Florida Catastrophe Corp. today.

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