How to prepare for a Hurricane or Tropical Storm

How to prepare for a Hurricane or Tropical Storm

Before the Storm: What Can You Do To Protect Your Home?

Cover The Windows

If you live in an area vulnerable to hurricanes, consider installing storm shutters. They are available in several different types, and they will go a long way toward keeping the damaging wind and rain from entering through your home’s windows. As a side benefit, they may reduce your homeowner’s insurance premium.

Secure The Doors

Steel entry doors provide the best protection for your home. Double doors and French doors are most vulnerable to high winds. No matter what type of door you have, a hurricane panel is your best option to keep damage at a minimum. These galvanized steel or PVC panels are available at your local hardware store. You can also nail plywood over your doors to help keep out water and debris. Do not nail yourself inside the house, in case you need to evacuate the area on short notice.

If you have double doors that have no structural member in the center between them, you should purchase and install special hardware to secure the doors where they meet. Bolts that secure the door into the framing at both the top and bottom greatly increase the door’s strength. Wedge a dowel or a piece of broom handle into the track of sliding glass doors to prevent them from coming loose when the wind howls.

Provide stiffening support for garage doors. The pressure from wind increases with the door’s size, and wide doors in particular need bracing for stability during high winds. Make your own vertical supports by nailing two 2x4s together and attaching them to the inside of your garage door with “L” brackets.

Keep the Yard Clear of Flying Debris

Flying tree limbs pose a great danger during high winds. Trim trees to avoid the possibility of large limbs doing damage to your house. In addition, selectively thinning out the branches to allow wind to pass through will reduce the potential for damage to the tree itself. Dead or damaged branches should be removed before they become flying missiles aimed straight for your house.

Develop a Family Hurricane Plan

Discuss the types of hazards that could affect your family.  Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.

  1. Secure your home (doors and windows).
  2. Locate a SAFE ROOM or the SAFE AREAS in the home for each hurricane hazard.
  3. Determine safe escape routes and meeting places prior to the storm
  4. Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
  5. Make arrangements prior to the storm for pets in case of mandatory evacuation.
  6. Gather all non-emergency phone numbers and discuss the proper use of 911 with all children.
  7. 7.  Prepare a Family First Aid Kit and put it in the SAFE ROOM.
  8. 8.  Have a battery-operated radio for weather and safety updates.

 Prepare a Disaster Supply Kit:

  • Water (1 gallon per person for 3 to 7 days)
  • Food (3 to 7 day supply for each person)
  • non-perishable packaged or canned food/juices
  • foods for infants or elderly individuals
  • snack foods
  • non-electric can opener
  • cooking tools/fuel
  • paper plates/plastic utensils
  • Blankets/Pillows, etc.
  • Clothing
  • First Aid Kit/Medicines/Prescription Drugs
  • Special Items
  • Toiletries/Hygiene items/Moisture wipes
  • Flashlight/Batteries
  • Radio (battery operated)
  • Cash
  • Keys
  • Toys/Books/Games for children
  • Important documents – waterproof container:
  • birth certificates
  • insurance documents
  • medical records
  • bank account information
  • pictures
  • Tools
  • Vehicle fuel tanks filled
  • Pet care items (If not going to shelter)

Despite the best attempts at protecting your home, damage may still occur. Take a look at your insurance policies to make sure you are adequately covered. Keep lists, pictures and video of your belongings as documentation for the insurance company.

Helpful Websites for information and safety
Link to NOAA: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ 
Link to Generac’s Hurricane Preparedness’ Guide: http://www.generac.com/hurricane-prep
Florida’s disaster prep site:  www.floridadisaster.org
Get alerts for your county/city:  floridadisaster.org/alertflorida
Get a plan!  www.floridadisaster.org/getaplan
Florida DOT:  www.fdot.gov/emergencymanagement
Florida State Emergency Response team on Twitter:  twitter.com/FLSERT
Volunteer Information:  www.volunteerflorida.org/emergency-management

Hurricane Tips for Horse Owners

Hurricane Tips for Horse Owners

Horses should be kept on the owner’s or caretaker’s property, if possible. If you plan to evacuate your animal out of the area, go early.

  • In a Category 1 storm, animals may be safe in a sturdy barn. In a Category 2 storm or higher, animals are probably safest in a large pasture with room to move around,allowing them to utilize their best instincts if there are no electrical wires to come down and the fences are in good repair.
  • Do NOT tranquilize your horse!
  • Make sure your animal is well identified by spray painting your phone number on your horse’s body; attach a fetlock band or mare band with your name address and phone numbers in permanent ink; braid a luggage tag into your horses mane or tail close to the body (be sure its water proofed).
  • Be sure to have photos of you with your animals, showing any unique markings, to prove ownership.
  • Be sure that your horse is wearing a leather halter which will make it easier for someone to catch your horse if it gets loose.
  • Plan for water (20 gallons per animal per day) and feed and hay for your horse.
  • Have on hand a supply of basic first aid items, i.e., bandages, anesthetics, etc.
  • Do not stay with your horse! You cannot help a frightened, thousand pound animal, and you may get hurt.

IF UNDER A FLOOD WATCH, the following reminders are also important:

  • Move your large animals to high ground.
  • Cleanse feet and hooves with iodine. Once the iodine dries, the feet and hooves should be covered with Vaseline or petroleum jelly for protection from standing water and infection.
  • Feed and hay should be moved above ground three feet to avoid water damage and mold.

IN BROWARD COUNTY, caretakers and/or horse owners should contact the Broward County Hurricane Hotline at 3-1-1 or 954-831-4000 if the horse is in standing water up to their knees post-storm.

PREPARING A HURRICANE SURVIVAL KIT

PREPARING A HURRICANE SURVIVAL KIT

Being prepared before an emergency happens can make a big difference in how you and your family weather the storm.

Items for preparing a hurricane survival kit  include:

  • Water – 3 gallons per day per person
  • Battery Operated Radio
  • Bleach
  • Candles and matches or lighter
  • Duct Tape
  • Emergency cooking supplies
  • Charcoal or Propane for grill
  • Large cooler to store items in refrigerator
  • Ice to fill large cooler
  • Insect repellent
  • Extra batteries
  • Extension cords – long, heavy duty
  • Blankets/Pillows
  • Rain Gear and sturdy shoes
  • Pet food
  • Pet care items
  • Extra medications for both family members and pets
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First Aid kit
  • Toys, books, games
  • Flashlight with extra batteries and bulbs
  • Toiletries
  • Manual can opener
  • Ready to eat canned and prepared food
  • Valuable papers
  • Water-tight storage bags and/or boxes
  • Valid drivers’ license
  • Cash

Top 10 Reasons to Purchase a Standby Generator

Top 10 Reasons to purchase a Standby Generator

The team at 1 Stop has put together a list of Top 10 Reasons to Purchase a Standby Generator.  While we may love talking wattage, load shedding and motor sizes, you’re probably thinking“will it keep my ice-cream cold in the Freezer”.   Well … it will do that and a whole lot more!  Check it out!

1)      Air! Let’s face it, we live in South Florida and it gets HOT when we don’t have our central A/C.  A standby generator can keep you cool and calm under atmospheric pressure!

2)      Food!   Just because we have a storm does not mean we have a block party.   Don’t be that person who whips out their grill right after the storm to get rid of the Porterhouse steak you just purchased at Whole Foods the day before.

3)      Lights! A Standby Generator will kick on as soon as the power goes out leaving you in the lap of luxury and bathing in the warm glow of your very own lights.

4)      Communication!  With power you can make sure your cell, laptops, radio, TV are all ready, willing and able to keep you in the loop during and after a storm.

5)      Coffee! Have you ever been in a storm, lost power and were unable to get your caffeine for the day?  Keep those headaches away! No one wants to be hot, without coffee and starved after a storm!

6)      Home Security!  We don’t like to talk about this one much but your house is at risk of burglary when your power goes out.  Those central alarm systems are useless unless you have a stash of body guards.  Keep your family and possessions safe by keeping your alarm system active.

7)      Home Medical Equipment! Most of us take this for granted but we do have a wonderful population of elderly people here in Florida.  However, folks of all ages have medical needs as well.  Give a thought about who in your family can not go without electricity for more than 5 minutes.  If you are a caretaker who is in this situation please call us today to talk about our Generators.  We will find one that fits the needs of your household.

8)      Water! Many times we see boil water alerts right after a storm has wreaked havoc on our lives.  Generators can keep your stove running so you can boil your water for drinking, washing, brushing your teeth and scrubbing behind your ears.

9)      Hot Water! Remember Hurricane Wilma?  Taking a shower was like jumping into an ice hole!

10)   You! Sleep like a baby knowing your food is safe and your power is in check.

*Please note, keeping your Ice-cream frozen is not one of the reasons 🙂

IMPORTANT – GENERATOR SAFETY

Generator Safety

Anyone who owns a generator should be prepared to operate it safely if the need arises. Here are some tips:

  1. All gas-powered engines emit CO, a colorless, odorless gas that can build up to fatally toxic levels. Generators must only be operated outside of inhabited structures in a well-ventilated area and should never be placed anywhere near windows, doors, vents or other openings.
  2. If you’re going to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a generator, pitch in the extra twenty or thirty bucks for a CO alarm. That’s a tremendous  bargain for the life-safety benefit.
  3. Never operate a generator on the balcony of a multi-unit structure. The boundaries of most balconies force you to place the generator too close to your own   living areas, as well as those of your neighbors.
  4. Never attempt to refuel a generator while it is running or still hot. Turn it off and allow it to cool before adding fuel.
  5. Take extreme care not to spill fuel onto the generator or the surrounding area.
  6. Read your generator’s manual very carefully. Follow all directions and pay close attention to the electrical load rating. Never overload the generator.
  7. Never attempt to connect a portable generator to the main electrical panel in your home. Not only is this very dangerous for occupants, it is also fatally  dangerous for electrical workers who are trying to restore power.

If you haven’t used your generator in a while, or you’re pretty sure you’re done with it, here are some tips for safe storage:

  1.  When you pull your generator out after any storage period, remember to inspect it carefully for broken or missing parts. Wipe off all dust.
  2. Store the generator in a dry, well-ventilated area with the fuel tank empty.
  3. Give it a good cleaning before storing. Remove traces of oil, dirt and other foreign matter.
  4. Do not store near fuel supplies.
  5. Do not store near appliances such as water heaters or pumps, especially if they are gas-powered.