My Tips on Preparing for Hurricane Season
Cece Nunn wrote a great article in the Greater Wilmington Business Journal this week about hurricanes, and specifically how to prepare your home for one as we enter hurricane season, which starts in June and runs until December. If you haven't read it, I encourage you to do so.
Some important points were made in that article, such as;
Make sure your roof is in good shape beforehand in order to prevent more extensive damage.
Consider a flood insurance policy, even if your home is not located in a flood zone (rates are cheaper).
I wanted to add a few of my own thoughts and experiences about hurricanes.
Consider boarding up your windows. For homeowners with large windows, I recommend buying some sheets of OSB board and pre-cutting them to the shapes of your windows and doors, and then labeling them for future use. I have known folks to make these for hurricane Floyd in 1999 and not bring them back out until Matthew in 2016, but having them can make a world of difference.
Move your belongings off the ground, and put important documents into waterproof containers.
Move all loose objects that you might have outside to a secure location indoors.
Here are some other things to keep in mind.
Be prepared to lose power. During Florence, most of the county was without power for two weeks; we stayed in the northern part of the county, where the power took about an extra week to return. Some people that I've spoken with said that since they lived near 17th st and were on the same electrical grid as the hospital, they were only without power for four days. It is worthwhile to estimate in advance how long you'll be out of power and plan accordingly.
Many people I know with large freezers full of food made the decision to use a generator to keep them powered during the storm. Decide if that's cost effective for you.
Penny Trick: If you choose to keep food under refrigeration, I would recommend employing the penny trick to make sure that your freezers remain at the correct temperature: Freeze some water in a container and then place a penny on top of the ice and put it in the freezer. When you check later, note the location of the penny; if it has sunk into the ice, then there was a lapse in refrigeration and your food could be compromised.
Restaurants can stand to lose a lot of inventory from storms, and sometimes they try to mitigate their losses by opening up during or immediately after a storm. Exercise caution when this happens during a storm that causes countywide outages, because the majority of restaurants do not have backup generators for their coolers.
In order to support your favorite local restaurant, here is my advice: don't go there during the storm; wait a week or so after the storm, and then patronize them even more. And tip your servers well.
Nunn closed out her article with some information from The Weather Company:
"... according to predictions released in early May by The Weather Company, owner of weather.com, 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes are expected during the 2019 hurricane season [...] slightly above the 30-year average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes."