A tropical storm is nearby, what should I do to prepare?

Tropical storms pack less punch than a hurricane, but that doesn't mean you should underestimate its dangers.  These storms, in the last few years, have brought heavy rains, flooding, and tornado-like wind damage.  Being prepared for an oncoming tropical storm is, therefore, just as important as preparing for a hurricane.

  • First, secure your home and property:

  • Cover your windows with shutters or plywood.  Flying debris from a neighbors yard can shatter windows and bring the winds into your home.

  • Don't forget glass doors.  Brace these also with plywood.

  • Reinforce garage doors by adding horizontal wood braces to each panel at its weakest point and securing them with screws.  Kits are available at your local home improvement center.

  • Check around your home for loose objects such as toys, gardening tols, barbecue equipment, lawn chairs, and other items that could cause damage if blown away by the wind.

Mobile homes are particularly vulnerable to hurricane-force winds.  Anchor the mobile home with over-the-top or frame ties.  When a storm threatens, do what you can to secure your home, then take refuge with friends or relatives or at a public shelter.  Before you leave, take the following precautions:

  • Pack breakable items in boxes and put them on the floor.

  • Remove mirrors and tape them. Wrap mirrors and lamps in blankets and place them in the bathtub or shower.

  • Install hurricane shutters or precut plywood on all windows.

  • Shut off utilities and disconnect electricity, sewer, and water lines.  Shut off propane tanks and leave them outside after anchoring them securely.

  • Store awnings, folding furniture, trash cans, and other loose outdoor objects.

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