Hurricane season is upon us. It officially begins June 1 and goes until Nov. 30. This time each year, the communities of South Florida become incredibly vulnerable to hurricanes, heavy rainfall, fast-paced winds, and flooding. While you may use your downtime inside to finish Game of Thrones, it is essential to arrange a plan beforehand. Whether you are new to the area or a seasoned Floridian, here are five ways to get prepared and five things to do while you wait it out.
The storm surge –a dome of water pushed ashore by hurricane winds– is the greatest threat during a hurricane. A wave can cause whole buildings to collapse and do more damage than the winds of the hurricane itself. Florida is highly susceptible to surge flooding as a coastal, low-lying community. That is why it is essential to know your zone. Once a threat is identified, each zone will be evacuated depending on the hurricane's projected track. Find out your zone here.
If your zone is not being evacuated, your home will be your shelter. It is crucial to know how to prepare your house for protection. Windows and doors are vulnerable to strong winds, so you want to ensure they are closed and add extra protection, like shutters. It is also a good idea to trim shrubbery and trees outside the home and bring in any loose objects that could become airborne, like outdoor furniture, to prevent them from crashing back into the home. Don't forget to reinforce your garage door and fill up your primary vehicle's tank in case of an emergency evacuation.
Putting together an emergency kit is a smart step to take in case of any emergencies. Be sure to include a first-aid kit filled with bandages, antiseptic wipes, prescriptions, aspirin, and any daily medications you may need. It may help to purchase essential supplies like a wrench to turn off the gas in your home in case of a fire threat. Place any important documents in the kit, such as passports, Social Security cards, and the house deed. This is an easy way to ensure you have difficult-to-replace items ready to go on a whim.
In case of a power outage, it is clever to have all devices powered up before the storm approaches your zone. Many people keep up-to-date with hurricane warnings and tracking through mobile apps. You can get these critical alerts and call loved ones about updates with a fully charged device. It may be helpful to purchase a portable phone charger for good measure.
Once you're sheltered up with your party, it is time to find the best place to hunker down. The safest spot is to stay as interior as possible, putting as many walls between yourself and the wind. Injuries can be avoided if any glass windows were to break. Stay in this area until the storm is fully finished; winds do not follow the rules and can come back to your home anytime.
Now that you have devised a plan for a guarded hide-out from the hurricane, here are five ways to keep your spirits high even in the dark.
If you are lucky enough to keep power or have a generator equipped, now is the perfect time to finish binging that show or have a movie marathon. If your friends are huddled up elsewhere, watch together online on the app/website Teleparty. You can watch the same thing simultaneously while chatting or sending reactions to the most shocking twists.
During a scary storm, keeping the fridge door closed could be best. Don't be too sad, as this could be the perfect time to try out a few recipes that don't require any appliances. Try your culinary hand at this no-bake cheesecake recipe or this no-noodle pad thai.
Grab that bottle of scotch you've been saving for a rainy day, even if it's rainier than expected, and a deck of cards for hours of endless fun. Raise the stakes and play poker, or grab the kids and teach them how to play Rummy.
It's time to get crafty or create a mood board for the next era of your life. Endless opportunities for scrolling on Pinterest are bound to keep you occupied. Search through thousands of craft ideas and create something to remember the time by.
If your schedule seems always to be packed, take this time away from your daily hustle and bustle and do some pampering. Face masks, nail polish, and foot baths, this is a perfect opportunity to put slices of cucumbers on your eyes and finally relax.
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