It’s Hurricane Season, and even though we’ve been spared so far, it’s definitely not a good idea to drop your guard!
A hurricane (just in case you didn’t know) is a powerful storm consisting of heavy rains and winds and a group of spiralling thunderstorms. Hurricanes are created when the combination of factors are just right: lots of warm water, an area of low pressure in the centre, high humidity, low wind shear and an instance of disturbed weather are all factors in the formation of the perfect hurricane. Hurricanes are most prevalent in late summer months, when the Atlantic sea temperatures are at their highest.
Jamaicans should be looking out for more powerful hurricanes in years to come, but rather than getting alarmed, we can minimize loss and damage by following these 7 tips for success:
- “Prevention better dan cure”
Yes, you’ve heard your grandmother say this a hundred times, but she’s right! Preparation is key. The truth is, once a hurricane gets here, there’s not much we can do. But the better we can prepare and the earlier we start, the less likely we’ll be to experience devastating loss to life and property.
2. Create your Hurricane Kit
Put together a hurricane kit in your home consisting of emergency equipment like first-aid kits, waterboots, raincoats, flashlights, batteries, portable radio, kerosene lamps and matches. You don’t have to wait for a storm to approach to get this ready, and it will be one less thing to think about once a Hurricane Watch is issued.
3. Save Up on Water
Improve your home’s water catchment capabilities so you can stock up for when water is disconnected during a storm.
4. Trim Up!
Trim trees or hedges that may pose danger to your home or to power lines in your area in the case of strong gusts of wind. No one wants to have a tree fall on their home in the middle of a hurricane.
5. Do Repairs Early
Repair your roof, gutters, windows and hurricane shutters long before a hurricane approaches to save yourself the stress of rushing to get your home storm-secure.
6. Have An Escape Plan
Get familiar with the emergency shelters closest to you and map out an escape plan should you need it. Hopefully you won’t, but it’s always better to be prepared!
7. Clear Drainage
Clean out your drains and gutters to minimize flooding that will inevitably accompany a hurricane. You want to make it as easy as possible for water to drain away during extremely heavy rainfall.
Don’t forget to always stay tuned to weather updates and news reports to stay abreast of any potential hurricanes. Usually, we have a few days right before a hurricane hits to finish our preparations, but you’ll be a lot safer (and find it a lot easier) to always be hurricane ready, even when there are no storms forecast to hit.