In many cases, the home is the epicenter of life for individuals and families, and because of this, people have to be prepared in order to protect it. Preparation is the only method by which a home can be protected against a natural disaster destroying it as well from having these unexpected disasters taking life. So a guide is important in order to properly prepare the home in case of emergencies and also so people are prepared for the particular natural disaster risks in certain areas.
Because of this, the guide below will detail specific major natural disasters that the most amount of people are likely to encounter, and this will make the information more effective because of its relevancy to the greatest amount of people. These disasters are hurricanes and tornadoes, and because they are either nominally predicted or not predictable at all, but occur with consistent regularity, preparing for these particular disasters will adhere to the relevancy that this article seeks to provide.
Hurricanes harbor severe thunderstorms, and flash floods, and the hurricane season lasts from June to November. These forceful storms with winds exceeding 150 miles per hour manifest in the US in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, and they impact the associated coastlines.
Although Hurricane Katrina in 2005 is deemed one of the most infamous hurricanes, the deadliest hurricane occurred in Galveston. This is an island city off the Gulf coast of Texas near Houston, and this hurricane occurred in 1900. This terrible storm killed at least 8,000 people, and both highlight the repercussions of unpreparedness in natural disaster situations.
The most major hurricane hazard is storm surges and this is because the storms surge is the least respected force in the entire hurricane event, and people are often lulled into complacency because storm surge is not as dramatic as other parts of the storm. However, the hurricane’s storm surge represents the most formidable threat to human lives and property than any other event within the hurricane. Surge is basically a tide of ocean water pushed in front of the storm by the storm’s strong winds, and they are even deadlier when combined with rising tides. to understand the dangers of hurricane surge is the preparedness method so people in the path of hurricanes should heed evacuation warnings without equivocation, and little can be done to protect property from storm surge beyond the appropriate insurance remedies.
Not only are hurricane and tropical storm force winds powerful enough to destroy buildings, they can also cause extreme damage for miles along the coast and continue the damage inland for hundreds of miles. Additionally, tornadoes often form when these storms reach land. Flooding and flash flooding occurs from the torrential downpours often causing destruction in low-lying areas.
General Hurricane Home Preparation
Because there is not much that can be done in alleviating a home’s risks in the case of storm surge, it is the high winds associated with hurricanes in which the home can be prepared to withstand. Homeowners can remove debris like dead and downed limbs and yard items that could be picked up and blown with extreme force by the strong wind.
In the case of possible evacuations due to hurricanes, it is necessary to prepare an evacuation kit. The kit should contain water and food but it should also include other personal necessities like an extra store of necessary medications, clothing and pet supplies if necessary and stores the kit in a dry, safe and easily accessible place. It is recommended that the kit also include a battery powered weather radio and flashlight, and most importantly batteries to power everything.
In order to protect the home, those in hurricane zones board windows and this protects homes from damage as does storm shutters, and finally fill the tanks of automobiles long before any emergencies. Often those in hurricane zones make it a practice to keep vehicles fueled during the entire season.
Tornadoes manifest from powerful thunderstorms as a funnel extending from the storm to the ground. The wind and wind driven debris is very dangerous and has been recorded in excess of 300 MPH. Some tornado’s debris paths can be a mile wide and carry on for more than forty miles in duration.
Vigilance is paramount in tornado safety, and there is a system in place to identify the potentiality for tornadoes although they are unable to be predicted with any accuracy. It is a system of watches and warnings meaning when a tornado watch has been issued, the conditions for tornado production due to the presence or potential presence of severe thunderstorms makes the conditions for tornadoes very favorable. A tornado warning means tornadoes are expected or have already formed near the warning zones, and those in the zone should seek shelter immediately.
Preparing in advance is the only precaution to protect the home, but protecting life in the case of tornadoes is more important because in the correct storm, no structure can be adequately protected. People should have the requisite emergency kit and a plan for the family that includes several layers of means of communication like designating people situated away from tornado hot zones to pool and disseminate family information in person.
General Tornado Home Preparation
In hurricane as well as tornado zones, homes are mandated to be built to withstand more wind than in places where this is not an issue, but structurally walls should be secured foundations, and studs within these walls should have hurricane clips. Additionally, shelving should be secured to studs within the wall, and heavy items like large appliances should be adequately secured and positioned low to the ground.
However in tornado zones, the only protection for life and limb beyond vigilance and respect for warnings and watches is a reinforced safe room or some other form of shelter or refuge like storm cellars and other construction expressly constructed for safe refuge from the ravages of the violent winds. Below ground shelter is best, but interior first floor rooms are more efficient than other areas in the structure.