As a tropical storm or hurricane approaches, you should prepare your condo and balcony.
Immediately upon announcement of a Hurricane or Tropical Storm Watch, all residents must bring all personal items inside. Nothing can be left outside that the strong winds will blow away!
Before the storm or as it approaches:
- Turn down the temperature on your freezer and refrigerator as low as possible. This will buy you more time in the event of a power loss. 24 to 48 hours before will cool the food. Avoid opening them whenever possible. If you are evacuating, probably unnecessary.
- Before you evacuate, call at least one person out of state to let them know your plans.
- Ensure that your Hurricane Emergency Kit is fully stocked.
- Charge electronic devices, for example, computers, cell phones, rechargeable batteries, razors, and the like.
- Make extra ice, bag it – this will be useful to use and to keep the freezer cold.
- Do the same with your home air conditioner. It gets very hot and very humid very quickly. If you are evacuating, this is not necessary.
- If you have a generator, do NOT run it inside or near the building. But make sure you have fuel to run it.
- Make sure your car has fuel.
- Clear off your balcony – furniture, tools, decorative items, plants – anything loose that could become a missile.
- Secure all doors and windows with locks, and shutters if available.
- Move items that may be damaged by water to higher areas of your home if you cannot take them with you if evacuating. Move them away from windows in case they are broken.
- Caulk and fill bathtubs – extra water comes in handy for toilets and more..
- It may sound strange, but do your laundry, dishes, and take a shower. Why? Because if you lose power, having as much clean as possible will make a big difference.
If you have time, help your neighbors.
During a storm.
- Stay inside, away from windows
- Be alert for tornadoes
- Stay away from flood waters and storm surge. It can be deceptively strong.
- Be aware of the eye. It may be calm, but winds can and will pick up quickly and could catch you outside.
- Un-plug electronic devices that are not in use to avoid surge damage. This is less likely that during afternoon thunderstorms because lightening is rare in a hurricane, but it is better to be safe.
After a Storm
- Know power safety – avoid downed lines
- Know food safety – what is good and for how long.
- Generator safety is important too
- Water treatment – whether water needs to be boiled or not.
- Listen to local officials
- Use flashlights instead of candles
- Inspect your home for damage.
- Stay off roads as much as possible