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It's National Hurricane Preparedness Week, know the facts

Hurricane season starts June 1

May 18, 2009
Lehigh Acres Citizen

National Hurricane Preparedness Week

May 24 30, 2009


Hurricane Season 2009 runs from June 1 through November 30

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is a 1-5 rating on a hurricane's intensity.

- Category 1 Hurricane winds 74-95 mph

- Category 2 Hurricane winds 96-110 mph

- Category 3 Hurricane winds 111-130 mph

- Category 4 Hurricane winds 121-155 mph

- Category 5 Hurricane winds 156 and greater

2009 Hurricane Predictions:

# Named # Hurricanes # Major Hurricanes

Colorado State/Bill Gray 14 7 3

Weather Research Center 7 4 0

Weather Services Inc. 13 7 3

Accuweather 13 8 2

Before the Storm - Preparing Your Family:

Develop and practice a family emergency plan.

Create a disaster supply kit for the home and a separate one to take in case you must evacuate.

- For your "stay at home" emergency kit include flashlights, batteries, tarps, duct tape, non-perishable foods and water for the entire family and pets. Don't forget a battery operated radio, disposable camera, medicines and critical paperwork.

- For your "evacuation" emergency kit, include the following in a watertight container: prescription and over-the-counter medicines, important papers (such as passports, birth certificates, copies of insurance papers and wills, health insurance paperwork, pictures of furnishings, listing of medications, policies, deeds, stocks and bonds, titles to cars), checkbooks, record of all bank numbers, inventory of valuable household goods, address book with contact information for doctors, insurance agents and relatives, safety deposit box keys, evacuation map of area.

Make sure your homeowner policy is updated and includes flood insurance.

When a Storm is Forecast for Your Area:

Fuel your car.

Fill bathtubs and sinks with water.

Review your evacuation route.

Get cash in case you must evacuate.

Have a battery-powered NOAA weather radio available.

Use your family's evacuation and family emergency plans.

Make sure all family members wear closed-toe shoes or sneakers.

Make arrangements to board or evacuate pets. Take shot records, rabies certificates and tags and vet information.

Have supplies and basic foods available. For comprehensive checklists of basic foods, supplies and emergency home repair items to have on hand if you live in a coastal area, visit the "Shopping List" section of the Weather Research Center's Family Hurricane Survival Kit (sponsored by Simonton Windows) at

Safeguarding Your Home:

Secure all loose objects (such as lawn furniture, garbage cans and planters) that can become flying missiles when hurricane winds intensify.

Turn off your gas, water and electricity before evacuating.

Unless you have impact-resistant glass in your windows, make sure to shutter up or board up windows and doors.

Tape over and seal all soffit vents and roof vents to prevent wind-driven rain from splashing into the vents and flooding the attic.

Add bracing to the interior of garage doors to reinforce them against wind damage.

For "after storm" cleanup, have the following items available: tarps, duct tape, heavy work gloves, gas cans, batteries, chain saws, shovels, rakes, water filters, cleaning supplies, first aid kits and extra strength large garbage bags.

Trim tree limbs near or touching the home.

Creating a Secure Home:

Windows The biggest cause of devastation during a hurricane is the ability of wind to enter a structure through a broken door or window. This causes a build-up of pressure inside the structure that can literally blow out the roof and walls. Homeowners with code-approved impact-resistant windows are designed to withstand flying debris during brutal storms. They help provide maximum protection and add beauty to the home, without the need for unattractive shuttering systems, or board up windows and doors.

Roofing - When having a new roof installed or an old roof replaced, select impact-resistant roofing tiles and those that can withstand high wind speeds. Make sure the installer follows the roofing manufacturer's warranty guidelines for installation. Proper nailing will help your roof make it through weather.

Entry Doors - Install door that swings out instead of in. These doors have welded hinge pins, so security is not a problem and the wind actually helps to keep the door secured properly.

All Products - When building or remodeling, make sure to use the latest weather-resistant building materials available, such as hurricane strapping, clips, corner bracing and tie-down systems.

For more information:

- National Hurricane Preparedness Week web site at

- Weather Research Center -



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