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  Hurricane Survival Guide

Hurricane Season Is Here!

With the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season a here, researcher William Gray released his newest forecast Thursday 9 to14 named storms, of which 4 to 7 could become hurricanes, including 1 to 3 major hurricanes of category 3, 4 or 5. There is a 50 percent chance of a major hurricane making landfall on the East Coast.

Now is the time to prepare! We have all seen the grocery store lines that form, and the total chaos and panic that can happen when a hurricane warning is issued. This year, do yourself a favor prepare now!


Preparing your pool for hurricanes

There are several steps you can take to prepare and protect your swimming pool during hurricane season.

Before The Storm

The first step is to make sure as much water as possible drains from the deck as quickly as possible.

Most pools have a plastic slotted deck drain designed to take water from the slab to the yard.

If you have an acrylic painted deck, some of the slats may be painted over. Carefully use a small flat screwdriver to push the paint through and open the slats. If there is dirt inside the drain, you can insert a garden hose from one side and try to flush it out with water.

During any test, make sure that the water runs unobstructed out the ends of the drain to low spots in the yard, flowing quickly away from the house and pool deck. Remove any grass, mulch or dirt that may block the end of the drain.

If you don't have a deck drain, make sure high grass, dirt, mulch or stones do not block the edge of the deck. These obstacles can prevent water from quickly moving off the edge and into the yard.

Take time to trim trees of extra limbs and branches that may become airborne during afternoon thunderstorms and high winds. This debris could cause damage to your house, pool equipment or screen enclosure.

Don't forget to store light toys and patio furniture properly; they too, can become flying projectiles inside your pool area.

Remember to close an umbrella when not using the pool to prevent the wind from sending it skyward. High winds can overturn an open umbrella fitted into a patio table, causing the table to fall over and, if made of glass, to shatter on your pool deck.

What to do when a storm approaches

Never empty your pool. Pools that have been emptied may experience serious structural problems and could even be lifted off their foundations.
If your pool is properly equipped with adequate drains and skimmers and the surrounding area is properly drained, the water level can probably be left as it is. Clear the area around any deck drains to allow maximum water flow off your deck.

It is recommended that you super chlorinate the pool water. You should shock the pool as you normally would.

All electric power should be turned off at the circuit breakers before the storm hits.

If you cannot store loose objects such as plastic or PVC chairs, tables, pool equipment and toys inside a building and your pool is concrete, gently place them in the pool to help shield them from the winds.


Never put any metal or glass items into your pool at any time.
If your pool is vinyl or fiberglass, don't ever put anything in the pool because the vinyl liner could tear and the fiberglass could be scratched.


Supply list

When you are collecting supplies make sure you have enough of everything for at least two weeks. Keep them in airtight containers or plastic bags. Some basic items, not including food and water might include:

  • Clean containers for storing drinking water:    Figure you will need a gallon per person per day for drinking and sanitation. Gallon-sized freezer bags for making ice: You'll want to fill them with water and freeze as many as you can a few days before the storm is expected to arrive.
  • Household bleach, without lemon scent, to purify water.
  • Tools: hammer and nails; ax or hatchet; crowbar; screwdrivers; pliers; a drill, extra fasteners and bolts for shutters; a knife; handsaw.
  • Duct tape and masking tape.
  • Flashlight for each member of the family with extra batteries
  • Radio or battery-powered TV with extra batteries
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Lantern with extra fuel or batteries
  • Matches
  • A charcoal or gas grill with a supply of fuel so you can cook if you are left without electricity or gas. Never use a grill inside.
  • Fuel for your generator or chain saw
  • Sterno stove, with extra fuel
  • Oven mitts, for handling hot cookware.
  • Disposable plastic eating utensils, to help you save water.
  • Hand-operated can opener
  • Soap with a covered plastic container
  • Toiletries
  • Toilet paper. Keep it dry in plastic bags.
  • Needle and thread
  • Mosquito repellent
  • A first aid kit
  • Extra prescription medications, enough for a month.
  • Disposable diapers and wipes
  • Cat litter, which also is good for soaking up spills.
  • A two week supply of food for your pets
  • Several boxes of garbage bags, with ties, to collect refuse and store goods to keep them dry.
  • Large plastic trash cans with sealing lids work well for the storage of most items.
  • Rope or heavy cord.
  • Tarpaulin, canvas or 6-mil plastic sheeting. Good for making temporary roof repairs or tents.
  • Safety razor blades
  • Whistle or air horn
  • Money (most ATMs will not be operational)

 


Preparing Your House