September 13, 2018
Residents of the Carolinas, Virginia and Maryland, take caution. Even if you don’t get a direct hit from Hurricane Florence, it is likely to bring potentially dangerous floods. Heavy rainfall over the last four or five months has saturated the ground in the Carolinas, making flooding that much more likely, and worsening the likely impact of the storm surge.
And, bear in mind that the inland areas are in just as much danger as the coastal areas. Forecasts suggest that Florence could move slowly or even sit still after making landfall, posing a threat for flooding similar to what Harvey did to Texas last year.
In 2016, Hurricane Matthew caused flooding in the Carolinas. Matthew officially made landfall 40 miles northeast of Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston encountered a major storm surge, and piers at Myrtle Beach were devastated.
If you’re in the path of a hurricane and your area has not been evacuated, it’s important to take safety precautions. Here are some tips in the event of a hurricane to help protect your homes.
What Should Homeowners in the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic Do Right Now to Protect their Homes?
1. Trim or Remove Damaged Trees
Hurricane winds will cause trees and branches to come loose and become projectiles. If you are able to do so safely, trim or remove damaged trees and limbs well in advance of the strong winds hitting shore.
2. Clear Your Yard
Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property. Clear your yard of unsecured items such as lawn chairs and potted plants.
3. Buy a Generator
The storm is likely to knock out power for a huge number of people, and a generator can allow you to run appliances and lights after the storm has passed. Bear in mind that generators can be deadly if used incorrectly. Remember to keep portable generators and other alternative power sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture.
Remember: Even homeowners who don’t take a direct hit from this storm may suffer from its effects. It is necessary to prepare now.
Everybody in the area expected to be affected by Florence should take the following steps:
- Familiarize yourself with hurricane evacuation routes in your area and how to find higher ground.
- Trim the trees and shrubs around your home to make them more wind resistant (if time and conditions allow you to get this work done safely).
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage can and anything else that is not tied down.
- If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter below the 10th floor.
- Consider a generator for emergency backup power generation.
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