5 Ways to Prepare for Severe Weather In Northwest Florida
We can all enjoy a relaxing rain shower every now and then. However, the tables turn when those relaxing showers turn into dangerous weather in the blink of an eye. In Northwest Florida, many of us are familiar with severe weather and the impact such storms can have in our area. If you don’t have a plan in place to prepare your home for severe weather before hurricane season, it’s time to make one.
1.) Create A Plan
Long before severe weather hits, your family should have a plan prepared. Every member of your family should know where to go to take shelter in your home if dangerous weather suddenly hits. If you have a basement or storm cellar, that’s your best bet, but if not, you can take shelter in a designated area closest to the center of the home such as a closet, bathtub, hallway, or under a stairwell.
Consider the event in which you’re not at home as well. Make a plan for where you will go or where you will meet later in case you’re unable to get in touch. Additionally, everyone should know the local emergency phone number just in case. These preparations take very little time, yet provide such peace of mind!
2.) Emergency Supplies
Along with having a plan of where to take cover and who to contact, it’s also important to have emergency bags prepared. 72 hour kits are a great option to have packed for each member of your family. These bags should have enough food, water, and additional supplies to aid your family for three days in an easy-to-grab bag. You can prepare these bags on your own, or purchase them online. In the event of an emergency, you likely won’t have time to pack bags with supplies. Be prepared!
3.) The Exterior of Your Home
Make a habit out of keeping the exterior of your home prepared for severe weather. Trim any dead or low hanging branches, and remove them from your yard. Be sure to have straps on hand in the instance you need to quickly strap your grill or other outdoor items down. If you have time, bring in any items which are likely to blow away. Such items may include garbage cans, outdoor furniture, potted plants, and more.
The outdoor components of HVAC units are often forgotten when a major storm comes rolling in. Your outdoor unit is exposed to wind, rain, hail, and even flying objects which were left outside. On top of that, it’s also exposed to power surges and electrical shock from lightning. If extreme weather is headed your way, consider turning off the power to the system, cover the unit, and strap the cover down. This can help protect your system throughout the storm. It’s important to remember to remove the covering as quickly as possible after the severe weather passes, and to never turn the unit on when covered.
4.) Tune In
When the whispers and rumors of a storm begin, stay tuned in to your local weather station. You can stay updated on the upcoming weather through the TV, text updates, radio announcements, and or weather apps on your phone. Saying up to date on these weather warnings will ensure you and your family are prepared for whatever may come next. Additionally, authorities may even advise your area to evacuate. Listen to these announcements and follow them quickly.
5.) Inside Your Home
As severe weather approaches, check that your emergency bags are prepared, ensure you have adequate food storage and supplies, and put any important documents or items in waterproof lockboxes. If you aren’t told to evacuate, shelter in place and do not leave your home for any frivolous reasons. If you’re concerned about losing power, pre-cool your home in order to stay comfortable throughout the storm. Additionally, keep candles and battery powered lanterns on hand in case the power goes out.
We Hope These Tips Help
Severe weather is such a frightening thing! We hope these five recommendations help you prepare for any inclement weather this summer. If your HVAC system needs any help after a major storm rolls through, give Gulfshore Air a call at (850) 897-6540! Gulfshore Air is your local American Standard Customer Care Dealer and Niceville’s #1 choice for heating and air conditioning services.
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