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Why Hurricane Preparedness Matters

Hurricane storm shutters

In certain parts of America, hurricanes are an inevitable part of life. In fact, hurricanes are so much a part of American life that Christopher Columbus is credited as writing the very first account of a hurricane in 1495.

Hurricanes are the deadliest of all storms. More than 2.4 trillion gallons of rain a day can fall during a hurricane and millions of miles of air are stirred up. Hurricanes can generate enough energy to power Las Vegas’ many lights for years! From installing storm shutters for windows and putting up hurricane blinds to checking your disaster preparedness list, ensuring that you know how to prepare for hurricanes is crucial and can save not only costs but human lives as well.

Over the ten-year period from 2005 to 2014, hurricanes killed an average of 105 people per year in the United States, according to the National Weather Services. Injuries were much higher. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 ranked third on the list of deadliest storms in the US; the top spot is held by a hurricane in Galveston, Texas in 1900 which killed between 8,000 and 12,000 people.

Half of the costliest hurricanes in the United States have made land since 1990; the U.S. coastline averages five hurricanes per three year period, two of which average 110mph. When winds exceed a sustained 74mph, tropical storms are classified as hurricanes, although actual speeds are usually much higher. Two hundred miles per hour is the highest ever speed for hurricane winds and this record was set in October 2015 with Hurricane Patricia. Hurricanes reaching as high as 40,000 to 50,000 feet in the air have been recorded and are 2,000 times larger across as compared to a tornado. June 1 to November 30 is the Atlantic hurricane season, although most occur in September, followed closely by August.

When a hurricane is expected to make landfall within 24 hours, a hurricane warning is issued; if the time to landfall is 24 to 36 hours, a hurricane watch is proclaimed. Items such as storm shutters for windows can help prevent glass from shattering and being blown around, injuring or even killing. Combining these with impact-resistant glass can greatly reduce the risk of injury. Look at the vulnerable points of your home, such as your garage door, and think about bracing them or replacing them with hurricane-proof options.

Since hurricanes can last for weeks — though most last around 10 days — and disaster recovery takes time, make sure that you prepare by stockpiling food and water and have a disaster supplies store-room that includes blankets, warm, dry clothes and other necessities. During the recovery period, be sure to check the hurricane-proofing on your house and ensure storm shutters for windows remain shut and bracing is secured.

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