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Preparing a Hurricane Kit: Supplies You Should Stock This Season

Preparing a Hurricane Kit: Supplies You Should Stock This Season

Photo: Nature.com

Hurricane season has officially begun, and forecasters are anticipating a significant amount of storm activity during the 2018 season in the Atlantic Ocean, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. According to Weather.com, 13 named storms are projected for this season, in addition to Tropical Storm Alberta, which formed in May before the season had officially begun and made landfall near Laguna Beach, Florida.

Photo: Pinterest

Of the 13 storms projected to develop into named storms in 2018, six are expected to attain hurricane strength—and two are expected to become major hurricanes, reaching an intensity of Category 3 or higher. When it comes to tropical storms and hurricanes, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and there’s no better time than the present to go over your hurricane preparation checklist and make sure your hurricane kit is well-stocked and ready to go should a storm strike where you live this season.

 

Photo: Stephanie Banfield

Unlike storms such as tornados—which tend to strike without much, if any, warning—hurricanes typically develop slowly over a period of several days as they strengthen from a tropical disturbance to a tropical depression to a tropical storm to a hurricane of varying intensities. But just because a storm is still hundreds of miles off the coastline and its path is not projected to affect you for a few more days doesn’t mean you should kick back and relax while you wait to figure out exactly where it’s going to hit.

Photo: RVA News

Storms can intensify rapidly—sometimes going from a tropical system to a strong hurricane in a matter of only a few hours—and their course can change drastically depending on factors ranging from ocean water temperatures to land masses they encounter along the way. To ensure you’re properly prepared to ride out a storm that hits your area and to care for yourself, your family and your pets for several days if roads become inaccessible and facilities remain closed, it’s imperative to build your hurricane kit in advance and to stock up on supplies well ahead of time. According to Ready.gov, at the minimum, your hurricane kit should include the following basic items:

  • Water (1 gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days, for drinking and sanitation purposes)
  • Food (3-day supply of nonperishable food per person/pet)
  • Medications (1-week supply of prescription medications per person/pet)
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Manual can opener for food items
  • Wrench and/or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Trash bags, plastic ties and moist towelettes for personal sanitation
  • Local maps
  • Dust mask to filter contaminated air
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to cover holes in walls and the roof and protect you from the elements as you shelter in place)
  • Cell phone with charger (and an extra battery pack/portable power bank that is fully charged)
  • Whistle (to signal that you need assistance in the event that you need to be rescued)
Photo: WTVR

Remember that many people residing in coastal regions will wait until a storm is projected to make landfall before they head to the store to grab supplies. Stock your hurricane kit with supplies in advance to avoid running the risk of stores running out of necessary supplies—and to avoid the chaos that comes with trying to gather everything you need at the last minute along with everyone else in town. With the 2018 hurricane season in full swing, it’s more important than ever to keep a watchful eye on the weather, and when you discover that a storm is forecast to hit your area, you can rest assured in knowing that your hurricane kit is fully stocked and you are well-prepared to protect yourself and your loved ones when its wind and waves collide with the coastline.

The Right Hurricane Shutter Solution for Your Coastal Cottage

Photo: Pinterest

Whether you’re planning to build a custom cottage or you’ve recently purchased an existing home and intend to perform some renovations, if your new residence is in a coastal region you’ll need to decide if you want to outfit your home with hurricane shutters. From protecting your property from damaging winds and airborne objects to preventing intruders from accessing your home when it’s not in use, there are myriad benefits of hurricane shutters to take into consideration when designing your coastal cottage. However, because a variety of hurricane shutter options are available, it’s important to choose the right hurricane shutters to suit your specific set of needs when you are building or renovating the beach house of your dreams.

Photo: Shutter Outlet

There are four main types of hurricane shutters that are frequently used on coastal properties: roll-down shutters, bahama shutters, storm panel shutters and colonial shutters. Primarily used on commercial properties, storm panel shutters are designed for sliding glass doors or wide windows that span the entire length of a building’s wall. These hurricane shutters are typically designed to fasten into an upper track and a lower track, sliding open from right to left. Often made of galvanized steel, storm panel shutters offer some of the best protection against hurricanes and are usually placed on a property only when a storm is expected to hit. Although they provide exceptional security during a storm, storm panel shutters are not a permanent fixture on the home and require a bit of work to install each time a hurricane is in the forecast.

Photo: Pinterest

Unlike storm panel shutters, colonial shutters are an understated hurricane protection option that doesn’t detract from the visual appearance of your property—and once they are initially installed, they can be left on your coastal cottage all year long. Whereas storm panel shutters are typically kept in storage until the need to install them arises, colonial shutters are a permanent solution that only needs to be installed one time. They can also be purchased in a wide array of colors that enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property. Should a hurricane be headed your way, simply close the shutters over the windows until the threat of high winds has passed. Because they don’t need to be installed before a storm and taken down afterward, colonial shutters are the best choice for homeowners who want a hassle-free hurricane shutter solution for their property that also adds to the home’s curb appeal.

Photo: Hurricane Management Group

Similar in style and appearance to colonial shutters, bahama shutters are another popular hurricane shutter choice for homeowners who want to enhance the style of their house. While colonial shutters are placed on the right and left sides of a window, bahama shutters are situated at the top of the window. When closed, bahama shutters cover the window entirely from top to bottom; when “open,” they sit at a 45-degree angle, extending outward from the window and still partially covering the top half. Bahama shutters can add both a pop of color and some traditional island character to your property; however, the downside to this type of hurricane shutter is that they limit the amount of light that makes its way into your windows on a daily basis and can make it difficult to see outside unless you’re looking straight down.

Photo: Architectural Design Shutters

If you’re searching for a hassle-free hurricane shutter solution that doesn’t impact the design of your home or your ability to see your surroundings, the best choice for your property is probably a roll-down hurricane shutter. This popular storm-protection option is installed at the top of each window or door in a discreet bar that blends in with a home’s exterior. When a hurricane is on the horizon, simply use a manual crank on the inside of the home—or an electronic motor on upgraded options—to roll the shutter down from the top of the door or window until it fully covers the glass. Roll-down hurricane shutters offer excellent protection from wind, rain and flying objects, as well as top-notch security for your home when you are away and it’s not in use.

Photo: Pinterest

At the end of the day, determining which type of hurricane shutters are the right choice for your beach house all depends on how much protection your home requires during high winds and how much work you want to put into securing the shutters before a storm hits. But with so many options available, you’re sure to find hurricane shutters that will fit your home’s needs as well as your personal style and building budget.

 

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