Hurricane/Storm - one item may be "unique" to the preparation list

Home Stager with Innovative Artistry

Hurricane Irene - or "any" storm for that matter..... I wanted to get the word out on this item. 

I slept through Hurricanes as a child, after all my parents were taking care of me & keeping me safe.  I found a new respect with them during Andrew & I almost put my child in jeopardy.  This is a simple item, but can make a world of difference, & to the best of my knowledge is not on the preparation list.  I feel that not just homeowners, but also property managers, or landlords should also be aware of this.  This will not help in Earthquakes, but is possibly beneficial in a hurricane or tornado.

This one item is one of the least expensive things you can do & may be critical to your survival inside your home as protection from the elements.  I believe it to be"unique" to the preparation list.  While it is not at the top of the list, it is right up there at least in the top 10 for me, & possibly one of the greatest investment items you can do to protect the "inside" of your home.

One thing that my parents & I have done after Andrew is all the openings such as pull down stairs or square ceiling panels that have crawl space...put a eye & latch, or some form of latch, to keep them from coming up in a storm...there are various pressures that happen during hurricanes & even in hurricanes can sometimes contain tornadoes as happened with Hurricane Andrew.  Just a very inexpensive thing, but may be will keep the storm from coming below your ceiling if it penetrates your roof.

hook & eye latch

while there are a million types the one above is one of my choices and run $1-3 usually depending on the heaviness of your choice.  there are these though

I just like to keep it simple......various door latches


It is a simple item, but I would hate it if anyone didn't think about it and had to experience the hard way, as my parents did, looking up at the sky because their closet crawl space panel didn't have a latch to keep it down.  The roof structure was still there but there was an area that the roof peeled away & allowed air to get through & then the panel went up & came back down at a wedge....therefore allowing wind to rip through their bedroom & basically the rest of the house.

****Yes, this also includes pull down stairs...even if they are in the garage!!  Every area of your home that you can keep the wind out is one less area of vulnerability, if you remember nothing else.

I started another blog & dismissed it as all the things I learned after Andrew...well I could go on & on.  Please DO the list!!!  Please add this latch to the list!!!

In this statement, you may not like it it, but I am not saying to alarm anyone okay, but truly you learn by experience & learn the hard way, & I did!!  I am thankful that I still have my family & we learned the hard way with a lot of I am not saying this except from experience, okay.

The most important thing I will tell you is please DON"T BE STUPID, if they say "EVACUATE", then DO IT!!  Or if you have any doubt about the stability of your structure in a CAT 3 or 4 storm then "EVACUATE"!!!  I am not kidding & it will be the hardest thing, as you won't want to do it.  It will be a beautiful day outside & you will think oh it is nothing, and you will procrastinate & you won't do it...  I know, I have been there.  I also know if you have never been there, then you do NOT know the difference. 

I came in the day before from LAX & it was a beautiful day & didn't know why, but did decide to go through a few preparations that my Mom suggested. I wasn't quite tuned in yet & had recently transferred back home.  They were speaking of evacuating & they couldn't at this stage as the turnpike was bumper to bumper for hours "& it was suppose to go NORTH" ...  "well it didn't"....

It took me two days to be able to get to them & not know if they were even alive, okay...  So, stick together, & if something that big & that bad is "eying you while you are eying them" then get the heck to a shelter. 

It is only a few hours in that shelter, but could mean the world (or your life) to your family & save a bunch of trauma for years to come.  I put my daughter who was 10 at the time in total jeopardy as I was in an apartment (leasing) no shutters...  I will save the rest of the script of emotions.  Just try to imagine, not knowing if you are going to make it out alive or not...not worth the "RISK" to anyone & don't wait til the last minute as everyone else will also??

This is the list that I totally had in my mind, (wrong), when I was preparing for Andrew -Items that they stress are important because why??  Well let me show you why, just for a few of them...the rest I think you will get the picture, & you can figure out on your own...

Getting gas  - 

What I thought  I thought I was getting gas because there may not be electricity or they would be closed for a few days w/ employees having to take off or people would need it for their generators...I didn't have a generator.

What was REAL  There were no gas pumps, there was barely the resemblance of a gas station.

Getting Cash from the ATM's -

What I thought  I thought I was getting gas because there may not be electric, or they would be closed for a few days w/ employees having to take off.

What was REAL  The ATMidn't have electric... because it was 5 blocks down the road... & there was barely the resemblance of the bank.

Getting Water  - 

What I thought I thought I was getting water (& food) because there may not be electric, or stores would be closed for a few days w/ employees having to take off ... & may be there would be no pressure...

What was REAL  There wasn't any electric, but the water also became contaminated because they treatment plants couldn't function from damage, no electric & a number of factors.

Okay, I am going to stop the list there, as there is enough drama on TV, & people start to tune out after a while...especially if they haven't ever had it happen to them.   ( they just go yeah, yeah)

I prey she goes out to sea & no one has to have the blow. 

I am blogging this because I just don't want there to be anything left off the list if it can help someone, & this one little item I think is over looked a lot of times. 

I don't even know if the insurance inspectors really take a look & suggest it.  They do the garage braces & windows, etc.  There is a reason though I promise. 

My parents home was a well built fortress that sat on 2 acres (it was confiscated from a criminal who spared no expense) was not exempt from Andrew.  The items they have added are for a reason.  It may only happen once in your lifetime, but it only takes once.  If you don't want to do it, well fine, just take your family & yourself somewhere safe, as anything above a Cat 2...meaning Cat 3 or Cat 4 bears a lot of concern & this is coming from someone that slept through them as a child...(another reason I didn't take it any more seriously, but we hadn't had one like Andrew)  It only takes one Andrew, Katrina or a number of others historic storms.  Even in the smaller ones,  you would benefit from this latch, as well as if you are in a tornado zone, as you don't want air coming in too much either.

Wishing everyone well...sorry it is long, but preparation is important & I was naive at 34...  I can never look at a storm again in the same way.  Even the Cat 1 & Cat 2's I keep one eye open.  As they are eying us I am eying them.  In fact the stress in my home, & my parents, is amazing when as storm like this is as close as it is...but you get through it.  Sometimes we have to turn off the TV & only look when it is time for the NOAA updates.....  Be safe & wanting everyone to come out well.


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John Michailidis
Real Property Management of Sarasota & Manatee - Sarasota, FL
Real Property Management of Sarasota & M

An interesting blog post that I enjoyed reading! Thank you for sharing it!

Aug 24, 2011 11:07 AM #1
Pam Hills
Innovative Artistry - Kendall, FL
ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work

Dear John,  Thank you.  I am glad!  Even if it helps one family or person....I can't say enough about the "fury" of storms like that...but as my neighbor you know.  Thanks again!

Aug 24, 2011 11:20 AM #2
Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
Selling the Upstate since 1989

a lot of helpful tips to prepare for the storm.. I hope you make it through ok.

Aug 24, 2011 01:38 PM #3
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

A lot of great tips - and one that you never hear - thank you for that!  I'm passing this along to my husband.

Aug 24, 2011 02:17 PM #4
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Pam-This is a great list for anybody that needs to be prepared for the force of mother nature. Welcome to AR. Enjoy the journey.

Aug 24, 2011 02:38 PM #5
Pam Hills
Innovative Artistry - Kendall, FL
ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work

Dear Sheila - Thanks it is turning away from us I think, but this is for others that may still have to encounter her or another storm...  Be Safe too!

Dear Susan - Thanks & I hope you all are safe!!

Dear Sharon - well it is a fact of life & it seems...  I am hopeful it helps & thanks you for the welcome!  Hoping all goes & stays well for you.

Aug 24, 2011 03:12 PM #6
Eleanor Thorne
Equity Resources - Cary, NC
Equity Resources 919-649-5058

We've been through several ourselves.  I thought about the people down east today - they called it an Emergency Area - in NC that means they close all alcohol sales. 

Aug 25, 2011 08:20 AM #7
Karen Hurst
Rhode Island Waterfront!

Hi Pam,

Thanks for the list! I agree that unless you have lived through one you do NOT know! I feel that the Northeast has become very complacent. We have been missing them for years!

Areas that were completely demolished in 1938 are now completely built up, but they are still low lying areas. The last hurricane we had here was in 1991 and we only got one side of it, so it was fairly minimal.

I can't help but think that anyone under 40 has no clue to the devastation that a hurricane can cause. I myself live on the water and have a boat in the water so we are ALWAYS watching the weather.

We are scrambling today to remove all flying objects and praying that it turns out to sea! All eyes on are Carolinas right now:(

Aug 26, 2011 03:05 AM #8
Pam Hills
Innovative Artistry - Kendall, FL
ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work

Dear Eleanor - I wish I could have responded involved in things today, sorry.  I can see that as it may impact judgement....after that I will reserve it is a more serious subject, truly.  I have to map you to see where Cary is, but I think you are getting a CAT 2 which is still one to be wreckoned with...& in fact can have higher gusts...for years they said Andrew was a 4 & in the past few have collected enough data to say it was a 5. They didn't have the measuring means they do now.  However, it doesn't mean anything if you are already protected, you can't go after the fact & say oh now I will leave when the 5 is over your head...& with Hurricanes, that is how they roll.  I don't know where your area is, but Hugs & will be saying prayers from here!!  Be safe.  I know there are different standards in some areas that are not prone to storms.

Dear Karen - Yes, gosh I hope you all are going to be okay!!  Saying prayers for you.  They have evacuated the water areas I believe??!!   Big Hugs & touch base later & let me know how things are?  They are giving good advice & the technology is more accurate than I think 19-20 years ago for sure. 

I will say this...I was on the 3rd floor in my apartment... the 4th floor got the damage right above my head (winds are higher when you go up)...but you don't want to be too low because of flooding & you need to be where there is a safe room that won't give on the floor you are there is where the shelters become better as they are almost always built much differently in strength than most of our homes.

I am stressing what they have said.  Public Emergency Shelter is absolute best, next on higher ground or 2-3rd floor & do not go higher, if you can help it as the winds can even take the impact of the storm to the next Cat. level.

I think if everyone's is able to take the advice, then it will help minimize.  I heard that some are not wanting to leave...may not be a good thing, especially where waterfront communities are concerned. 

Hugs & stressing for you both.  Stay Safe....  Please, let me know after things have passed if you are okay?

Aug 26, 2011 04:12 PM #9
Pam Hills
Innovative Artistry - Kendall, FL
ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work

Someone I know from New York just left town this morning & flew to Curacao for the weekend with her husband....

Aug 26, 2011 04:15 PM #10
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ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work
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