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What to do During a Category 3 Hurricane
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Far too many of us make the mistake of ignoring the threat presented by hurricanes in direct proportion to how low in the categories they rank. Category 1 storms are all but ignored, even though they can have winds over 100 mph and are fully capable of causing serious damage or injury. Even for those who don't consider the lower rankings a threat, most will still acknowledge that once Category 3 has been achieved, it is time for those in its path to take notice.
Category 3 storms are the beginning of what are referred to as major hurricanes, with sustained winds between 111-130 mph. They are fully capable of causing structural damage to residences and utility buildings, and buildings without a solid foundation, such as mobile homes or manufactured homes, are usually destroyed. There will be significant coastal flooding and beach erosion and flooding may extend hundreds of miles inland. Power loss may be widespread and continue for a period of several weeks.
Creating an Emergency Plan
In the event of a major hurricane, it is important to have your plan in place before the warnings are sounded. Waiting until the radar indicates that the storm is about to reach your area is not the time to start making preparations to evacuate.
Have an evacuation plan in place. Many coastal areas have evacuation routes clearly marked. Familiarize yourself with them; know where youíre going, and where youíre going to stay until the storm has passed. Have the contact number for a friend or family member out of state that you can call to let them know you are okay.
Pack properly. You may be spending days or weeks away from home. Make sure each family member is equipped with an emergency pack that is well stocked with bottled water, non-perishable food, clothes, cash, important documents, medications, and first aid. A battery-powered radio is also recommended (donít forget extra batteries).
Your home will need to be sealed up, with windows boarded or storm shutters in place, and all loose exterior items brought inside or properly battened down. Also, shut off all water, electricity, and gas that service the structure.
If you have the time, drain your hot water heater. The average water heater holds about 75 gallons of water and that could cause quite a bit of damage if it manages to leak out.
Consider buying a generator and a supply of gas. You may need it to keep your home functioning if the power is out for a period of days or weeks.
Lastly, have the contact information for a local water damage restoration professional. Chances are you will need them when you return to your home. Water damage needs to be addressed immediately, and the days following a major storm are no time to comparison shop.
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