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Preparing For Tropical Storms
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
In fall of 2011, Hurricane Irene slammed her way up the eastern seaboard, causing severe damage from the Carolinas to New York. And as if that weren't enough, Tropical Storm Lee followed her, making landfall near New Orleans and following a similar northward path. For residents in the path of these storms, one was as good as the other, as Lee also managed to cause serious property damage.
Tropical storms may not have the clout that hurricanes do, but they are still major storm events and more than able to level a community if they hit hard enough. Tropical storms occur during the same time frame that marks hurricane season, from June through November, and hurricanes are typically classified as tropical storms twice, once as they gain strength and again as they weaken after making landfall.
The preparation for a tropical storm isn't much different from that of a hurricane. You still want to make sure your home is properly secured, and that all loose exterior items such as lawn chairs or bird feeders are either anchored down or taken inside.
Tips for Staying Safe
Evacuation isn't as likely during a tropical storm, but there is always the chance the order could be given, so it remains a good idea to have an evacuation route and be familiar with it. You should also know where you're going to go. You don't want to be one of thousands all headed in the same direction with no destination in mind.
Be sure to take out some cash before the storm arrives. If the power goes out, ATMs will be useless. Enough cash to feed your family for up to two weeks is a good rule of thumb.
With any large storm, it is suggested to have a secure room in your home, preferably one at or near the center with no outside windows. This is the safest place to be when the storm is at its peak. Have some candles on hand in case the power goes out, but refrain from using them unless absolutely necessary or use them with caution. You don't want to have your home burn down around you in the middle of a tropical storm.
While TVs are not recommended, radios are excellent for keeping track of the weather conditions, flood warnings, evacuation orders, etc. Keep a supply of batteries on hand because if the power goes out, you may have to keep the unit running on batteries for an extended period.
After the storm, make sure all is clear before you venture out, and be sure to report any downed power lines. Use only stored food and water; everything else should be considered contaminated. Above all else, be patient. This may not have packed the wallop of a hurricane, but it may still be a while before things are back to normal.