Hurricane Ian: The Complete Safety Guide For Florida Residents

Posted on September 28, 2022

Storms, whilst impressive to watch on TV or in a movie can cause untold damage to property and put lives at risk. Some simply disperse before being able to cause significant problems.  Others leave a trail of destruction in their wake leaving people homeless, jobless and in the worst cases, dead or severely injured.

With hurricane Ian having already caused havoc in Cuba, it is now making its way towards Florida and by the time you read this, it may have already left its mark. If not, there are a few things you can do to keep yourself safe whilst the storm wreaks havoc.

What is Hurricane Ian?

Hurricane Ian is a storm that is expected to hit speeds of 240km/h when it reaches its peak. Earlier this week it thrashed Cuba and began to make its way toward the Florida region. As this is written, it was announced that the storm had been upgraded to a category 4 storm.

Fears are high among residents and businesses as when it reaches Tampa, it is thought that extreme flooding may just be one part of the devastation the hurricane brings.

Tampa is unfortunately one of the most vulnerable places in the USA for flooding and has been lucky not to have had such a powerful storm hit it for quite some time. When Hurricane Ian reaches Tampa, it will be the first direct hit from a storm in 100 years.

It is thought that the speed of the hurricane will reduce speed once it reaches Florida. This though will mean that the storm may linger for longer and as a result cause as much as 20inches of rain in some areas.

What damage could the hurricane cause?

The fear is that Hurricane Ian could lead Tampa to be almost unrecognisable once the storm has passed through. This could result in roofs being pulled off, felled trees, collapsed power lines and much much more.

It will not just be the strong winds causing damage though as the expected flooding puts all residents and businesses at risk. The area of Tampa for example is one of the most densely populated parts of the US. Low elevation, rising sea levels and a high population means that the chance of loss of life cannot be underestimated should the storm hit.

It has also been announced that there is a 175mile wide hurricane warning from Bonita Beach through to Tampa is in effect, this is a result of the National Hurricane Centre telling people that there was a 100% chance of damaging winds and water along Florida’s west coast.

How should I prepare for Hurricane Ian?

With the storm rapidly approaching there are a few things you can still do if you have not evacuated. Please note, if it has been suggested you evacuate your area, please do so for the safety of yourself and others.

In all stages of the hurricane, there are things you should do. Before, during and after.

How to prepare for a hurricane

One of the first things to assume is that there will likely be no power. Therefore, keep batteries and flashlights in plentiful supply. The following steps are also very important:

  • Top up your first aid kit
  • Ensure there is a plentiful supply of any prescribed medications
  • Charge any cell phones and power banks.
  • Stock up on bottled water and food. Remember there will likely be no power so tinned foods are best.
  • Close and board all windows
  • Bring in any items from outside that could be blown away
  • Unplug any small appliances in case of a power surge
  • With the increased risk of flooding, move anything you can to a higher floor to prevent damage.

During the hurricane

Whilst the storm is making its way through the area, try and stay calm. The way you manage the situation will help those around you.

  • Consume food that has been kept chilled/frozen first. You may have power now, you may not tomorrow.
  • Use the room with the lowest number of doors and windows where possible.
  • Keep up to date with local news so you are aware of the latest situation and don’t put anyone at risk
  • If the power goes, avoid candles where possible. If the wind knocked one down, you may accidentally start a serious fire.

Aside from this, it is best to sit it out. Quite often, storms do not last a long time even though they may feel they do. Stay safe, stay together.

Many may say head to the basement but with Hurricane Ian likely to bring lots of extreme flooding, this is not highly recommended.

After the hurricane

Once hurricane Ian has dispersed, you will be desperate to assess any damage, make sure everyone is safe and attempt to get things back to normal as soon as possible. It is important that you do a few things first though.

  • Stay indoors and await confirmation it is safe to leave. A drop in the wind does not mean the storm is over.
  • Do not drink any tap water- the water may be contaminated following the storm
  • If you have been told it is safe to leave your property, do not touch any power lines or attempt to move them.
  • The flooding is likely to be severe so stay away from approaching it. The depths could be misleading

Once it has been determined it is safe for you to leave your property and you are sure everybody is safe, you may want to assess the property itself. If it is safe to do so, walk around the building and see if anything is damaged. Do not attempt this if there are fallen trees, power lines or flowing surrounding the building.

A hurricane can be a scary time for many. Especially if you have children in your family. If your children have shown any element of fear around the storm, consider this blog, it has some useful advice on how to help children that may suffer from storm anxiety.

At karma Roofing, we know a storm can cause unprecedented levels of damage. That is why we have pulled together the best and most experienced team in roofing & restoration for the Florida area. With a combined 80years+ worth of knowledge, we can help you get everything back on track with your commercial or residential property.  Storm damage restoration is one of our specialities thanks to the storm season we often encounter.  Our aim is simple, spread good karma by giving you fully transparent and honest service. This way you never find yourself being let down on timelines, unreasonably quoted or disappointed in service. We offer a free inspection so we can advise you but there is absolutely no obligation to follow our guidance. Contact us if you need any advice relating to your roof or any potential storm risks your home may encounter.

Stay safe!

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