Letter Re: Hurricane Readiness

T. in South Florida wrote an excellent article on hurricane preps. As a life-long Floridian, hurricane preparation was my introduction to the preparedness mindset. Working on hurricane preps, and dealing with the aftermath of three hurricanes in 2004, facilitated my progression to preparing for other worst-case scenarios. There are two things that I would add to T.’s hurricane readiness plan:

Every home should have a hard-wired telephone as opposed to the wireless portable kind. Even though electricity goes out, a hard-wired phone will often continue to work. During the 2004 hurricanes, many people had phone service, but didn’t realize it because their wireless phone didn’t have power. This applies to other power outage situations; and, remember to turn the ringer on.

Also for a roof repair kit, rolls of heavy gauge plastic are relatively cheap and easy to store, along with a few dozen wood furring strips and some roofing nails. A large roof can be quickly covered with these materials, but these materials may be hard to come by after the storm. In August 2004, Hurricane Charlie removed about 40% of the shingles from our roof. I was able to obtain materials and get them on our roof shortly after the storm; my expedient repairs withstood two subsequent storms (Hurricane Frances and Hurricane Jeanne) that struck in the following six weeks. (I spent a lot of time on the roof that year.) Due to labor and materials shortages after the storms, it was April 2005 (eight months later) when we were finally able to schedule a contractor to fully repair the roof. All the best, – John in Central Florida