Is Florence Going to Show Her Face in Charlotte? Another Hugo Perhaps?
September 22, 1989 – Hurricane Hugo, the storm by which all other storms are measured here in Charlotte. Being 150 miles inland, we never thought it possible to be faced with the level of destruction we experienced, nor the costs of $9-Billion to clean-up and repair/replace.
During the disaster, Charlotte reported sustained winds of 69 mph and gusts up to 99 mph, causing tremendous destruction to a region that virtually never sees such impacts from a tropical system, especially a hurricane. Some were without power for more than 3 weeks so, being prepared is key for us all today.
Forecasters say that Florence is vastly different than Hugo – both in the pace in which the storm will pass over and the speed of the winds. However, we do have to worry about the massive amount of rain expected – not only with regards to flooding but, downing trees. The trees that are the most vulnerable are the century-old trees that have massive above-ground weight.
Here are a few things to do today and to prepare for this upcoming storm.
Things to do TODAY:
1. Take inventory photos of your home – inside and out – each room, front and back of the house.
2. Review your insurance policies.
3. Park cars in the garage, if possible. If the power goes out, you can open your garage door manually.
4. Stock up on 1 gallon of water per person to use/drink each day.
5. Stock up on propane or charcoal for the grill.
6. Check your candle, lantern, torch and flashlight inventory. Do you have enough batteries for those flashlights?
7. Clear porches, backyard and carports of any projectiles – this would include any signs in your yard (such as for sale signs).
8. How is your weather stripping? Are your doors & windows adequately sealed?
9. Check for any loose shingles on your roof. If you are unable to access your roof with a pair of binoculars, have the professionals check it out.
10. Be sure to have plenty of the following on-hand:
1. Pet food
2. Non-perishable items for food such as high-protein bars
3. Any special medical equipment/supplies
4. Fill the bath tub with water; place pitchers or jugs of water in the freezer NOW.
11. Pack your valuables in a plastic container that has a lid to avoid any water damage. Most irreplaceable items are things that people forget to pack – pictures/photos, wedding albums, etc.
12. Assemble a first aid kit.
13. Have a can opener handy.
14. Do you have a battery powered radio? A solar-power phone charger?
During our meeting this morning, I asked everyone to share their ‘best tip’ for hurricane preparedness:
Debe: Be sure you have your chain saws readily available and filled with gas. We had 80,000 downed trees during Hugo and all we heard for weeks was the buzz of chain saws. Having one handy to use in order to get out of your driveway or to help others get out of their homes can be life-saving.
Scott: Everyone prepare for yourselves and your children but, don’t forget about your pets. That would include their medicines, food, leash, water and make sure the pet carrier is readily available should you need to leave your home. Keep bleach on hand – 4 drops of bleach per liter of water, let sit for ½ hour before drinking.
Elizabeth: Have old-school board games available for time without electricity. And, from the ‘lake girl,’ she recommends getting your boat out of the water and filling the tank with gas to add weight in the event we suffer the high winds that are being predicted.
Ray: Make certain your generator is properly grounded and filled with gas. DO NOT BRING GENERATORS OR YOUR PROPANE TANKS INDOORS and do not overload the power cords to run your appliances – this can cause a fire.
Christina: ALWAYS have your shoes on and have a Rubbermaid container packed and ready to go, if you need to evacuate. Pack your valuables in Rubbermaid containers and put in car. Put anything of value in the dishwasher & washing machine.
Stay safe and remember, preparedness is key in the face of any storm!
© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | CharlotteBroker@icloud.com | Hurricane Preparedness – Is Florence Going to Show Her Face in Charlotte? Another Hugo Perhaps?