This week we focus on what you can do to protect your property during Hurricane Season.
Hurricane Season runs from the 1st June to the 20th November. A Hurricane is the most severe category of the meteorological phenomenon known as the Tropical Cyclone. Tropical Cyclones are low-pressure systems that have thunderstorm activity, rotate anticlockwise and originate in the tropics where warm ocean water assists their development. In 2004, Ivan, a Category 4 Hurricane, hit Grand Cayman. The eye passed about 26 miles west of Grand Cayman. Roughly 8 feet of tidal surge corresponds to a direct hit at the low end of a Category 4 Hurricane. A Category 5 Hurricane may create a tidal surge of 15-25 feet of water.
In this blog we concentrate on what measures you can take to protect your property during a Hurricane. The following are the main items to consider:
- Hurricane Rated Glass / Hurricane Shutters
Check if the glass to your property is hurricane rated/impact resistant. If not, you may wish to install hurricane rated glass windows and doors, or otherwise you should install hurricane shutters. There are a variety of hurricane shutters to choose from. Traditional hurricane shutters include accordion, panel, roller, colonial, Bahama, or electric roller door/windows. If you opt for hurricane shutters, you should have these serviced prior to each Hurricane Season to ensure they are fully functioning and ready for use if needed. Make sure you know how to, and have the correct tools to, install the hurricane shutters if they are not in place permanently.
- Flooding Protection
If your property is on ground level, you will want to ensure you have sandbags to prevent flooding. Not everyone has storage space for sandbags, and therefore there are alternatives you can consider such as ‘FloodSax’. FloodSax are sandless sandbags which are space-saving to store, and quick and easy to deploy – they are lightweight and expand when in contact with water to become a flood barrier. Floodsax can also be expanded and put down the toilet to block it from filthy water being forced up by the overflowing drains and sewer.
It is important to keep storm drains clear of any debris so that they work as efficiently as possible during flooding. Storm drains should be blown out if they do not clear well after debris is cleared. You should also ensure that there are no loose items or debris lying around outside which could become movable during a Hurricane and cause damage.
- Outdoor Furniture
Ensure all outdoor furniture is secure. It is best that outdoor furniture is stored away internally during a hurricane to avoid these becoming ‘flying missiles’ which could cause a lot of damage.
It is important to keep palm fronds and tree branches cut back as these can be hazardous during a Hurricane. Coconuts should also be removed during Hurricane Season as these can also become ‘flying missiles’ and can cause a lot of damage.
Check your roof is in good condition and undertake any repairs necessary prior to Hurricane Season – for example, you may need to replace some missing roof shingles or tiles. You should also consider installing roof straps if your property does not benefit from these already, these will assist in keeping the roof in place during strong winds – without these a roof can easily lift away.
For more vital information on what you should know ahead of Hurricane Season, download the ‘Cayman Prepared’ brochure at www.caymanprepared.ky. Stay safe!