In 2004, Florida was hit with an unprecedented four hurricanes. Three of these (Charlie, Frances and Jeanne) hit the Orlando metropolitan area. Luckily, in the Villas, there was litte serious damage (other than the poor mailbox that was flattened by a falling tree) and (thanks to underground utilities!) we only lost power twice for a total of about 29 hours.
Below are several links to hurricane preparedness sites and to the NOAA Hurricane Center. The Monroe County site is especially good. Encompasing the Florida Keys, Monroe County has seen more than their fair share of hurricanes over the years. They have a well thought out site.
- National Hurricane Center - Hurricane Preparednes
- Hurricane Preparedness - Monroe County (The Keys)
- National Hurricane Center - Storm Tracking Maps
And finally, here's a site suggested by Anna from Pathways to Empowerment. If you'd like to learn more about the science, climatology, naming and impact of hurricanes in general this site is for you! Thanks Anna!
Before Hurricane Season
Before the Hurricane season starts (June 1st) review the sites above and take stock of your supplies and resources. It's always better to have most of these items ready to go rather than rushing to the store with thousands of others
As Early Before the Storm as Practical
- Clear your porch and Courtyard of flying objects
- Hanging Plants
- Patio Furniture
- Garden tools
- Plaques and Flags
- Disengage your garage door from the drive chain/Belt and engage the door latch if so equiped.
- Get the perishable items you need as soon as you can. The stores will run out quickly.
Villas Emergency Flood Control
After three storms in 2004, we have gained valuable insight into preparing for them. After the first hurricane there was some water retention issues in the Villas due to the storm drains plugging up with leaves, branches and debris. A group of several homeowners got together and built wire-mesh cages around the storm drains that keep the debris from plugging the drains and make it much easier to remove the debris buildup. They set up an around-the-clock "Drain Watch" and cleaned out the drains throughout the storms. You'll see wire-mesh cages sitting behind the dumpsters in the Villas with florecent tape to make them more visible. Please don't throw them in the dumpster. If a hurricane is eminent, those cages will be wired to the grates six to eight hours before the storms start. Please watch for them if you are driving thru the Villas.
A Handy Item to have
One of our handiest items during the storm when the power was out one evening was a flashlight mounted on a headband. This helped when preparing food, reading and general navigation because it leaves your hands free and always points where you're looking. I found mine at Target and I'm sure that the other retailers have them also.Home