#1 Welcome to Hurricane Season
Be Prepared; Stay Safe.
As you know, our Island has the potential of being struck with many weather emergencies – – hurricanes, tornados, floods, and earthquakes. We usually receive warnings that a hurricane is imminent and hurricane season is just around the corner. It runs from June through November.
The Town of Seabrook Island and the Town of Kiawah Island come together each year to host a Disaster Awareness program to help residents be prepared for any weather emergency. This year the annual Disaster Awareness Day will be held on June 15th. Speakers will address State-level disaster procedures, public notification, EMS and Fire Department response, storm tracking, and local procedures. Important information will be shared with the participants and we encourage you to attend. The Disaster Awareness Day takes place at the Seabrook Island Club, 10:00am to 2:30pm. No tickets are required. Lunch is included.
Tidelines will also start with a series articles, called Hurricane Hints which are things that you can do now to be better prepared for an emergency. Following the ‘Hints’ series, we’ll post articles addressing preparation, evacuation, recovery, planning for pets and so on.
Last, please keep in mind that the Tidelines staff, all volunteers, will make every effort to keep our followers informed of the status of the storm, evacuation, and recovery efforts during such an event; however, we can’t predict the intensity of oncoming storms, whether we will be home or on vacation travels when it hits, or whether there will be internet capability available wherever it is that we evacuate to. Please check the Town of Seabrook Island’s website and watch for the SIPOA’s e-blasts.
#2 Hurricane Hint – Work through your Freezer
Most of us keep excess frozen food stored in our freezers, things that we picked up on sale at the grocery store that we haven’t managed to use yet.
You’ll remember, in the case of Hurricane Matthew, Berkeley Electric decided to protect their equipment by cutting the power to Seabrook Island before the storm hit, and it took several days for the power to come back online. As a result, most of us had to dispose of a freezers’ worth of food. Don’t let that happen again. Now is the time to eat down the foods in your freezer and keep only a minimal amount of frozen food in it until hurricane season is over.
Also, check your homeowner’s policy to see if it covers your freezer contents in the event of a power outage.
#3 Hurricane Hint – Important Documents
In the event of a hurricane or other disaster, you will want to make sure you have important documents in a safe place.
Most of us have our homeowner, wind and hail, flood and other insurance policies in hardcopy as well as online. Take a few minutes now to review them to make sure you know what is covered.
Scan to your computer or the cloud your personal documents such as your marriage license, divorce decree, birth certificates, passports, wills, deeds, social security cards, mortgage documents, the titles to your cars, tax, banking and other important documents. If you don’t know how to scan documents to your computer, ask your kids or grandkids, or get a computer service to help you. No help from that quarter? then gather together your important documents in a ziplock bag placed where you can easily grab it as you evacuate your home.
Now would also be a good time to take an inventory and make a video of your house contents. Most of us can take video with our smart phones. You might save the video to the cloud or to a hard drive that you can take with you.
#4 Hurricane Hint – Clean Out the Basement
You need to be prepared for flooding on the ground floor of your home. Now is the time to clean the basement. Discard the boxes that you’ve been piling up down there. Move yard chemicals and fertilizers up onto a shelf. Get rid of old cans of paint and chemicals (You can take them to Seabrook’s Recycling Center). Get everything up off the floor so that it doesn’t become saturated or worse, requiring a toxic waste clean-up following a flood.
While you’re in the basement, make sure nothing is blocking your flood vents and that they work properly.
#5 Hurricane Hint – Purchase Supplies
There are all kinds of things you should purchase to help you be prepared for a disaster – flashlights and batteries, bottled water, and food that doesn’t need to be cooked for a start. You might want tarps to cover damaged sections of your home, if it comes to that. Consider purchasing a portable external battery for your cell phone.
The recommendation is that you have a minimum of 3 days of food and water for you, your family members and your pets. Most websites recommend a gallon of water per day per person or pet.
Here’s a link to a more comprehensive list of supplies by Charleston County. Click here for the list. FYI: Many of the big box stores have emergency supplies on sale in June.
#6 Planning for Pets
You need to plan for your pets before a disaster occurs.
Now is a good time to get your pet micro-chipped.
Locate hotels beyond our evacuation area that allows pets. Our evacuation area is North Augusta, so plan to drive to a location beyond North Augusta.
Make sure you have your pet’s medical records and that his/her shots are up to date.
#7 Trim Your Trees
Do you have tree branches touching your house or condo? Do you have dead trees on your property? It’s time to clean up the yard, remove dead trees that could become projectiles in a major windstorm, and trim back any branches that could be a danger to your home .
Remember, if you are removing branches or a damaged tree, first check with Adrea Hughes at the SIPOA office and complete the necessary paperwork. Click here to review the policies regarding tree removal/trimming which can be found in Appendix L, Tree and Natural Vegetation Preservation/Removal Policy. Click here to review Appendix R, tree Trimming/Pruning Guidelines.
(photo credit: https://stock.adobe.com)