Well, it is only the first week of June and Hurricane Season 2012 has seen a major jump start, with two pre season tropical storms blowing up out of the Atlantic basin. The first, Alberto, turned back out to sea without ever causing any serious problems or threatening the US mainland, however, the second, Tropical Storm Beryl made landfall as the strongest off season cyclone on record. Beryl slammed northern Florida and Georgia as well as much of the southeast with heavy rains and damaging winds before finally blowing herself out.
While forecasters insist that this activity is not necessarily indicative of what can be expected for the rest of hurricane season (which began June 1 and runs through Thanksgiving), Florida residents would probably be well advised to begin making proper preparations just in case we do end up with an abundance of tropical storm and hurricane activity coming in from the east.
Lady Lake residents and other homeowners across the state are encouraged to properly prepare and defend their homes and businesses against the hurricane threat, so that when a problem does arise, then everything is ready and hopefully damage can be kept to a minimum.
Florida residents are encouraged to be familiar with evacuation routes in their area, and be prepared to leave before the evacuation order is given. Once the order goes out, traffic will be heavier than usual and may make getting to safety problematic. Every family member should be properly equipped with a “go bag” packed with enough clothes, cash, and provisions to accommodate an extended stay away from home.
Homes should be properly fortified against any sort of storm or water damage, with storm shutters installed, and any valuables moved to higher floors in expectation of flooding conditions created by torrential rains or storm surge. If the budget doesn’t allow for shutters, then plywood over windows and doors will suffice. Measure all openings and have the plywood cut to size and labeled for what goes where. If a hurricane looks like it might cause trouble, you can then quickly install the plywood sheeting to protect against strong damaging winds that always seem to accompany these events.
Know where the shutoff valve is for electricity and gas, and turn everything off before you leave. This will prove invaluable upon your return, especially if the home is damaged.
Make sure all loose exterior items such as lawn furniture or trash cans are properly anchored down or stored indoors. These may become airborne missiles in winds that may top 100 mph. Propane tanks should be well anchored in order to prevent them becoming dislodged and moving under extreme weather conditions.