Hurricanes Can Cause Major Damage
When a hurricane makes landfall, it can wreak major damage to coastal towns and cities. Not only is there usually damage to the cities, but hurricanes cause an impact on the natural environments along coastlines since large amounts of beach sand are washed away. Even large rocks can be carried in the surge of ocean water. High winds can damage trees, and low-lying areas are typically flooded. Naturally, any damage that occurs will depend on the strength of the storm and the areas nearest to its landfall.
Damage Caused by a Hurricane
Hurricanes can cause damage in several different ways. It’s vital to be prepared and protected from these violent storms.
When a storm is approaching the coast, it can cause the sea level to rise as much as 20 to 30 feet. Winds cause the storm to push ocean water toward land, and the low pressure caused by the storm then allows the water level to get higher. This water accumulates and doesn’t have anywhere to go except onto land when it gets to the coast. This rising water storm surge can cause severe damage to low-lying areas. Along with the crashing waves caused by the storm, storm surges can demolish houses, docks, and even erode beaches. Even though the floods from the storm surge usually only last for a few hours, they can still cause severe damage. If storm surge also lines up and happens with high tide, there can be even more flooding.
When a hurricane is approaching the coast, scientists will use a computer model named SLOSH – Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes. This tool helps predict how much damage will occur. The model will consider some important forces that affect storm surge and includes wind speed, distance winds travel over the ocean, and how the hurricane is approaching the coast. For example, if it is going to make landfall at an angle or have a direct impact. It also factors in the shape of the ocean floor and the coast.
When a hurricane hits a coastal area, it often can travel inland. Without warm ocean or gulf waters to help power it as it travels across land, Usually, as it travels inward it will weaken, but the damage the storm can cause is still significant. There can be torrential rains associated with the storm that causes lakes and rivers to flood. Hurricanes produce big waves, intense winds, and even the occasional tornado, but the floodwaters can be the most dangerous aspect.
Hazards to the Coast
There are several hazards associated with hurricanes. These hazards include storm surges, high winds, heavy rains, and tornados. Both storm surge and heavy rains can cause flooding on the coast and inland. The high winds, along with tornados, cause damage to both cars and houses that are in the path of a hurricane.
Hurricane-force winds of just 74 mph or more can demolish buildings and mobile homes. A hurricane is classified into five categories according to the wind scale, which will estimate potential property damage from the hurricane in relation to the sustained wind speed of the hurricane. Any debris such as siding, roofing materials, signs, and small items that are left outside the home can become flying missiles during any hurricane. Though hurricanes weaken over land, winds can also stay rated above hurricane strength inland.
Hurricane winds can cause dangerous waves that can also produce deadly rip currents, even at a distance from storms. Rip currents are channeled currents of water that flow away from the shore and usually extend past the line of breaking winds. This draws swimmers away from the shore and could be life-threatening. For this reason, experts advise not to swim in coastal waters as hurricanes approach.
How to Prevent Damage from Hurricanes
Preparing for the hurricane season means you should review your family disaster plan and put together a disaster kit. However, there is more you can do to protect your home before a hurricane strikes and prevent damage.
Install and Maintain Your Storm Shutters
Florida residents know how important it is to hurricane-proof the windows, doors, and other openings of their homes. Having storm shutters or protection on all doors including traditional doors, sliding glass doors, and French doors, and all windows is the best way to protect your home. Home Safety Solutions provides nine types of hurricane shutters for your home with that cater to varied price points and desired ease of deployment! Once you have installed storm shutters, it’s important to keep them maintained so they can protect your home for hurricane seasons to come. Our team can help you choose which shutter is best for your home, and professionally install it as well! Read more about our hurricane protection solutions here.
Get Flood Insurance
No home insurance policies cover damage caused by flood, and you need a separate flood insurance policy. As hurricane Ian and other powerful storms have taught us, even people who live in areas not rated as flood zones can experience flood damage. Having flood insurance will give you peace of mind and will help speed up recovery after a hurricane causes flooding.
Purchase a Generator
Power outages can be common during a hurricane and last for several days after the storm passes. An emergency generator can help provide power to your appliances, as well as a cooling and heating system. Be sure to follow any local regulations about operating a generator inside a building or attached garage.
Upgrade Your Garage Door
If you have an older home, you may want to consider upgrading your garage door to one that is hurricane rated. High winds from a hurricane can damage your garage door and blow it in just like any other opening of your home. If the wind penetrates into your garage, it can cause expensive and dangerous structural damage. Reinforcing your garage door will help protect the door itself, your cars, as well as the contents. Just like all hurricane protection you don’t want to wait until a hurricane warning is issued in order to do this since you probably won’t have enough time.
Remove or Anchor Any Potential Windborne Objects
Don’t forget about the everyday objects outside your home, such as trash cans, tools, playhouses, BBQ grills, and yard furniture. These can easily be picked up by hurricane-force winds and driven through glass doors and windows. Not only should any loose objects outside the home be secured or brought inside, but you should also anchor any storage sheds to a permanent foundation.
Ground anchors and straps used for manufactured homes should be used to anchor any outbuildings that are not placed on a permanent foundation. You can secure other objects with chains or cables attached to the ground anchors or any wood posts that are fully embedded into the ground. If you have a semi-enclosed patio, Home Safety Solutions can install hurricane-rated screens to create a safe room for all of your yard furniture and potted plants.
Contact Home Safety Solutions for Hurricane Safety Products
There is no escaping the damage that hurricanes can cause. Get prepared before the storm season with Home Safety Solutions! We’re a home-grown Tampa Bay company that, for over the last 35 years, has served the needs of our community by protecting families and homes from the extreme forces of nature. Contact our team for hurricane protection today!