Archive for September, 2010

Staying Safe during the High Winds of a Hurricane

By admin On September 3, 2010 No Comments

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, you know how frightening the high winds can be. They have been described by some as sounding like a freight train or jumbo jet, except that the roaring sound continues hour after hour. The high winds of a hurricane can certainly cause extensive property damage and loss of life if you’re unprepared. If you’re in such an area there are a few things to know in order to stay safe. Even communities such as Boston are now preparing for the dangers of a hurricane and the flood damage that it can quickly cause. One of the risks of a hurricane hitting a large metropolitan city such as New York, Washington DC or Boston is the highely denselated population. I am sure Boston water damage repair contractors are likely to have a field day with the potential storm damages, but the rest of the community is likely to have different emotions. Water damage is of course only one of the problems hurricane damage can cause. High winds can also be quite problematic.

First of all, altitude is the enemy of high winds. In other words, the higher you are the more severe the winds are. Research indicates that people inside a high-rise should not be any higher than the tenth floor during a hurricane. Windows are commonly blown out, especially on the upper floors, making anyone higher than the tenth floor more vulnerable. Anyone on the street below is also at risk of injury or death from falling glass.

Next, it’s important to understand that the most benign of objects can become deadly projectiles during a hurricane. Scientifically, force is defined as mass times acceleration (f=ma), meaning that any given object which might be harmless in a gentle breeze becomes very dangerous in hurricane-force winds. Being outdoors during a hurricane, or even driving around in a car, is extremely unsafe.

In preparing your own home for the onset of a hurricane, bring lawn furniture, toys, bicycles, and anything else that cannot be secured into the house. Not only will you protect yourself from the loss of these things, but you’ll also create a safer environment for everyone else in your neighborhood.

If you have enough time and advance warning, consider boarding up your windows with plywood. If you do so, just make sure you secure the wood with plenty of screws so it doesn’t come loose. Improperly installed boards are prone to breaking loose and flying through the air. If you don’t have enough time to install plywood, or your local hardware store has run out, you can use duct tape or packing tape to criss-cross your windows in several layers. This solution won’t help much in a category 4 or 5 storm, but it’s fairly effective for category 3 and lower storms.

Despite the terrifying nature of high winds during a hurricane, you can stay safe if you remember and implement these basic guide lines.