The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season was the third consecutive season with an above-average number of storms and with at least one Category 5 Hurricane. With parts of Florida still seeing side devastating effects of last year's Hurricane Michael, there is little doubt about the destruction one of these monsters may bring.
This is now the fifth consecutive year that hurricane activity has begun prior to the official June 1st start of the season, with subtropical storm Andrea forming May 20th. Early forecasts predict a near-average season this year, but as the saying goes, "it only takes one." With Atlantic Hurricane Season starting this past weekend, time has come to start planning and preparing.
Hurricanes can be destructive, but they can also be more easily anticipated than other natural disasters. Though you will have time, it's important not to wait until the last minute to plan and prepare.
This is why we encourage you to start preparing, not only your homes, but also your businesses and other properties as early as possible.
Here are a few of our hurricane preparedness tips.
What to do now:
Visit www.floridadisaster.biz to register your business.
Create a disaster plan for both your home and business.If you aren't sure where to start, Florida Disaster offers a great tool to help. Check it out!
To receive emergency alerts and updates, download the FEMA app in the Apple or Google Store and visit https://www.fema.gov
Verify your insurance coverage.
Find a safe place to store all important documents.
If applicable, regularly test your generator to ensure it runs properly. Do not let fuel sit in the generator or associated tank(s) for long periods of time without use.
What to do right before the storm:
For Fuel/C-Store Owners and Managers:
Be sure to check gaskets, seals, and that gas caps are tight.
Check to ensure that vent lines have lids, extensions or some protection from rain and flooding.
Wrap dispensers and nozzles with Visqueen plastic sheeting to protect from water intrusion and debris.
Turn off all electricity to the UST system.
Remove any unnecessary objects from around the station and dispenser island (this could be signage, garbage receptacles, and loose items that could become projectiles in high winds.)
Take precautions to prevent USTs from becoming buoyant (such as filling the tank, ensuring it is anchored down, or placing sand bags or large containers full of sand/rock over the tank.)
For Generator Owners:
Re-test your generator to ensure it runs properly.
Ensure that you have enough fuel on-hand to run your generator should the power go out.
If located in an area susceptible to flooding or storm surge, require equipment to be raised to a higher elevation.
For Construction Sites & Project Managers:
Remove any vulnerable materials away from areas prone to flooding.
Remove any debris or scrap metal on site that could easily become windblown hazards
Anchor or remove dumpsters, barricades and portable buildings that could be swept away by wind and rushing water.
Double check that any toxic chemicals, like paint, gasoline and cleaning agents are removed from the area.
Have a list of supplies and materials to help identify any missing inventory after the storm.
Protect any unfinished underground piping to keep it free from any water, sand or silt.
In addition to protecting your businesses and sites, we also want you to be prepared at home.
Keep water and non-perishable food stored as stores tend to run out quickly once a storm is confirmed.
Keep batteries on hand for radios, flashlights and other electronics.
Have an emergency first aid kit prepared.
Protect windows, doors and other openings from airborne debris.
Have a plan in place ahead of time.
Listen to your local officials and evacuate if orders are issued for your area.
While we wish for a calmer hurricane season this year, we understand that it only takes one hurricane for damage to occur. We would like you to know that should you be affected by a storm this year, we are here to help!
The AET Group is fully prepared to assist you with anything you may need. From prior planning to emergency response, we are standing by to help you with any emergency situation you may have. We have the capabilities to handle spill bucket/sump pump-outs, water removal, fuel cleaning, contaminant removal, storm cleanup, fuel system repairs, insurance claim assistance and more. We are standing by to help you with any emergency situation you may have!