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Before a hurricane hits — like Dorian — make sure your yard, car and home are ready for the stormy weather ahead.
WHEN A STORM THREATENS
– Get cash (ATMs may not work for days after). Don’t charge credit cards to the limit; you might need extra cash after the storm.
– Get supplies. Follow instructions in this guide for food and water.
– Don’t fill gasoline cans until right before the storm; they are a fire hazard.
– Fill vehicle fuel tank. Gas stations will run out and some will not have power to run pumps. Check your battery, water, oil. Make sure you have a spare tire and buy aerosol kits that fix and inflate flats.
– Check fire extinguishers.
– Make preparations for your boat.
– Prepare your pool. Don’t drain it. Leave water level alone. Draining, so it won’t overflow, is pointless. If you drain it more than a few feet below normal and the ground gets saturated, the pool’s shell could pop out of the ground (even with concrete pools). Water provides weight to hold the sides and bottom in place.
WHEN A STORM IS APPROACHING THE AREA
– Get shutters, storm panels or plywood in place on windows. If you haven’t installed sockets, attach with wood screws; they’re better than nails and do less damage.
– Don’t tape windows; tape can create daggers of glass and bake onto panes.
– Remove swings and tarps from swing sets. Tie down anything you can’t bring in. Check loose gutters, moldings.
– Move grills, patio furniture and potted plants into your house or garage.
– If you do any last-minute pruning, take clippings inside.
– Disconnect and remove satellite dish or antenna from your roof.
– Check your mailbox. If it’s loose, secure or remove it.
– Remove roof turbines and cap holes with screw-on caps. Unsecured turbines can fly off and create a large hole for rain to pour through.
– Prepare patio screening. Officials recommend you remove a 6-foot panel on each side to let wind pass through. Pull out the tubing that holds screening in frame to remove screen.
– Secure and brace external doors, especially the garage door and double doors.
– Move vehicles out of flood-prone areas and into garages if possible. If not, park cars away from trees and close to homes or buildings.
– Don’t turn off your natural gas at the main meter. Only emergency or utility people should do that.
– Trimming your tree in advance of storm? Don’t do it. The reason: The Solid Waste Authority might not be able to get to all those piles of yard trash, and if the storm comes, they’ll be piles of potential missiles.
This story was originally published by PalmBeachPost.com, and shared to GateHouse Media’s Florida websites.