Hawk-Eye Management takes a proactive approach when it comes to Hurricane Season preparation for your Association and its’ residents. Hawk-Eye has a watchful eye not only on your physical community but Association records as well. Our professional managers assess your community to make sure a Disaster Plan is tailored to the needs of the Association and in place to protect the assets of the community in the event of a pending storm.
Following a storm, the Hawk-Eye management team will assess your community after the “all clear” is given by the local authorities to respond to any issues at hand and assure necessary Action Plans are implemented. Emergency situations are addressed first, i.e. ingress and egress, blockage of any roads and addressing structural damage to common facilities.
The Hawk-Eye team has in place alternate locations for temporary offices to serve you should our main office not be accessible.
The hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th. Our state of Florida can suffer a hurricane anytime during this season. Preparation should begin before the season starts and it’s never too early to put together your plan.
When a storm is approaching you will hear the following terms mentioned in news broadcasts describing a tropical weather system.
- Hurricane Watch This is an announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are now possible within the specified coastal area denoted by the announcement. The hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds. They are trying to give the residents time because hurricane preparedness activities become much more difficult once winds reach tropical storm force speeds.
- Hurricane Warning This is an announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within a specified coastal area denoted in the announcement. The hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds. Once again they are trying to give the residents time because hurricane preparedness activities become much more difficult once winds reach tropical storm force speeds.
- Tropical Depression This is a cyclone with maximum sustained winds of less than 39 miles per hour or 34 knots.
- Tropical Storm This is a cyclone with maximum sustained winds from 39 to 73 miles per hour or 34 to 63 knots.
- Hurricane This is a cyclone with maximum sustained winds of greater than 74 miles per hour or 64 knots.
Preparing for a storm should be a process that is done long before a storm approaches. The following ideas should help you prepare properly and efficiently so in the event of a storm you won’t have to rush around and possibly end up forgetting important items or plans.
If a storm does happen to hit your area, the first 3 days after the storm are the most difficult to deal with considering that there could be structure damage, communication issues, and transportation restrictions. The flow of everyday necessities like food, water, ice and gas can be hard to find after a major storm.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE THE STORM
A good Disaster Plan should consider these suggestions:
- Consider the types of vulnerabilities and damages that could affect your home, your family or your facility. Your home and the surrounding area could be subject to storm surge, flooding and strong wind.
- Choose a “safe room” within your home. In certain circumstances, the safest areas may not be your home but within your community. This “room” should be one away from any windows. Bathrooms and closets are examples of some typical “safe room” that could provide some protection during the storm.
- Plan in advance your escape routes from your home and places to meet family members in case of separation. These should be measured in tens of miles rather than hundreds of miles. To find out information for evacuation routes, or county pick up sites, please call 311.
- Very Important: If you are asked to evacuate, do so ASAP!
- If you decide that your home is not safe enough to ride out the storm, then familiarize yourself with area shelter locations in case you need to evacuate.
- Designate an out-of-state friend or family member as a family contact, so all your family members can call and check in with a single point of contact.
- Determine what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate, and make sure their registration and vaccinations are current and that you keep a copy of this documentation readily available.
- Post all emergency telephone numbers near your phone and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
- It is important that you check your insurance coverage to make sure it is current and complete.
- Keep all of your important documents including deeds, identification, and insurance papers and contact information in a safe and waterproof location.
- Make sure you have a NOAA portable weather radio and don’t forget to replace the batteries every 6 months to make sure it is ready.
- Make sure that your Disaster Plan is readily available and in a safe place.
- Keep a supply of sturdy garbage bags and ties should also be available. If you live in an apartment or condo, all refuse should be bagged, sealed, and stored in your unit.
- Remove loose debris before storm season begins. Make sure balcony drains/scuppers are clear and unobstructed from any debris.
- Place towels or other absorbent materials along the bottom on the inside of the sliding doors and windows during any severe rain to prevent water intrusion.
- Bring in or secure patio furniture or loose items around the outside of the home.
- Unplug any non-essential electrical equipment before the storm.
- Do not put out trash or debris for pick up once a Hurricane Watch or Warning is issued in your area.
- Stay tuned to the radio and television for weather updates and emergency information.
- Fill up your automobiles gas tanks before the storm
GET YOUR HURRICANE SUPPLIES READY
The following is a suggested list of items to have on hand if a storm is approaching the area. You can add or subtract from the list based on the personal needs of your family.
- Non-perishable foods like canned fruits, vegetables, soups, nuts, cereal, and powdered/evaporated/boxed milk, bottled water.
- A simple can opener
- Any baby supplies if needed.
- Basic toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- A battery operated radio and extra batteries
- Enough cash for at least a week
- Some basic tools, hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, etc
- Regular matches in a plastic container
- Fuel for generators if needed
- A digital camera charged or with extra batteries
- Clothing for at least a few days
- Eyeglasses, contact lenses and supplies (if appropriate)
- Pet Supplies: Food and water (72 hour supply) and other pet care items
- A supply of disposable paper plates, cups, and utensils as limited water supplies will be too precious to waste on dishwashing.
- At least two weeks supply of prescription medication should be available. Any special needs for diabetics and the need for cooling medication should be planned.
- First-aid kit with general medications and basic bandages including Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Soap, liquid detergent, bleach
THE STORM IS HERE, NOW WHAT?
- Go to your planned shelter or stay in your home until the storm passes and authorities give the “All Clear” announcement. Pay attention to your radio or any source of local emergency information.
- Telephone service could be limited so only use your phone for emergency use only.
- Be certain to have a proper size rubber stopper to complement the metal stopper in your bathtub
- Make sure that you have prepared your emergency water supply by filling plastic containers with water before the storm approaches and if it gets near, fill your bathtub with water that can be used for washing purposes.
- Set your refrigerator to the coldest setting and avoid unnecessary opening and closing of the doors which will speed up the spoiling of the food when the power goes out.
- Close and secure the windows and doors.
- If windows or doors become compromised during the storm go directly to your safe room and remain until the storm subsides.
NOW THE STORM IS OVER
Of course there could be major property damage after a strong storm but the first concern is make sure that everyone is safe and sound and accounted for. Everyone must be very careful when moving around after the storm and watch out for safety hazards that could affect the health and welfare of your family. These next steps will help you get through the first difficult days after the storm.
- First check everyone for injuries and address any problems that might have occurred.
- Check the area for safety hazards which could be structural damage to your shelter, gas leaks, broken glass or electrical wiring that is damaged and could be live. Outside there could be downed trees and power lines that should be avoided.
- Monitor the news reports for emergency updates and weather conditions
- Use the phone for emergency only
- Do not go out on the streets unless absolutely necessary.Be aware of any damage to the roads and debris that could be in the roads from the storm.
- Once you have carefully assessed the damage to your home, contact your insurance company and/or FEMA if appropriate
The Hawk-Eye Management team will return to service within 24 hours after the “All Clear” has been given by local authorities to help the community respond to the issues at hand. We hope that all of the actions listed above never have to be used but careful preparation is the best way to cope with a potential disaster like a hurricane.