ESPN SWFL Hurricane Central

ESPN SWFL Hurricane Central

ESPN SWFL Hurricane Central

Although Southwest Florida is not currently in the cone for Hurricane Ian, we’re still going to feel the effects. As of 10am Monday morning we’re under a Tropical Storm Watch. It looks like Hurricane Ian will be passing by Southwest Florida during the day on Wednesday as a major hurricane. Maybe even a Category 4. We’re on what some call the “dirty side” of the hurricane. SWFL is going to see a lot of wind and rain. Here’s the radar from this morning:

So even if the current forecast models hold true and Southwest Florida avoids a direct hit, there’s still some steps you can take to be prepared. Remember, those outer bands can spin off tornadoes which can break off tree branches. Those tree branches fall on a power line and  – now you’re sitting in the dark. And FPL is going to be super busy restoring power. How long will you be without power? We have a guide with a lot of useful information. And it doesn’t mean you need to rush to Publix and empty the shelves. Tampa Meteorologist Dennis Phillips has come up with a lot more ideas. Here’s a few of the best ‘hurricane hacks’ I found. And some personal experience.

  • Fill your trash cans with water

    Throw some bleach in that bin to disinfect and then rinse it out. Fill you trash can with water so you can use it for flushing the toilet in case your water stops. One thing to watch out for is that our area has pumping stations to deal with sewage. In a prolonged outage, with no working pumping stations, what you flush down the toilet could come up through the shower drain. If this is the case where you live, only flush when necessary. This also applies if you use a septic system with a pump. Here’s what Collier County has to say on the topic:

    The Florida Department of Health in Collier County (DOH-Collier) is urging the public to be mindful of potential issues with sewage. Following a storm, you may experience problems with the operation of your sewage system. If you have a septic system that runs by a dosing pump, it will not work without electricity. You should stop using water in your home as much as possible until the electricity comes back on. Without the pump working, the septic tank will fill and may cause backup of sewage in your home

  • Fill your freezer with water bottles

    You know all that water you bought at Costco? Put them in the freezer. In the event of a power failure this will help keep food cold. Plus, you can drink the cold water after they thaw.

  • Do the laundry

    Wash the sheets and any dirty clothes. You never know how long you could be without power.

  • Clean

    Toss out any old food and clean the litter box. Think of what things may start to smell if the ac goes out and deal with them now.

  • Outdoor Decor

    Bring in anything that could go airborne. At minimum your pool furniture cushions. Is your grill on wheels? It can roll into the pool with the right sustained wind. Just the thought of having to lift a grill out of your pool should be enough to make this important.

  • Be prepared to evacuate

    Just know where all your important stuff is. Your id, passports, cash. Yes, make sure you have some cash.

  • How are the pets

    Do dog and cat have enough food?

  • Fill those prescriptions

    If you’re taking medicine that you need, you need to make sure you have enough of it in case something bad happens. It’s a hurricane, you just don’t know.

  • Propane and propane relate accessories

    Is your tank full? No lie, we made coffee on the grill after Irma.

  • Candles, flashlights, lighters, matches, batteries

    Round them up and put them where you know they are.

  • Everything clean? Go take a shower

    Remember, if the power goes out, it’s likely that you’re going to lose hot water.

  • Run the dishwasher

    If the power is out, you don’t want dirty dishes smelling the place up.

  • Unplug the expensive stuff

    Flickering power surges can fry your electronics. If the power starts to dim, or flicker on and off – turn off the tv, stop the washer and dryer, and turn off the ac. My air conditioner was already getting a little old, but the power going on and off, dimming, and coming back killed it. That’s right, even after the power came back on after Irma I still had no ac for another week +.

  • Speaking of ac

    Push that thermostat down before the storm gets there. If you do lose power, you’ll enjoy the cool at least a little longer.

  • Paper plates, plastic forks

    No dirty dishes.

  • The insurance walk through

    Take pictures of your house. Especially the roof. If you do sustain damage you’ll need to prove that it was caused by this hurricane. The days of ‘everyone gets a new roof’ are over. Insurance companies are going to challenge every major claim.

  • More info here - our guide

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