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A Quick Talk on Hurricanes

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Living in the Caribbean has got its good and bad as do all regions. One good is the yearly sunshine while one bad is the hurricane season. Our hurricane season begins June 1st and ends November 30th which doesn't seem that long until you've really been through a major hurricane.
It was in the year of 1995 I went through my first major hurricane, Hurricane Luis. It was a category five hurricane (strongest possible) and lasted for a few days. Before the storm we released our dogs so that they can take shelter under the house. I swear they were the only ones that enjoyed hurricanes. Shutters had to be properly secured along with tape on the windows that won't feel the full force of the wind. One mistake people have made is to completely close all windows during a hurricane. Depending on if you've got windows all around the house there will be some that will only experience a few drops of water at the very most. Strange isn't it. It's because the winds of a hurricane travel in one direction so the windows on the opposite side of the house won't receive much. Keeping those windows shut will cause the pressure in your house to build. I'm sure you're getting the picture now. Your roof stands a risk of ripped off.

When the hurricane reached the winds played with houses and tress as if they were made out of cardboard. I remember looking out the window and seeing the felt from my neighbour's house being totally ripped off and pulled away from the wind. I was about 4 at the time and I really didn't know the severity of the storm until the eye came.
During the eye of a hurricane there's a calm as if it's over but it's far from over. We would normally go outside for a bit to check on the house, dogs and sometimes neighbours during the calm. You are however cautioned not to since the calm doesn't last forever. Believe it or not people have been caught outside after the eye has passed and it's not somewhere you want to be. Might be fun for a while until things start flying at you(Final Destination).

I can't tell how many hurricanes I've been through but each one has it's own way of screwing me over. Nonetheless there's a few tips I've learned to stay safe during a hurricane.
  • Don't ever go outside unless it's an emergency. Your car getting it's windshield busted doesn't fall under that category either.
  • If you are in any doubt not confident that your house can withstand the hurricane then move to your nearest shelter
  • Flood prone areas will flood from a hurricane so if you live in one vacate.
  • Don't close all the windows in your house as I mentioned above
  • Prune trees from dead or lose branches. Your neighbours will thank you.
  • Coconuts and mangos are like cannon balls during a hurricane. Pick them even if they aren't ripe.
  • If the electricity goes out keep candles away from high traffic areas in the house or from kids
  • Don't be a storm chaser.
  • Keep stocked batteries, canned food, water, first aid kits, cloths, flashlights and a radio.
  • Have a fully charged phone just in case.
  • Stay off of your phone within the storm.
  • Remove antennas from the top of your house.

I may not have covered all the tips there but you should know what you should or shouldn't do in a storm. For those people that are going to be facing a few hurricanes this year, good luck and stay safe.

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