Cue Winston Desmond…Or is it Desmond Winston?
Tony Powell, the original “Soul Man” of the Imus in the Morning radio show has several laugh out loud characters he plays. One of my favorites, (along with Congressman Charles Rangel), is when he imitates a proud Jamaican. When Imus introduces him, he always says, “Everyting irie, I-man, everyting irie.”
Well get ready because Hurricane Irene is coming, and we don’t really want the everything she’s bringing. The National Weather Service is projecting a storm track where Irene will “kiss” Bermuda (talk about your weather cooties). According to the experts, while the entire east coast will be affected, Irene will probably make landfall anywhere from Miami, Florida to North Carolina.
To quote the Weather Girls, have I got news for you. Based on the rainfall of biblical proportions we’ve “enjoyed” here in the New York Metropolitan area, Irene is coming to New York. Why, you ask? Gee, I don’t know. Maybe she wants to see “Memphis” on Broadway.
No matter where Hurricane Irene makes landfall, if she does so as a Category 4 Hurricane, she’ll be packing winds ranging from 131 to 155 miles per hour. The potential for damage from a hurricane like this is extreme.
Gee, no kidding.
Folks, if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to prepare.
In my of recent video posts, I demonstrated, using a little paper house, several of the ways to move water away from your home. Take the time either today or tomorrow to perform the following checks:
- Make sure your gutters are absolutely clear of any and all debris. Anything in your gutter will serve to impede the flow of water toward the downspout. You can go to your local hardware store, Home Depot, Lowes and buy mesh-like covers and screens which attach to your gutters. These devices will allow water to flow through and leaves, branches, baseballs, and beer cans to fall off the roof.
- Check to make sure your gutters are firmly attached to the roof. And make sure those roof edges are sealed or else water could seep under the shingles and into the house.
- Make sure the downspouts are also clear. And install a mesh screen in open downspout openings.
- Add at least a 2-3 foot or even longer extension to the end of each downspout not routed directly into your main drain or drywell (And when’s the last time you had them checked or cleaned?). The further away from the building water is carried, the better.
- Check the landscaping around your home. Make sure the land, ground or cement which meets the walls of your home slopes away from the house, not towards it. It doesn’t make sense to do numbers 1-4, only to have the water pool around the foundation so it looks like you’re having folks over for a pool party.
- If you own the type of home which sits on a slab, and/or has a roof attached to the walls by clips, check to make sure these connections are tight and waterproof. Hurricane Andrew, the Irene of 1992, showed too many people their houses weren’t as well constructed as they thought.
- Sump pumps. Every home should have at least one sump pump. Just one thing – test it/them to ensure operational integrity. In other words, make sure it/they work.
- Inspect your roof and make temporary repairs to loose shingles, cracked tar paper and similar defects. Or, even better, secure a tarp to the roof.
- Hopefully, you’ve purchased flood insurance, and are past the normal 30-day waiting period. Should the flood waters rise, the land fall, or the mud slide, you’ll be glad you bought it.
You And Your Family
You and your family must have a family emergency plan. While you’ll find a more detailed list at www.Ready.gov (click on Get A Kit and Make A Plan), here are some basic ideas:
- Each family member should know exactly where everyone will reunite after a disaster.
- If you can’t use the first designated spot, make sure you have a backup site where you’ll meet.
- Know how to get out of your home and neighborhood. And practice using these escape routes.
- Have an out-of-state friend or relative everyone can call to tell of their well-being and location.
- Purchase a water and fireproof security chest or safe and keep copies of your important documents there. When at all possible, keep originals in a safe deposit box.
- Make copies of the front and backs of all credit and debit cards, and drivers licenses.
- Have emergency cash, if the ATMs are not functioning.
- Make sure every family member has a Go Bag. Go to www.Ready.gov to see what should be in your bag.
- Prepare a stash of emergency supplies for your home. For example, non-perishable canned foods, one gallon of water for each person for each day for at least 4 days. Some other items are a first-aid kit, flashlights and extra batteries, whistles, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and feminine hygiene products.
You’ll find videos on preparing for emergencies at https://insuremeeg.com/Emegency_Preparedness.html. Actively use this information and you and those you love will increase your chances of better surviving a local or national disaster.
And about the earthquake we had earlier, I apologize for making the earth move as I did. Carry on.