What is Storm Surge And How Can it Affect You?
Sept 2, 2016
By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC
Following the latest with Hurricane Hermine, the first hurricane Florida has seen since Wilma 11 years ago, it was predicted that storm surge would create the most threatening impacts along the coastal areas of the state.
Storm surge, abnormally high water (waves) generated by a storm, is produced by forceful winds from a storm pushing the water toward the shore, often resulting in coastal flooding. This can cause normally dry areas to be inundated with flooding.
Here’s a scary fact: A storm surge of 23 feet has the ability to inundate:
- 67% of interstates
- 57% of arterial roads
- Approximately half of rail miles
- 29 airports
- Almost all ports in the Gulf Coast area
(CCSP SAP 4-7; NHC)
As we have seen recently, storm surge can happen quickly and sometimes unexpectedly, not allowing much time to prepare. Residents living near the coastline should prepare well in advance as soon as they are notified of a potential hurricane. Most warnings are given 48 hours in advance, which allows time to collect food and water, and find shelter.
Remember what Florida Gov. Rick Scott said, “You can rebuild a home. You can rebuild property. You cannot rebuild a life.”
Follow these tips to prepare for possible storm surge:
- Check your property for any threats to flooding. Lock and board up all doors and windows. Secure your belongings, and bring inside those from the outside.
- Take advantage of sandbags being sold in your community. These can prevent water from entering your home or place of business.
- Have an evacuation plan with all of your employees. This may include closing business, or setting employees up to work remotely.
- Build or restock your emergency kit.
- Water – You should have one gallon per person per day, PLUS extra for sanitation use.
- Non-perishable food – Keep enough for at least five days for each person.
- Toilet paper, personal hygiene items, etc.
- First aid kit (including medications and employees’ prescriptions)
- Important documents: insurance, medical information, files you may need to stay away from your business for several days, etc.
- Most importantly, if you are ordered to evacuate by state or local officials, do so as quickly as possible. Heavy traffic can cause significantly longer travel times, and you want to ensure everyone is safely relocated as soon as possible.
- Continue to tune into local radio or television stations. Listen carefully for any advisories or instructions from local officials.