My name is Anthony Carriuolo, proud native Floridian and Chief Operating Officer of Planet Protein. After Hurricane Wilma ransacked our home in 2005, an active season wasn't seen until this past year, when Hurricane Irma took her shots.
It seems as the only constant has been the damage done by hurricanes named after your great aunt, but we need to be vigilant nonetheless! Here are three overlooked and essential hurricane tips to get you ready for a safe season.
First, imagine throwing a coconut through a window.
Now imagine a hurricane doing it.
Coconuts are heavy (and delicious) as it is, but in hurricane force winds can easily be turned into cannonballs that would make Blackbeard jealous. Removing fruit and excess foliage can be a dangerous activity, but can keep your yard free of projectiles. The best tools for the job are a polesaw or pruner. It is highly discouraged to use machetes, ladders, or to stand directly beneath the coconuts. Please be safe and stable. Added bonus: you'll have something to do, and eat during the storm.
I was lucky to grow up in a good home with a good family. I never once had to think about hunger, or having a roof over my head. The idea of being cutoff from all outside food sources in Plantation, Florida was ridiculous to me. A week later my Uncle was on his way down from the Treasure Coast with MRE's and gasoline.
Always eat perishables in order of expiration. When opening the refrigerator and freezer, be as quick as possible to avoid letting cool air escape. Save cooked foods, canned goods, and shelf stable goods for a last resort, and ensure that no calorie (or dollar) goes to waste.
Know your options and the best practices to protect your car. If you cannot find a garage, the next best option is often to parallel park against your home. It is rare that a driveway is covered by tree canopy or power lines, the two greatest stationary threats to your vehicle. Parallel parking adjacent to the home protects the home from massive gusts, while also using the home as a debris shield, working both ways.
If necessary, park multiple cars in the same fashion, as closely together as possible to avoid lift on the vehicle. The closeness will prevent wind from building the momentum behind the cars .
Above all, being smart, cautious, and preparing judiciously should be enough to secure your space in the wake of an oncoming storm. If evacuation is in your plans, leave early and be prepared for a prolonged stay. Best of luck this summer!