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The Four Essentials of Hurricane Preparedness
Now is a good time to take a few minutes and talk about hurricane preparedness as the upcoming season is right around the corner. There are a lot of differing opinions about how to react to an oncoming storm, as well as when the best time is to bug out in a worst-case scenario. No matter what advice you take or what opinions regarding the mater you have, there are still four fundamental things that need to be addressed. Let’s take a closer look at these areas and why they are so important.
Food and Water
Whether or not you end up sheltering in place or bugging out, you need to have at least three days of food and potable water on hand. The devastation that a major storm can leave in its wake is more than enough to knock out power and make the distribution of basic items difficult. Not only that, but the pre-storm buying panic that always occurs usually leaves store shelves of even the most basic items. Make sure that you have a supply on hand long before a storm arrives, and make sure to have one for both your vehicle as well as the home.
Prepare for Debris and Storm Surge
Two of the biggest dangers associated with hurricanes involves the storm surge and debris. Think of storm surges as mini-tsunamis that crash into structures and flood low-lying areas. High winds, turbulent seas and intense rainfall all contribute to pushing water inland, often at a violent rate of speed, which is why people in low-lying areas are usually strongly encouraged to evacuate. Storm surges also transport dangerous debris that can not only cause injury but cause damage to structures as well.
High winds commonly carry debris at high rates of speed and over great distances, and countless people have become injured by these flying objects. They have also been known to break windows and even penetrate walls. Both high winds as well as storm surges also cause power lines to break.
Only you can determine whether or not the structure you plan on hunkering down in is sound enough to withstand these forces. However, if not, then evacuation is probably the most appropriate course of action to take.
We’ve talked about the importance of planning for gridlock and mayhem if you get caught up in the heart of any mandatory evacuations. Not only that, but gas stations will quickly run out of fuel, hotel rooms will fill up and restaurants or stores along the way will quickly run out of food. Be prepared to have alternate routes in mind, have more than one destination that you can get to, and make sure that you have enough supplies to be able to fend for yourself until the dust settles.
Good Judgment and Timing
Aside from covering these bases, it’s also important to know when to decide whether to bug in or flee. It’s also important to take an honest look at your situation as well as your options in order to make the best possible decisions in terms of taking appropriate precautions to maximize your safety. Don’t try to convince yourself that your planning can work, rather, focus on ensuring that your efforts will work. There is a difference, and there is no shame in deciding to flee the area instead of taking any unnecessary chances.
Learn more about the many risks associated with hurricanes, including the impact of a direct-hit as well as disruptions that can be caused hundreds of miles away. You really want to look at the big picture and see how the worst-case scenario aligns with your preparedness efforts. Hurricanes cause billions of dollars in damage, wipe out entire communities and have a serious disruptive impact on infrastructure. Consequently, the more you do to come with a realistic and doable plan now can minimize the that a storm or its aftermath poses to you and your family.
Differences Between Common Types of Tent Materials
Tents are used under various conditions while serving different purposes based on the material that they are made from. It’s important to choose the right tents for the task, and there are a few things to consider when shopping around. Let’s take a look at some of the key characteristics of popular tent materials as well as common uses so that you will be able to pack exactly what you need based on the conditions that you will be facing.
Canvas represents some of the oldest and most durable tent material out there. It is ideal for heavy-duty applications in situations where mobility and space are not much of an issue. It can create a strong barrier against rain, snow and wind, but it also is not that good at trapping heat. However, it makes the best material for tents that will have heaters inside because they are not as flammable as their synthetic counterparts.
Canvas also has limited water resistance as well, and while it may keep water outside, the material itself can become wet and require a long time to dry before packing or storing. Make sure to get treated material or apply some spray in order to make it as water-resistant as possible.
Keep in mind that canvas or cotton tents don’t usually include stitching that supports aluminum poles or frames. Construction can involve lashing cordage through eyelets in the material, and the frame will need to be made from wood or PVC material. This makes transport, storage and assembly more complex but these tents produce the strongest level of protection and shelter.
These synthetic materials are extremely light-weight and water-resistant. They don’t shrink, bunch up or get dry and flaky after becoming wet, and they generally allow water to bead off and drip to the ground. However, they are also notorious for impeding air circulation, and it’s important to choose tents that have large openings to allow air to pass through. They also trap heat, which makes them ideal for cold-weather conditions, but they are also very flammable.
The material tends to melt and drip as it burns, and this can lead to serious injury as well as the spread of fire. Keep open flames and other heat sources away from the walls, and make sure that rising heat can’t melt and ignite the roof as well.
Polycotton is basically a blend of canvas or cotton tents along with some synthetic material. This produces a tent that is a little stronger than their synthetic counterparts and not as heavy as canvas. However, they also tend to be on the expensive side, and not all of them are treated with water-resistant material. These tents are easier to pack and transport than canvas, and many are designed to be setup with poles and frames like their synthetic counterparts. This type of tent is good for short-term camping situations in low to moderately-harsh environments.
Synthetic tents are usually designed to be easy to assemble and transport as the components can be compacted. They also usually include stitching that allows for the insertion of aluminum or lightweight plastic tubing to create the frame. Good products can be put together in minutes with one or two people, and they are very easy to compact, store and transport.
Make sure to consider how and under what conditions that you will be using tents before making purchases and incorporating them into your overall strategies. This will help you to make the most efficient choices while minimizing risk as well as inconvenience while you are in the field and setting up camp.