Preparing for Hurricane Season
Protecting Our Churches
The oﬃcial hurricane season runs from June through November, but historically the most ac ve storms occur August through October, which makes this me of year the perfect me to prepare for a storm. If you live on the coast, you are aware of all the prepara on that goes into hurricane season. However, whether you are familiar with this kind of storm or not, it’s always important to have or create a safety plan for your church. Understand the Terms Tropical Disturbance: An organized system of clouds and thunderstorms without a defined circula on Tropical Storm: An organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined circula on and maximum winds of 39 to 73 mph. Hurricane Watch: Hurricane condi ons are possible within 36 to 48 hours. Preliminary prepara ons to protect life and property should begin. Hurricane Warning: Hurricane condi ons are expected in 24 to 36 hours. All hurricane prepara ons should be completed and evacua on instruc ons followed.
Hurricanes also are categorized according to their wind velocity. The scale u lized by the Na onal Hurricane Center categorizes hurricanes as follows: Category 1: 74 to 95 mph winds Category 2: 96 to 110 mph winds Category 3: 111 to 130 mph winds Category 4: 131 to 155 mph winds Category 5: 156 mph and above winds Be Prepared Cover windows with hurricane shu ers or a framed cover made of plywood at least ¾ inch thick. Maintain a wri en inventory of all the contents of your church and backup all documents on your computers. This will assist in the insurance claim should your building be damaged or destroyed. Be sure that you have copies of the inventory stored in a secure, oﬀ-site loca on. Ensure doors are made of solid wood or hollow metal and have at least three heavy-duty hinges. Check that roofs are in good repair. Old framing and roofing materials o en will give way to high winds and rain associated with a hurricane. Clear gu ers and downspouts of leaves, twigs, and any other material that could poten ally clog them and prevent water from draining. Secure all outdoor furniture, signage, canopies, playground equipment and anything else that can blow away and cause damage. This includes trimming dead or dying limbs from trees. Consider turning oﬀ the gas and electrical supply. Stock up on water, flashlights, radios, medical kits, toiletry items, towels, blankets, and food if your building will be used as an emergency shelter. Prepare to evacuate when orders are given to do so. Have a preplanned evacua on route in mind and let others know where you will be staying during that me. Any ques ons or concerns about the above material, please feel free to contact Phil Hinton at 601‐ 956‐5810. “The information contained in this report was obtained from sources which to the best of the writer’s knowledge are authentic and reliable. Arthur J. Gallagher makes no guarantee or results, and assumes no liability in connection with either the information herein contained, or the safety suggestions herein made. Moreover, it can not be assumed that every acceptable safety procedure is contained herein, or that abnormal or unusual circumstances may not warrant or require further or additional procedures.”