We are getting ready to enter the height of Hurricane Season. Since we live and ride in North Florida I think it is appropriate to discuss ways to keep safe in and around the water. Most water-related injuries occur between May and Labor Day. Let’s not forget Hurricane season runs well past Labor Day through the end of November. There are many commonsense practices but when we have a Tropical Storm or Hurricane off-shore there are ways to protect yourself and children.
Water Safety with a Named Tropical Storm or Hurricane:
- Never swim, surf, boogie board, windsurf, SUP (stand up paddle) alone.
- Never rely on flotation devices such as boogie boards, surfboards even with leashes attached. The strength of the waves and wind can detach them from you.
- Stay in a designated area especially in front and in sight of a lifeguard.
- Always check surf conditions. There are numerous ways. NOAA.gov, local weather station websites, National Data Buoy Center on wave and swell height, local surf shops, and even the lifeguards.
- Stay away from rocks, piers, rough coastline.
- Most injuries occur while trying to enter and exit the water. Take a cautious approach and enter with a feet-first approach slowly.
- Keep a lookout for marine life such as baitfish activity. That will usually have sharks close by.
- In the case of a runout or being caught in a runout. Conserve your energy swim sideways and let the waves push you in while body surfing. Do not swim against the current
- Make sure you have plenty of energy before entering the water
- With children maintain constant supervision at all times no matter what skills they have
- Make sure you equip your child with proper swim lessons and water experience it is a gift they will have for a lifetime
Sailboarding, SUP or Windsurfing
- Never do it alone
- Use a proper Coast Guard approved life jacket
- Make sure you have the proper strength and swimming ability
- Take lessons
- Know the conditions before entering the water
- Never surf alone
- Don’t wait until the surf swell picks up because of a pending storm and think you can handle it when it has been years since you tried to surf. This is NOT the time to be Kelly Slater.
- Make sure you are equipped with proper surf equipment, leash, hydration, sunscreen
- Never surf during a thunder/lightning storm. Water conducts electricity
- Make sure you have the proper strength and are fit enough to surf
Safe Drinking Water
When a hurricane blows through one of the most important things is the quality of the drinking water. Water can be contaminated. Please prepare so you have enough drinking water on hand for five days after a storm
- Boiling water might become important. Pay attention to local authorities. Public water systems can be damaged and lose pressure and water can be contaminated
- Only use bottled or disinfected water until public water supplies have been declared safe
- Water that you have saved prior to the storm should be fine for up to 3-4 months
- Only use bottled water for pets and brushing teeth
- Bathing in tap water is fine but do not let it get in your eyes or mouth
- Do not drink water from a well that has not been tested
Speaking of Water…
A small number of insurance companies have recently announced standalone flood insurance policies. Before this announcement, most homeowners in Florida only had the choice of buying flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. The NFIP policy has several limitations that homeowners should be aware of.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
Contact us to learn more about proactive flood damage protection, the national vs. private flood insurance programs, or to receive a no-hassle quote.