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STORM

GUIDE A SPECIAL PUBLICATION OF THE OCALA STAR-BANNER

HURRICANE HUNGER, PAGE 8 • DISASTER SUPPLY KIT, PAGE 9 • TRACKING MAP, PAGES 12-13


2| SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2014

OCALA

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Serving Central Florida Through All Emergencies Since 1945

We Have All Of Your Hurricane Supplies: Plywood  Tarps  Felt  Tape  Shingles We Can Repair/Replace Your Damaged Doors  Windows  Garage Doors Ph. 352-622-7099 1432 SW 15th Ave. Ocala, FL 34471 (1 Mile West of the Intersection of Hwy. 441/27 on SW 17th St., Just 1 Block Down on SW 15th Ave.)

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STORM GUIDE

We’re Open to the Public Monday - Friday ● 7 am - 5 pm License No. CBC1252465

One Storm left us with 2 inches of water and $21,000 in repairs*

But we were fortunate. We had purchased flood insurance from our AAA Insurance Agent and it saved us thousands of dollars. Our agent told us:

• Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. • You’re 3 times more likely to have a flood than a fire. • Flood insurance can cost less than $1 a day.

Remember...Only flood insurance covers you in a flood. AAA Ocala 3033 S.W. College Rd. (352) 237-6251 AAA.com/Ocala

Nonmembers welcome. * Flood insurance is provided by Auto Club South Insurance Company and is written through the National Flood Insurance Program. Source: Floodsmart.gov. According to the NFIP, your home has a 26% chance of being damaged by a flood compared with a 9% chance of being damaged by a fire. Percentages based on a 30-year mortgage period. BR08-0009

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INSIDE

Important numbers

5

11

PROTECT YOUR CASTLE:

Proper planning and preparation in and around your home can help prevent or mitigate damage the hurricane season brings.

KEEP IN TOUCH: With the smartphone revolution beginning in 2007, it is now more important than ever to keep your devices charged and up to date if a major storm approaches.

8

16

HURRICANE HUNGER: While ramen noodles should be a staple in ever disaster kit, there are plenty of other foods that are quick and easy to prepare if your power goes out.

SMALL STORM, BIG PUNCH:

Small summer storms can be frightening because they come without the warnings that accompany approaching hurricanes.

9

22

DISASTER SUPPLY KIT: While food

TIMBER!: It is important to trim and maintain the trees around your home. Homeowners should follow these tips to avoid being taken advantage of before or after a storm.

and water may be easy to remember in the event of a major storm, items such as cash, batteries, medications and insect repellent may not.

EDITOR: Jim Ross COVER ART: Sean Ochal COPY EDITOR: Alan Festo

BE PREPARED WITH SEVERE WEATHER SMS ALERTS Get Severe Weather alerts sent to your mobile device.

Text OSBSEVERE to 22411 Sponsored in part by

Helpful websites ■ Florida

Division of Emergency Management: www.floridadisaster.org.

■ National

Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: www.noaa.gov.

■ National Hurricane Cen-

ter: www.nhc.noaa.gov. ■ Florida

Department of Financial Services: www. myfloridacfo.com.

■ The National

Hurricane Survival Initiative: www. hurricanesafety.org

■ American Red

Cross: www.redcross.org.

IN CASE OF POWER OUTAGE ■ Ocala

Utility Services: 351-6666 ■ Duke Energy: 1-800228-8485 ■ SECO: 1-800-732-6141 ■ Clay Electric: 1-888434-9844 ■ Withlacoochee River Electric: 795-4382 TO REGISTER PEOPLE WHO HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS:

Call Marion County Emergency Management at 369-8136. TO REPORT ROAD FLOODING: ■ Marion County: 671-

8686 ■ City of

Belleview: 2457021 ■ City of Dunnellon: 4658590 ■ City of Ocala: 629-CITY (2489) FOR NON-EMERGENCY POLICE ASSISTANCE: ■ Marion County Sheriff’s

Office: 732-9111 ■ Belleview Police Depart-

ment: daytime, 245-7044; nights, 732-9111 ■ Dunnellon Police Department: 465-8510 ■ Ocala Police Department: 369-7070 PUBLIC INFORMATION LINES: ■ Marion County Sheriff’s

Office: 368-3594 Cross: 622-3457 ■ Salvation Army: 7328326 ■ The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY for hearing-impaired) ■ For social service assistance: 211 (United Way help line) ■ American Red


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SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2014 |3

STORM GUIDE

Predictions for the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY â–  2014 prediction: Nine named storms, three of them hurricanes, one major. â–  How it did last year: Predicted 18 storms (14), nine hurricanes (two) and four major hurricanes (zero). THE WEATHER CHANNEL â–  2014 prediction: Eleven named storms, five of them hurricanes, two major.

How it did last year: Predicted 16 named storms (14), nine hurricanes (two) and five major hurricanes (zero). WEATHERBELL ANALYTICS â–  2014 prediction: Eight to 10 named storms, three to five hurricanes, and one to two major hurricanes. â–  How it did in 2013: Predicted 16 named storms (14), 12 hurricanes (two) and five major â– 

hurricanes (zero). GLOBAL WEATHER OSCILLATIONS (BASED IN MARION COUNTY) ■ 2014 prediction: 13 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes. ■ How it did in 2013: Predicted nine named storms (13). Did not predict number of hurricanes or major hurricanes, but did — correctly — predict no U.S. hurricane landfall.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/FILE

Rick Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center, speaks about new colorcoded maps that will help residents understand the dangers of storm surge during the upcoming storm season at the 2014 National Hurricane Conference.

Emergency managers are challenged to educate public The Associated Press

ORLANDO — Two of the country’s top disaster experts earlier this year challenged emergency managers and forecasters from Texas to Maine to help educate coastal residents and developers about hurricane hazards. Speaking at the National Hurricane Conference in Orlando, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency urged city and county officials to factor disaster preparedness and risk into proposals for any new coastal development or post-storm reconstruction, along with job creation and tax revenues. But Craig Fugate also said he wouldn’t necessarily discourage building along the country’s storm-prone coastline. Ideally, the risk should be

shouldered by the private sector and not taxpayers, and plans should account for potential changes in population growth or sea-level rise, Fugate said. “We have rebuilt all kinds of infrastructure after a storm only to (see it) get washed away in the next storm. Why? Because we keep building to the past. We have to build to the future,� Fugate told reporters later. National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb warned that many people on the Gulf and East coasts don’t know whether they live in an evacuation zone and don’t understand that a hurricane’s wind speeds won’t necessarily correspond to its storm surge. Storm surge is one of the deadliest and most damaging storm hazards,

but it’s also hard to predict and hard to explain. This year, the hurricane center will try posting color-coded maps online if a storm threatens to make landfall, to show how far inland the ocean might surge and how high that water could rise in individual communities. The maps are part of an ongoing effort at the hurricane center to emphasize a storm’s specific hazards, not just its path or its strength. “It will enable us to do what words fail miserably at, and that is to clearly convey in a forecast a sense — even with uncertainties of track, intensity and size — of how far inland could the water go,� Knabb said. “We have not been communicating that in the public products up to this point.�

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STORM GUIDE

4| SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2014

OCALA STAR-BANNER | www.ocala.com

Hurricane season is here: ‘All it takes is one’ By Joe Callahan Staff writer

It has been nearly 10 years since Marion County received a double dose of hurricanes, Frances in August 2004 and Jeanne three weeks later. For nearly a month, many parts of Marion County were crippled. Thousands of trees were leveled and power was out to some areas for 10 days. Those who did not prepare for the worst ran low on food and water. Though many experts are expecting a slow hurricane season in 2014, local officials urge residents to still plan for the worst. “All it takes is one,” said Marion County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Paul Laxton, Marion County’s emergency management director. “People need to always be prepared.” It’s that time of year. Hurricane season starts June 1, and the annual forecasts are emerging from private sources, government agencies and universities. So far, all but one of these main forecasts call for a below-average hurricane season. Officials with the National Hurricane Center reiterate, however, that preparations should not be based on predictions. Dennis Feltgen, a hurricane center spokesman, said the predictions are deceiving. He said a prediction is for the entire six-month season, which runs June 1 to Nov. 30. It covers the entire Atlantic basin and does not tell a person where or when a storm could hit. He said residents should

MATT STAMEY/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/FILE

David Anthony Reynolds looks at the tree that fell on his home during Tropical Storm Andrea in Gainesville on June 6, 2013. believe that since a hurricane didn’t make landfall last year, then “I will get hit this year.” Feltgen pointed to 1992, when forecasters predicted a slow hurricane season. Some had predicted only seven hurricanes, far below the average of 12. Though the season started off slow, Hurricane Andrew — one of the strongest to ever hit the U.S. — slammed Homestead in August as the first storm of the season and caused $26 billion in damage. He also pointed to 2010, when there were 12 hurricanes and none hit the U.S. The bottom line is that preparations are key, no matter what. Feltgen also said residents in inland counties shouldn’t let their guard down. “Often the most deadly part of a hurricane is inland flooding,” Feltgen

said. “Sometimes as much as 20 inches of rain can fall.” While hurricane experts with Colorado State and North Carolina State universities are calling for a below-normal hurricane season, a Central Florida man is predicting an average hurricane season. Experts from those universities are expecting at least a moderate El Nino, which produces warmer-than-normal waters in the Pacific Ocean near the equator and can cause upper-level wind shear in the Atlantic Ocean, subduing hurricane activity. Those experts are also predicting cooler-thanaverage water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic, which affect the ability of a hurricane to strengthen. The warmer the water, the stronger the hurricane. This year’s forecasts come after the predictions

for last hurricane season were off the mark. Last year most experts called for above average activity, though no major hurricanes — Category 3, 4 or 5 — formed all season for the first time in decades. Colorado State’s William Gray and Philip Klotzbach predict there will be nine named storms in 2014, three below the annual average. Gray and Klotzbach predict only three will become hurricanes and only one of those will be a major storm — half the annual average. Ocala resident David Dilley says his high-tech computer modeling shows the effects of El Nino will be weak, and hurricanes will, in fact, affect the United States. In December, Dilley used his models to predict 17 named storms, eight of them hurricanes, and three of them major storms, in 2014.

A few weeks ago, he downgraded his forecast slightly to 13 named storms, with six hurricanes and two of those major storms. That’s still far above the prediction of Colorado State and N.C. State. Dilley doesn’t release specific details, such as the odds of a Florida landfall. That’s because he sells the predictions to businesses, such as insurance companies. He does predict “two or more hurricanes making landfall” in the United States in 2014. “The upper Gulf (of Mexico) is at risk,” Dilley said. Dilley spent decades building a computerized weather forecast model that he says can predict the volatility of a hurricane season up to four years in advance. Dilley owns and operates Global Weather Oscillations Inc. He touts his computer model concept as a one-of-a-kind forecasting tool that relies on weather cycles. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration uses several shortterm weather cycle-type oscillation models. Experts also factor in La Nina or El Nino influences to forecast six months to a year into the future. NOAA does not use weather cycle data to predict hurricanes four years out. Dilley, 68, a former NOAA meteorologist for two decades, says his models have accurately predicted hurricane activity in each of the past five seasons, while most other forecast agencies have missed the mark more times than not.

Dilley uses his prediction model, called Climate Pulse Technology, to analyze coastal impacts in 11 zones. After analyzing the data, Dilley then projects hurricane and tropical storm probabilities for each of those zones. Dilley said his agency, unlike the other agencies, predicted a slow season in 2013 and an active season in 2012. While only time will tell which prediction will be correct, one thing is for certain: It has been years since the last major hurricane struck Florida. And the last eight years have amounted to Florida’s longest hurricanefree streak in recorded weather history. Several tropical storms have damaged Florida since 2005. Debby, for example, dumped record rainfall and flooding in North Florida in June 2012. Experts attribute 2013’s weak hurricane season to a variety of atmospheric conditions, such as upper-level wind shear, positioning of the Bermuda-Azores high and storm activity off Africa’s west coast. Only one tropical storm, and no hurricanes, made landfall in the United States in 2013. There were 13 named storms in 2013, only two of them hurricanes. The only storm that made landfall was Tropical Storm Andrea, which skirted Tampa last June. The 2013 season had the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982. It was also the first year since 1994 that a major hurricane did not form somewhere in the Atlantic basin or the Gulf of Mexico.


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SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2014 |5

STORM GUIDE

Reinforce your castle before howling winds arrive If a plywood sheathing on a roof gets removed by wind, it can compromise the whole house. By Carl McKinney Correspondent

Hurricane season may be part of the cost of living in Florida, but homeowners can take steps to ensure the safety of themselves, their families and their property. Proper planning and preparation can help prevent or mitigate damage the hurricane season brings. Before becoming the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Bryan Koon spent five years as the director of emergency management for WalMart, helping stores prepare for disasters. Homeowners in Marion County might find that preparing for a storm isn’t much different for them than it is for a retail chain. “The principals are the same,” he said. “You really want to do everything you can to prepare.” The first step is to gather supplies and have a plan. After a storm, access to cash flow will be important for individuals just as it is to a business. If the power goes down, the communications grid will be affected, meaning credit cards might not always be dependable. “Just as a business supply chain could be disrupted, as a homeowner, your supplies could be disrupted, too,” he said, suggesting that a stash of cash is essential. The amount varies for each family. “Think about what you need to get through your normal, day-to-day life, and have a supply of that ready,” he said.

Homeowners should also take time to review their insurance policies. “Talk to your insurance provider, make sure you have an appropriate level of coverage for your needs,” he said. Flood insurance usually has to be bought separately from a standard policy, he noted. Flooding is the number one cause of death associated with hurricanes, said Dave Donnelly, emergency management director for Alachua County. After having a plan and supplies, it’s time to prepare the property, Donnelly said. If a homeowner has the money, he or she might want to consider having a structural engineer look around and suggest fortifications, he said. There are several structural engineering firms in Ocala, including Riddle Consulting Engineers, Structural Dimensions Inc., and Certified Structure & Foundation Inc. The average cost of hiring one in Florida is around $1,800, according to homeadvisor.com. Photographs should be taken of the house and any valuables, and serial numbers should be written down in case a claim needs to be filed, he said. After checking the property to see if it is going to be storm-worthy, Donnelly said to call an insurance agent to come over and evaluate it. Newer homes are more likely to have been built to meet higher code standards, making them more

Protecting the envelope Once a window or door has been breached, hurricane-force winds can enter the structure and exert tremendous pressure on a house’s walls and roof, blowing them out. Shielding these weak spots in the house’s “envelope” can save your home from catastrophe. Windows Impact-resistant windows offer passive protection against wind-borne debris during a hurricane. The glazing may shatter from an impact, but the pane will stay in the frame, keeping destructive winds out of the house.

Braces Inside the garage door

Glass

Impactresistant glass

Plastic interlayer Glass

Garage doors

When unbraced, these large doors often fail during hurricanes, letting wind into the garage that can lift off the roof. To strengthen double-width garage doors, run 2x4 braces across the middle of each panel. The braces should be anchored to the wall with bolts. Retrofit kits are available for some doors.

Plywood paneling

Installing plywood over windows and doors is a cost-effective way to protect your home. Measure and drill the panels well in advance for easy installation when a hurricane threatens. Plywood should overlap the window or door opening by 4 inches on each side.

Shutters

Shutters protect against wind and flying debris. They come in panels that are installed manually on tracks, or permanent units that roll up into cases atop the opening.

Wood-frame houses ■ For windows 3x4 feet or smaller, use 1/4-inch lag bolts that penetrate the wall and frame surrounding the window at least 1 3/4 inches. ■ For larger windows, use 3/8-inch lag bolts that penetrate the wall and frame surrounding the window at least 2 1/2 inches.

Masonry houses ■ Windows 4x4 or smaller, 1/4-inch expansion anchors. The expansion bolt should penetrate the wall at least 1 1/2 inches. ■ For larger windows, use 3/8-inch expansion bolts that pentrate the wall at least 1 1/2 inches.

Roll-down shutter

Roll-down shutters are popular because of the ease and speed with which they can be used.

Types of shutters ■ Roll-down ■ Storm panels ■ Plywood

p

SOURCES: PGT, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

resilient to storms. The Home Depot website has a list of what to look at when reinforcing a home. Older asphalt shingles are vulnerable to breaking in high winds, so the website recommends applying roofing cement under tabs that seem loose. If a plywood sheathing on a roof gets removed by wind, it can compromise

the whole house. Some construction adhesive applied to both sides of the rafters or trusses where they meet the sheathing can help. If there is a tight space, the adhesive can be applied to the flat sides of quarter-round molding and pressed into the corner between the rafter and decking. Windows and doors

JENNIFER F. A. BORRESEN/NYTRNG

might need to be replaced with impact-resistant ones. For a fast solution, the Home Depot website recommends using plywood as a barrier in the meantime, no thinner than a half-inch, and the thicker, the better. If the windows are surrounded by wood, the plywood can be cut to cover the opening and secured with

wood screws every 12 inches. The garage door could be a vulnerable opening, Donnelly said. He suggested reinforcing it with metal bracings. For temporary bracings, a 2x4 piece of wood can be attached to the floor with masonry anchors and used to prop up two or three vertical supports connected to the wall above the door, according to the Home Depot website. Donnelly recommended against draining the pool before a storm, since it can be a good source for water that can be used to flush toilets and for other hygiene purposes. It’s important to secure garbage cans, pool furniture, lawn ornaments or anything else that might be loose outside, he said. Anything can be turned into a projectile by strong winds. In case a homeowner needs to evacuate, they should have copies of all important documents, including family photos, birth certificates, social security documents, insurance policies or any other government document. The originals should be kept in a safety deposit box. Scans of the documents also could be kept on a USB drive for portability, along with any important files. Above all, the most important thing to do before a storm is to simply think about a plan in advance, Donnelly said. “Be informed,” he said. “Know what the hazards are.” Both Marion County and the state of Florida have more information and tips on their respective websites.


6| SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2014

STORM GUIDE

OCALA STAR-BANNER | www.ocala.com

Don’t let your rarely-used disaster supply kit go stale Your generator may not be ready or work when you finally need it most. By Andy Fillmore Correspondent

HALIFAX MEDIA SERVICES/FILE

Richard Kountz loads up a portable generator while shopping at a Home Depot in Lakeland in preparation for Tropical Storm Fay in 2008.

HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE ARE YOU PREPARED? VISIT Ocala Utility Services at www.ocalafl.org/us for: Hurricane Preparedness Information Current Outage Informtion Outage Reporting Mobile App Downloads Outage Viewer Maps Ocala Utility Services is committed to delivering the highest levels of service, quality and reliability; even when the storm winds blow.

It’s been 10 years since hurricanes impacted Marion County, and some people’s storm supplies may have gone stale or rusty over time. If your family has a hurricane survival kit, or you rely on canned goods and water in your pantry, the time to check it is before you need it. Essential water, food, batteries, equipment, important paperwork — all need to be checked for timeliness and expiration dates. Craig Ackerman, public information officer with the Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Marion County, provided some guidelines and tips about checking stored items. “The most obvious sign to look for on nonperishable foods is the expiration date. If the cans or other containers have lost the labels over time, we recommend that you replace the supplies. Just because the container isn’t ‘bulging’ doesn’t mean it is safe. Check the expiration dates,” Ackerman wrote in an email. “(When checking) medicine supplies and first aid kits, be sure your prescription and over-thecounter medical supplies are sufficient to last three to seven days, and that the expiration dates haven’t passed,” Ackerman wrote.

“Make sure glasses, hearing aids and medical devices ... match current prescriptions and needs.” Ackerman suggested flashlights and radios be checked for proper operation and back up batteries be checked for expiration date. “If you use eyeglasses, hearing aids and hearing aid batteries, wheelchair batteries or oxygen, be sure you always have extras in your kit,” he wrote. FEMA literature gives these shelf-life guidelines for foodstuffs: ■ Use within six months: boxed powered milk, dried fruit, dry crisp crackers, potatoes. ■ Use within one year or before label expiration date: canned condensed meat and vegetable soups, canned fruit, fruit juices and vegetables, ready to eat cereals and uncooked instant cereals, peanut butter, jelly, hard candy and canned nuts, vitamins. ■ May be stored indefinitely (in proper containers): wheat, vegetable oil, dried corn, baking powder, soybean, instant coffee, tea and cocoa, salt, non-carbonated soft drinks, white rice, bouillon, dry pasta and powdered milk in nitrogen packed cans. Generators are a prime example of stored equipment that may not be ready when you need it. Many Marion County residents may have secured portable gasolinepowered generators when the area lost power, in some locales for two five-day periods, during

“(When checking) medicine supplies and first aid kits, be sure your prescription and over-the-counter medical supplies are sufficient to last three to seven days, and that the expiration dates haven’t passed.” CRAIG ACKERMAN, public information officer with the Florida Department of Health in Marion County the 2004 storm season. In some cases, the generators may have been put away in 2004 and not checked since. “A big concern if the equipment is stored is the ethanol used in gas today. It can cause corrosion in the carburetor. The old fuels caused gum but the newer ones attract moisture. Additives are available to avoid this problem,” said Dale Ohren, owner of D&C Small Engine sales and service in Belleview. “A do-it-yourselfer may be able to pull off a carburetor and take it to a shop, but if the engine is stuck (a homeowner) should get professional advice,” Ohren said. He further noted that the electrical generator portion of the device can fail from extended storage.


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SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2014 |7

STORM GUIDE

If storm hits, Star-Banner ready to keep residents informed In the event of a storm, there will be unrestricted access to information on ocala.com. ew news events touch the lives of so many people in our region as when big weather hits. We respond accordingly. The Ocala Star-Banner has a disaster response plan that covers not just how we’ll deploy reporters and photographers to cover a major storm, but also how we’ll manage to publish their work if utility services are compromised or some roads are

F

impassible. It has been a while since we had to pull that plan off the shelf and put it in motion, but we’re ready. One of the first things we will do is remove any restriction from our website to news and information related to an approaching tropical system. We want our readers to have easy access to news that can help them respond appropriately. So, limitations that normally exist for non-subscribers to our website will be suspended until well after the crisis passes.

DOUG RAY

Fortunately, we have two systems working nearly in parallel in Ocala and Gainesville. The Gainesville Sun and the Star-Banner operate in tandem each day. We can easily shift staff from one facility to another, if need be. We have printing presses operating in both cities, and we share many other resources. In addition to that, we are part of Halifax Media Group, with news operations in more than a dozen cities in Florida alone. Plenty of help is near at hand. We also would like to call on you. We need help from the public in telling this story fully. We need photos, video, up-to-mo-

A look at one of the most destructive aspects of a hurricane: low coastal 1 2 area

FOR YOUR BUSINESS & HOME

high tide line

Roll Up

We know it’s coming. Be PREPARED not scared!

Accordion

4

3721 NE 25th Street • Ocala

ArnoldAluminumInc.com

Source: FEMA

Bahama

COASTLINE SHUTTERS A DIVISION OF ARNOLDS ALUMINUM

As the storm moves inland the water is pulled ashore.

Storm Panels

COASTLINE SHUTTERS

A low pressure storm system allows high waves of water to form. Height can vary from 5 feet in a Category 1 storm to over 18 feet in a Category 5.

A storm surge is an abnormal increase in the ocean’s level, often 50 to 100 miles wide that sweeps across the coastline where a hurricane makes landfall.

3

Doug Ray is the executive editor of the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun.

Hurricane Protection

Storm surges

A storm surge can be the greatest threat to life and property along the immediate coast. The biggest danger comes when water is at the high tide line.

Alabama, on April 27, 2011, when an F5 tornado devastated the city. It remains one of the most terrible days of my life, but also one of the most uplifting. The way the community came together to care for one another was truly remarkable. While I pray that we never experience such a disaster here, I am confident we would see the same sort of support from first responders, public officials, businesses and institutions, and the public in general. The staff of the Ocala Star-Banner is ready to do its part as well.

ment details on where roads and bridges are flooded, and other details that can potentially save lives. We will be using social media such as Facebook and Twitter to gather and distribute submissions from the public. We invite you to join our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. You also can email us with any media as attachments, to news@ ocala.com. Or you can call us at 374-5013. In the event of severe weather or a similar wide-spread news event, we will publish our contact information prominently in print and online. I was working as editor of the newspaper in Tuscaloosa,

The water surge erodes beaches and destroys property.

AP

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8| SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2014

MAJOR STORMS TO PASS NEAR MARION COUNTY

UNNAMED SEPT. 1896 UNNAMED SEPT. 1935

10 foods to help tame your hurricane hunger Staff report

UNNAMED SEPT. 1935 UNNAMED AUG. 1949 EASY SEPT. 1950

DONNA SEPT. 1960

DORA SEPT. 1964

CHARLEY AUG. 2004

ELENA AUG. 1985

FRANCES SEPT. 2004 JEANNE SEPT. 2004

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STORM GUIDE

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veryone in Florida knows, or should know, to prepare food in case of a hurricane. But what should you store? How much? The website hurricanecenter.com offers some suggestions, including 10 foods that will serve you well during and after a storm. ■■■ First, let’s look at the list of items you should not be buying. Do not buy snacks like salty chips, crackers and nuts. Aside from not having any nutritional value, these will only make you thirsty. Peanut butter, although rich in protein, is also salty, so take it in minimal amounts, or if you think you cannot control yourself, keep this off your list. Candy is also undesirable because aside from causing you to be thirsty, it also has a high level of sodium. With regard to liquids, do not stock up on sodas and alcohol. Alcohol is obviously not a good idea since you need to be alert and fully conscious in a hurricane situation. Instead, buy vegetable and fruit juices. They are a much healthier alternative. If you have infants in your home, monitor their intake of fruit juices because too much of this can cause illnesses like diarrhea. Also do not binge on sports drinks — drink them in moderation. Here are some good ideas of provisions to have and meals to prepare:

E

RAMEN NOODLES Food can’t get any easier than this. To enjoy ramen noodles, you just need to pour boiling water over them. If you want to get creative and make this into a salad, buy chickenflavored noodles and draw off the broth. Add about a teaspoon of peanut butter and some bacon bits and dried chives and you have a fast and easy Asian noodle salad. BACON AND SAUSAGES Purchase shelf-stable bacon and hard sausages and you can have all the bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches you want. If you run out of bread or lettuce, you can always

add these two to your pork and beans. If you want to intensify the flavor of your bean salad, it would also be a good idea to put in a little bacon and sausage. CONDIMENTS IN SINGLE-SERVE PACKETS Not only are they handy, sanitary and easy to organize, single-serve condiments of mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup are shelf-stable. The uses for these condiments are endless. They can be used as dressing or to add extra flavor to your canned tuna or drained ramen noodles. CHUNKY PASTA SAUCE AND SALSA Salsa is a good dressing for your sandwich. You also can use it to make a salad by mixing it with other ingredients like dried apricots and beans. The chunky pasta sauce will be delicious with your bacon, cheese and your drained ramen noodles. If you prefer to have pizza instead, put pasta sauce on bread, sprinkle cheese over it and wrap it in foil before grilling. COOKED TUNA AND CHICKEN Mix your favorite condiments like mayonnaise or mustard with cooked tuna and chicken and spread it over bread to have an easy and healthy meal. You also can use these ingredients with ramen noodles. Mix olive oil, some herbs and some beans and add this to your noodles. MILK Shelf-stable milk is good and healthy to add to your canned soups. Remember to heat this meal first on the grill. Milk is also essential for your children’s cereal. CHEESE Purchase shelf-stable cheese. Good examples of shelf-stable cheese are processed cheese and cheese made with oil. Cheese is perfect for easy and delicious sandwiches. You can transform your cheese into a dip by mixing it with salsa and wrapping this mixture in foil. Grill or melt this mixture. With tortillas, this will make an excellent quesadilla.

Food during power outages The U.S. Department of AgricultureFood Safety and Inspection Service offers the following tips: ■ Make sure the freezer is at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below and the refrigerator is at 40 degrees or below. ■ Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold. ■ Store food on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case of flooding. ■ Group food together in the freezer. ■ Obtain block ice or dry ice to keep your refrigerator as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged time. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep an 18-cubic-foot full freezer cold for two days. ■ If refrigerated food is still cool, you should be able to use it for about 48 hours, but avoid opening the refrigerator door frequently. ■ Cook on gas/charcoal grill or stove outdoors only. Canned heat can be used indoors.

CANNED POTATOES AND BEANS Beans can be used as the perfect topping for salads mixed with ramen noodles. They are also excellent for rice and sausages. For your potatoes, drain them and mix with milk or canned soup. Warm this up on a grill or on a saucepan and top it all off with cheese. INDIVIDUALLY PACKAGED PUDDINGS/ FRUIT Fruit in cups are a healthy snack. You also can add the fruit to some coconut and layer this mixture with pudding to create a parfait. To make a custard sundae, sprinkle some crushed nuts or cookies over it. RICE AND COUSCOUS Purchase five-minute rice. To cook rice and couscous, simply pour boiling water and leave them to cook. Rice and couscous can be accompanied by beans, some tomatoes or whatever is available in your cupboard.


www.ocala.com | OCALA STAR-BANNER

SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2014 |9

STORM GUIDE

Disaster supply kit: The time to prepare is now The disaster plan Post emergency telephone numbers by the phone. ■ Install safety features in your house, such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. ■ Inspect your home for potential hazards (items that can move, fall, break or catch fire) and correct them. ■ Have your family learn basic safety measures, such as CPR and first aid; how to use a fire extinguisher; and how and when to turn off the water, gas and electricity in your home. ■ Teach children how and when to call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services number. ■ Pick two places to meet: a spot outside your home for an emergency and a place away from your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. Choose an out-of-state friend as your “family check-in contact” for everyone to call if the family gets separated. ■ Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Keep a smaller disaster supplies kit in the trunk of your car. ■ Keep enough supplies in your home for at least three days. Assemble a disaster supplies kit (as listed below). Store these ■

supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers, such as backpacks or duffle bags.

The disaster checklist General flashlights and/or lantern with extra batteries. Candles are not recommended because they can pose a fire hazard if left unattended. ■ A corded, land-line telephone. Cordless telephones do not work without power. ■ Extra, charged cellphone battery and/or car charger for cellphone. ■ Radio, and/or weather radio (NOAA radio) with extra batteries. ■ Camera and film; extra batteries. To take photographs of damage for insurance purposes. ■ Fire extinguisher. ■ Sterno fuel and unit; charcoal and lighter or propane for gas grill. ■ Tools: Keep a set with you during the storm. A pocketknife, nails, saw, a hammer, an ex and rope are important. Towels and buckets are useful if you develop a leak. ■

Clothing, bedding One blanket and/or sleeping bag per person, stored in a ■

protected, an ample supply of pet food. ■ Loose outside objects stored or secured. ■ Tree branches tied or cut. ■ Inventory of personal belongings for insurance claims: A written list and proof of purchase (receipts, warranties) for expensive items. Supplement with photographs or video and keep with important documents in a secure location.

watertight container. ■ One change of clothes and shoes per person, stored in a watertight container. ■ Rain gear, heavy/sturdy boots or shoes; work gloves, and hat or cap to wear in sun.

Medical, personal hygiene First aid kit and manuals. Sunscreen and insect repellent. ■ Bleach, for demolding. ■ Medications and specific medical information. ■ ■

Bring to a shelter

Food, water and supplies Drinking water. One gallon per person per day. A three-day supply is recommended. (Replace stored water every six months.) ■ Special infant needs such as diapers, bottles of formula and food. ■ Pantry well stocked: canned goods, dry milk, dry cereals, powered drinks, pastas. ■ Non-electric can opener, plastic utensils, disposable plates, garbage bags. ■ Extra ice in freezer, when storm is approaching. ■

ALAN YOUNGBLOOD/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/FILE

A combination weather radio and flashlight.

Other needs Car tanked filled with gasoline. Flat fixer for tires, properly inflated spare tire. ■ Air horn or whistle (to call for help). ■ Fill tub and large containers with water for flushing toilet if water supply stops. ■ Pets inside or otherwise ■ ■

Prescription medicines Baby food and diapers Cards, games, books, toys Toiletries Battery-powered radio Flashlight (one per person) Extra batteries Blankets or sleeping bags Identification Valuable papers (insurance) Cash and credit cards. Banks and ATMs might not be available for extended periods.

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Post-storm cleanup Duct tape Bleach Tarp to temporarily cover damaged areas ■ Water purification tables Sources: National Hurricane Center, American Red Cross ■ ■ ■

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STORM GUIDE

10| SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2014

OCALA STAR-BANNER | www.ocala.com

Know what to do before, during and after the storm windows, do not go outside to repair damage during the storm.

Staff report

Hurricane season begins June 1, so it’s time to update emergency plans and phone lists and restock supply kits.

After the storm

What to do now Discuss the types of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind. ■ Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within the community. ■ Determine escape routes and places to meet. These should be measured in tens of miles, not hundreds of miles. ■ Have an out-of-state friend as DOUG ENGLE/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/FILE a family contact. Jim White pumps gas at the BP station on State Road 200 in 2013. ■ Have a plan for pets in case an Remember to fill up your motor vehicles before a storm strikes. evacuation is ordered. ■ Keep emergency telephone storm shutters, secure outdoor up windows with plywood that numbers by the phone; make objects or bring them indoors. is cut to fit and ready to install. sure children know how and ■ Turn off utilities if instructed Do not tape windows. when to call 911. (See list of key ■ Install straps or additional to do so. Otherwise, turn the phone numbers on PAGE 2) clips to securely fasten the roof refrigerator and freezer to the ■ Check insurance coverage — to the frame structure. This will coldest settings ahead of time to flood damage is not usually reduce roof damage. keep food fresh longer in the covered by homeowners ■ Clear loose and clogged rain event of a power outage. insurance. gutters and downspouts. ■ Turn off propane tanks. ■ Stock non-perishable emer■ Avoid using the phone, except gency supplies and a Disaster for serious emergencies. Supply Kit. (See checklist on ■ Ensure a supply of water for PAGE 9) sanitary purposes, such as ■ Make sure you have an NOAA Here’s a list compiled from cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill weather radio, and remember to several sources: the bathtub and other large replace its battery every six ■ Most important: Listen to the containers with water. months. radio or TV for information. ■ Take first aid, CPR and ■ If someone in your home disaster preparedness classes. depends on electric-powered, ■ Trim trees and shrubs. Make life-sustaining equipment, sure debris is cleared prior to a ■ Go to your safe room — a review your family emergency hurricane warning announcesmall interior room, closet or plan for backup power or make ment when trash pickup is hallway on the lowest level. arrangements to evacuate. suspended. ■ Before lowering a TV antenna ■ Stay indoors and away from Note: Do not attempt to trim or satellite dish, make sure to windows and glass doors. any vegetation growing on or ■ Close all interior doors. turn off and unplug the TV and near any overhead power lines. Secure and brace all external avoid power lines. Only specially trained line■ Turn off all swimming pool doors. clearing professionals should do pumps and filters and wrap ■ Keep curtains and blinds so. closed. Remember that a “lull” them in waterproof materials. ■ Make plans to secure prop■ Turn off and unplug any might be the eye of the storm; erty. Permanent storm shutters unnecessary electrical equipwinds could pick up again. offer the best protection for ■ If the roof begins to leak or ment. windows. Another option: Board ■ Secure your home, close rain blows in around doors and ■

What to do when the storm is coming

What to do during the storm

■ Watch for downed power lines that are still live. ■ Don’t strike matches until you are sure no gas is leaking. ■ Look out for broken glass, nails and other sharp debris. ■ Snakes and other dangerous animals could be on the loose. ■ Do not use water until the local water utility, through the media, says it is safe to do so. Use only bottled or disinfected water. (For information on disinfecting water, see related list.) ■ If your home is damaged, be aware that it still may collapse. ■ Be on the lookout for possible looters. ■ Avoid driving: Roads may be littered with debris and traffic lights may not be working.

Disinfecting water Boil at rolling boil for 10 minutes, let cool, add a pinch of salt for taste, and then pour the water back and forth between clean containers to reduce flat taste. ■ Chlorination: Use unscented liquid chloride bleach, add eight drops to each gallon of water, and then stir and let stand for 30 minutes. If water does not have slight chlorine odor, repeat the dosage and let stand for 15 minutes. ■ Chlorine or iodine tablets: Follow directions on the package, but if directions are not given use one tablet for each quart of water. Make sure the tablet dissolves and mix thoroughly. Let stand for 30 minutes. ■ Liquid iodine: Add five drops of 2 percent iodine to each quart of clear water, for cloudy water, add 10 drops of 2 percent iodine to each quart of water. Mix thoroughly and let stand for 30 minutes. ■

Insurance tips The Florida Department of Financial Services offers the following tips: ■ Purchase insurance now:

Insurance companies do not accept new applications or requests for increased coverage once a hurricane nears Florida. ■ Know what your insurance covers: Flood and wind damage are often covered in separate policies. Decide if you need this protection and contact your agent for more information. ■ Make sure you have adequate coverage: Consider increasing your coverage if your policy doesn’t cover the current value of your home and its contents. ■ Know the name of your insurers: Write down the names of your agent and agency, your insurance company, your policy number and a telephone number to report a claim. ■ Safeguard your records: Store important insurance and financial papers in a safe and accessible place.

Tips for boat owners When possible, store boats out of the water on land or on a lift to protect them from dangerous storm surges. ■ If the boat is on a lift, tether the bow and stern to the lift itself so that high water will not float it off the lift. ■ Remove all canvas and boat covers if possible and secure below or store elsewhere. ■ Duct tape vertical windows to prevent water from entering the boat. ■ When docked, double- or triple-line boats, allowing them to move with the water but keeping them tight enough to prevent the vessel from slamming against stationary poles and docks. ■ Position fenders where they will best protect the hull from surrounding stationary objects. ■ Clean out lockers and refrigerators of perishable foods. ■ Do not lock the boat or yacht. After a storm, authorities will secure the area and check buildings and boats for people and will break down all locked doors to complete a thorough sweep. ■


www.ocala.com | OCALA STAR-BANNER

SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2014 |11

STORM GUIDE

Keeping cellphones alive after storm There are numerous portable charging devices available. By Rob C. Witzel Staff writer FILE PHOTO

Frost, an English bulldog, prepares to go outside while taking shelter during Hurricane Francis at Vanguard High School in Ocala in 2004.

Don’t forget about your pets during storm preparations Staff report

If you are a pet owner, your emergency plan needs to take the animals into account. Some guidance: SURVIVAL KIT FOR PETS ■ Pet carrier ■ Three-day supply of food and water ■ First aid kit ■ Special medications ■ Vet records ■ Proof of rabies vaccination ■ Spare leash and collar ■ Familiar toys and/or blanket to reduce stress ■ Pet sanitary items (litter, collection bags, paper towels) ■ Current photo of you and your pet, and also a description of pet (for use in case pet is lost during storm). TIPS FROM FEMA Identify a shelter: Not all shelters take pets. In the event of an evacuation in Marion County, the county’s Animal Services department will

run the off-site petfriendly shelter. For location, information and requirements, contact Animal Services at 671-8700. ■ Check in advance which motels and hotels in the area allow pets. Go to gopetfriendly.com. ■ Identify vets/veterinary hospitals in cities where you might seek shelter. ■ Tags: Pet ID tags should be current and securely fastened to collar. Consider microchipping. ■ During a disaster: Bring pets inside; have newspapers for sanitary purposes; feed the animals moist or canned food so they will need less water to drink; separate dogs and cats. ■ After a disaster: Take pets along if you leave town; leash pets when outside as familiar scents and landmarks may be altered, leading to confusion; be mindful of changes in pet behavior brought on by anxiety.

The last hurricane to wreak significant damage on North Central Florida did so before the smartphone revolution began in 2007. While most Floridians are aware of the usual storm supplies — candles, water, batteries and duct tape — it’s also time to factor mobile device preparedness into the equation.

Batteries A smartphone is only useful when it actually has power, and some of us can barely get through a day on a single charge. You might as well cut that down to hours when it’s the only form of computing you have available. Android devices usually have separate batteries installed so you can keep a couple extra on hand. iPhones do not. You might want to consider a Mophie case for your iPhone, as it can effect doubles your battery power by concealing an extra battery within the case. This has everyday practicality. There also are numerous portable charging devices on the market from companies like Mophie and IOGEAR that store a significant charge long enough to recharge a device multiple times. If you’re prone to lose electricity for long periods, this would be essential. It’s also important to have a power inverter for your car that can use the power of that engine to

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/FILE

People charge their mobile devices at a free charging station outside the Belmar Recreation Center in Belmar, N.J., after superstorm Sandy in November 2012. run or charge a device with a household plug. Be sure to have proper ventilation when leaving a car idling.

Network connection You can use virtually any device’s data stream as a hotspot to run other devices that otherwise are cut off from connectivity. Take a few moments ahead of a storm to be sure you know how to perform this important function. If you are faced with the double blow of losing your cell service as well as home service, be sure to know where in your neighborhood you might be able to connect to another stream. It never hurts to check with neighbors to see if they still have home Wi-Fi or are on a cellular network that has not lost

service. Carriers generally will set up temporary towers after a storm, which is critical, but you might find something as simple as a Starbucks or McDonald’s that still is operating. Institutions like schools, government centers and hospitals will usually be the first to have power restored, so see if they are streaming any Wi-Fi.

Apps

Inevitably, most people wait until it’s too late to download apps that can be critical to get through the storm and beyond. While you might not want these hogging up memory year-round, it’s important to make a list of apps and services that might be worthy of downloading the moment a storm seems imminent. Here are five to consider: ■ Pocket First Aid & CPR

($1.99) — The American Heart Association’s app that you never want to need but also never want to be without. ■ Dropbox (free) — Store important files and documents in the cloud from desktop computers that can easily be retrieved from your mobile device. ■ Life 360 (free) — Easily track and locate missing family members via the pings from their smartphone. ■ StopDisaster ($1.99) — Quite frankly, most people are ill-prepared for a major storm. This app will help you build checklists and maintain and emergency kit. ■ Brightest Flashlight (free) — When you’re in the heat of the moment, nothing is more useful than a flashlight, and our smartphones can be very effective in a pinch. Just watch the batteries.


SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2014

12| STORM GUIDE

Arkansas

Tennessee

North Carolina

South Carolina

Mississippi

Read west to 63° West

Wilmington

Read north to 34° North

Charleston

Texas

Alabama

Georgia

Tropical weather terms

Example

30˚

Important local information, radar, updated forecasts and this tracking map available at

THE OCALA STAR BANNER | 13

ATLANTIC OCEAN

Savannah

Louisiana

Ocala Cedar Key Florida Cape Canaveral

25˚

Tampa

Miami

BAHAMAS

20˚

GULF OF MEXICO

CUBA YUCATAN PENINSULA HAITI MEXICO

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Kyle Laura Marco Nana Omar Paulette Rene Sally Teddy Vicky Wilfred

15˚

The National Weather Service: nws.noaa.gov The National Hurricane Center: nhc.noaa.gov

GUATEMALA HONDURAS EL SALVADOR

The Federal Emergency Management Agency: fema.gov

CARIBBEAN SEA NICARAGUA

COSTA RICA VENEZUELA

85˚

80˚

75˚ COLOMBIA

70˚

10˚0˚

20˚˚0˚

65˚

The Weather Channel: weather.com Florida Forecast: floridaforecast.com Accuweather: accuweather.com

MILES

PANAMA

90˚

Arthur Bertha Cristobal Dolly Edouard Fay Gonzalo Hanna Isaias Josephine

Here is a list of websites that track the progress of approaching hurricanes:

JAMAICA BELIZE

95˚

2014 Atlantic names Retired names

Websites

PUERTO RICO

10˚

HURRICANE TRACKING MAP

Jacksonville

■ TROPICAL DISTURBANCE: First stage of unstable weather that may develop into a hurricane. ■ TROPICAL DEPRESSION: The tropical activity has a low-pressure area that could become a hurricane. Highest wind speed is 38 mph. ■ TROPICAL STORM: Wind speeds of 39-73 mph. Low-pressure area is well-defined by rotating circulation. ■ TROPICAL STORM WATCH: An announcement that a tropical storm poses a threat within 36 hours. ■ TROPICAL STORM WARNING: Tropical storm is expected within 24 hours. ■ HURRICANE WATCH: An announcement that a hurricane is expected within 36 hours. ■ HURRICANE WARNING: A hurricane is expected within 24 hours. Because of the erratic nature of hurricanes, the warning could come only a few hours before.

60˚

Map and Graphics by ROB MACK/Staff artist; SOURCE: National Weather Service

Once a storm has caused great damage, its name is retired. 1954 1955 1957 1960 1961 1963 1964 1965 1967 1969 1970 1972 1974 1975 1977 1979 1980 1983 1985 1988 1989 1991 1992 1995 1996 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2007 2008 2010 2011 2012 2013

Carol, Hazel, Edna Janet, Connie, Diane, Ione Audrey Donna Carla Flora Cleo, Dora, Hilda Betsy Beulah Camille Celia Agnes Carmen Eloise Anita David, Frederic Allen Alicia Elena, Gloria Gilbert Hugo Bob Andrew Luis, Marilyn, Opal, Roxanne Cesar, Fran, Hortense Georges, Mitch Floyd, Lenny Keith Allison, Iris, Michelle Isidore, Lilli Fabian, Isabel, Juan Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan, Wilma Dean, Felix, Noel Gustav, Ike, Paloma Igor, Tomas Irene Sandy Ingrid

Hurricane strengths Any storm of Category 3 or more is considered major.

CATEGORY 1 Minimal 74-95 mph winds

Hurricane myths Some common misconceptions about the physics of hurricanes:

Storm surge: 4-5 ft.

MYTH:

FACT: Surge Surge of of high high water water as as

MYTH:

FACT: Friction Friction decreases decreases sustained sustained winds winds but but increases increases gusts. gusts. Storm Storm weakens weakens because because itit lacks lacks moisture moisture and and heat heat that that ocean ocean provided. provided.

Low Low pressure pressure in in storm’s storm’s eye eye causes causes storm storm surge. surge. Friction Friction over over land land kills kills the the storm. storm.

CATEGORY 2 Moderate 96-110 mph winds

MYTH:

FACT: Size Size and and intensity intensity are are Big independent. Hurricane Hurricane Andrew, Andrew, Big hurricanes hurricanes independent. are for for example, example, was was very very intense intense are intense intense hurricanes. but hurricanes. but relatively relatively small. small.

Storm surge: 6-8 ft.

MYTH:

Windows, Windows, doors doors should should be be closed closed on on the storm the storm side, side, open on the open on the opposite opposite side. side.

CATEGORY 3 Extensive 111-129 mph winds

CATEGORY 4 Extreme 130-156 mph winds

storm storm reaches reaches land land is is caused caused by by winds winds pushing pushing ocean ocean surface surface ahead ahead of of the the storm. storm.

FACT: All All doors doors and and

windows windows should should be be shut. shut. The The difference difference between between pressure pressure inside inside the the house house and and outside outside in in the the storm storm is is not not enough enough to cause an explosion. to cause an explosion. No No house house is is airtight. airtight.

Storm surge: 9-12 ft.

The eye of a storm

Storm surge: 13-18 ft.

Thick cloud walls that can reach 7 miles to 9 miles in height surround center

Eyewall Absorb huge amounts of moisture from ocean, causing heaviest rainfall

CATEGORY 5 Catastrophic Winds over 157 mph

Storm surge: 18+ ft.

Eye

Winds here move in counter-clockwise direction with great speed; combined with low pressure can raise ocean surface by 23 ft. to 40 ft. AP

SOURCES: National Hurricane Center, The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Weather; research by PAT CARR


SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2014

12| STORM GUIDE

Arkansas

Tennessee

North Carolina

South Carolina

Mississippi

Read west to 63° West

Wilmington

Read north to 34° North

Charleston

Texas

Alabama

Georgia

Tropical weather terms

Example

30˚

Important local information, radar, updated forecasts and this tracking map available at

THE OCALA STAR BANNER | 13

ATLANTIC OCEAN

Savannah

Louisiana

Ocala Cedar Key Florida Cape Canaveral

25˚

Tampa

Miami

BAHAMAS

20˚

GULF OF MEXICO

CUBA YUCATAN PENINSULA HAITI MEXICO

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Kyle Laura Marco Nana Omar Paulette Rene Sally Teddy Vicky Wilfred

15˚

The National Weather Service: nws.noaa.gov The National Hurricane Center: nhc.noaa.gov

GUATEMALA HONDURAS EL SALVADOR

The Federal Emergency Management Agency: fema.gov

CARIBBEAN SEA NICARAGUA

COSTA RICA VENEZUELA

85˚

80˚

75˚ COLOMBIA

70˚

10˚0˚

20˚˚0˚

65˚

The Weather Channel: weather.com Florida Forecast: floridaforecast.com Accuweather: accuweather.com

MILES

PANAMA

90˚

Arthur Bertha Cristobal Dolly Edouard Fay Gonzalo Hanna Isaias Josephine

Here is a list of websites that track the progress of approaching hurricanes:

JAMAICA BELIZE

95˚

2014 Atlantic names Retired names

Websites

PUERTO RICO

10˚

HURRICANE TRACKING MAP

Jacksonville

■ TROPICAL DISTURBANCE: First stage of unstable weather that may develop into a hurricane. ■ TROPICAL DEPRESSION: The tropical activity has a low-pressure area that could become a hurricane. Highest wind speed is 38 mph. ■ TROPICAL STORM: Wind speeds of 39-73 mph. Low-pressure area is well-defined by rotating circulation. ■ TROPICAL STORM WATCH: An announcement that a tropical storm poses a threat within 36 hours. ■ TROPICAL STORM WARNING: Tropical storm is expected within 24 hours. ■ HURRICANE WATCH: An announcement that a hurricane is expected within 36 hours. ■ HURRICANE WARNING: A hurricane is expected within 24 hours. Because of the erratic nature of hurricanes, the warning could come only a few hours before.

60˚

Map and Graphics by ROB MACK/Staff artist; SOURCE: National Weather Service

Once a storm has caused great damage, its name is retired. 1954 1955 1957 1960 1961 1963 1964 1965 1967 1969 1970 1972 1974 1975 1977 1979 1980 1983 1985 1988 1989 1991 1992 1995 1996 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2007 2008 2010 2011 2012 2013

Carol, Hazel, Edna Janet, Connie, Diane, Ione Audrey Donna Carla Flora Cleo, Dora, Hilda Betsy Beulah Camille Celia Agnes Carmen Eloise Anita David, Frederic Allen Alicia Elena, Gloria Gilbert Hugo Bob Andrew Luis, Marilyn, Opal, Roxanne Cesar, Fran, Hortense Georges, Mitch Floyd, Lenny Keith Allison, Iris, Michelle Isidore, Lilli Fabian, Isabel, Juan Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan, Wilma Dean, Felix, Noel Gustav, Ike, Paloma Igor, Tomas Irene Sandy Ingrid

Hurricane strengths Any storm of Category 3 or more is considered major.

CATEGORY 1 Minimal 74-95 mph winds

Hurricane myths Some common misconceptions about the physics of hurricanes:

Storm surge: 4-5 ft.

MYTH:

FACT: Surge Surge of of high high water water as as

MYTH:

FACT: Friction Friction decreases decreases sustained sustained winds winds but but increases increases gusts. gusts. Storm Storm weakens weakens because because itit lacks lacks moisture moisture and and heat heat that that ocean ocean provided. provided.

Low Low pressure pressure in in storm’s storm’s eye eye causes causes storm storm surge. surge. Friction Friction over over land land kills kills the the storm. storm.

CATEGORY 2 Moderate 96-110 mph winds

MYTH:

FACT: Size Size and and intensity intensity are are Big independent. Hurricane Hurricane Andrew, Andrew, Big hurricanes hurricanes independent. are for for example, example, was was very very intense intense are intense intense hurricanes. but hurricanes. but relatively relatively small. small.

Storm surge: 6-8 ft.

MYTH:

Windows, Windows, doors doors should should be be closed closed on on the storm the storm side, side, open on the open on the opposite opposite side. side.

CATEGORY 3 Extensive 111-129 mph winds

CATEGORY 4 Extreme 130-156 mph winds

storm storm reaches reaches land land is is caused caused by by winds winds pushing pushing ocean ocean surface surface ahead ahead of of the the storm. storm.

FACT: All All doors doors and and

windows windows should should be be shut. shut. The The difference difference between between pressure pressure inside inside the the house house and and outside outside in in the the storm storm is is not not enough enough to cause an explosion. to cause an explosion. No No house house is is airtight. airtight.

Storm surge: 9-12 ft.

The eye of a storm

Storm surge: 13-18 ft.

Thick cloud walls that can reach 7 miles to 9 miles in height surround center

Eyewall Absorb huge amounts of moisture from ocean, causing heaviest rainfall

CATEGORY 5 Catastrophic Winds over 157 mph

Storm surge: 18+ ft.

Eye

Winds here move in counter-clockwise direction with great speed; combined with low pressure can raise ocean surface by 23 ft. to 40 ft. AP

SOURCES: National Hurricane Center, The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Weather; research by PAT CARR


STORM GUIDE

14| SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2014

OCALA STAR-BANNER | www.ocala.com

Better preparations can help businesses bounce back The Department of Labor estimates that 40 percent of businesses never reopen after a disaster. By Anthony Clark Staff writer

Losing a refrigerator full of food during a power outage is an annoyance for most people. When your refrigerator is a 40,000-square-foot section of warehouse that supplies restaurants and institutions throughout North Florida, such spoilage would be a costly disruption to business. That is why Florida Food Service’s first line of defense in an emergency is a set of backup generators, a 350-kilowatt generator for the warehouse and a smaller one for the office, according to President Joel Islam. The company also has designated a disaster recovery team with leaders from each department. Islam said a lot of their response involves tracking storms throughout their delivery areas to see if they should delay deliveries. “We probably wouldn’t send trucks hours ahead of a projected storm landing because restaurants don’t want to have the delivery and they got knocked out of power and they’ll lose their inventory,” he said. Having a disaster recovery plan that includes a continuation of business plan could mean the difference between getting back to normal and shutting down. The Department of Labor estimates that 40 percent of businesses never reopen after a disaster, and another 25 percent close within two years. Yet, only 48 percent of businesses have a disaster recovery plan, according to a survey. Numerous resources are available to help businesses plan for storms and other emergencies (see accompanying box).

Alachua County Emergency Management can help businesses with planning efforts, said Director Dave Donnelly. The department also offers a community response team certification program. He said his recommendations to businesses are similar to what he tells residents: ■ Develop a plan. Several websites offer templates. ■ Get a kit that includes first aid supplies and tools. ■ Stay informed. ■ Have a place to go, in the case of a business an alternate facility such as a branch of the same business, or partner with another business — “You go to their place or they come to your place.” ■ Have a place for important records, such as saving information on a thumb drive or flash drive, and back up data offsite as well as in the cloud. Donnelly said people should also consider that a disaster somewhere else can affect business, such as when Hurricane Floyd struck the financial district in North Carolina in 1998 and people were unable to draw money from ATMs locally. Ready Business, a project of the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, offers several tips at ready.gov/business that include identifying and assessing resources needed to respond to emergencies, continue business operations and communicate during and after emergencies; writing plans that include evacuation, sheltering in place and lockdown plans to protect people and property; plans to recover computer hardware, connectivity and data; and training employees on the plans. Acceleration.net offers a secure location for businesses to store servers and other hardware, as well as its own hardware, to provide data connections and backup services at its Gainesville Data Center.

STAR-BANNER/FILE

Steel storm panels are installed over the windows at Manning Millwork & Door in Ocala in preparation for Hurricane France on Sept. 2, 2004.

On the Web The following websites include tips for preparing business disaster plans and services available after disasters: ■ ready.gov/business ■ floridadisaster.org/ dembusiness.asp ■ preparemybusiness.org ■ enterpriseflorida.com/services/ disaster-assistance/ ■ sba.gov/content/ disaster-assistance As an Internet service provider to several other ISPs and the data center for numerous businesses, President Ken Tambling said an outage at the company would be felt by “many tens of thousands of people.” To make sure that doesn’t

happen, the data center is steel reinforced and has a diesel generator that can operate for weeks at a time, he said. The center is temperature and humidity controlled, and includes two independent power circuits and racks of batteries. Tambling said such a facility can provide more security for a company’s servers than their own building. Companies can also have a backup in another data center, preferably in a different geographic location, he said. Tambling said a lot of businesses are lured into a false sense of security by backing up data. He said backup data should be periodically restored and used to make sure it is still useable. “What I’ve seen is when people need data, they went to restore it and found their version was now

incompatible,” he said. Regular tests also can protect against lost passwords, he said. Since the 2004 hurricane season, Florida Food Service has outsourced some of its disaster plan to a company that provides planning assistance and mobile offices. Agility Recovery, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, can mobilize generators and fuel, provide telephone and internet connectivity through satellite, and provide all or parts of a fully stocked office, including computers, fax machines, printers, desks and chairs, including the office itself through its nationwide real estate arrangements or by rolling in a fully furnished doublewide trailer. “The ’04 hurricanes taught us a lot about how to be ready,” Islam said.


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STORM GUIDE

What to do if you evacuate Staff report

If you are directed by local authorities to evacuate, do so. Be sure to follow their instructions. Monitor TV and radio reports for the proper information. A few other notes from emergency officials: Be mindful that mobile homes or temporary structures can be hazardous during hurricanes, no matter how well-fastened to the ground.

Select an evacuation destination that is nearest to your home, preferably in the same county, or at least minimize the distance over which you must travel. Keep in mind that the hotels and other sheltering options in most inland metropolitan areas are likely to fill quickly.

If you evacuate to another county or region, be prepared to wait in traffic.

If possible, make arrangements to stay with a friend or relative who resides

closest to your home and who will not have to evacuate. Discuss with your intended host the details of your family evacuation plan. Make hotel or motel reservations before you leave. ■

If your are unable to stay with friends or family and no hotel/motel rooms are available, then, as a last resort, go to a shelter. Information about shelters will be available through newspapers, television, radio and Emergency Management. Locations can change quickly, so stay informed. ■

Shelters are not designed for comfort and do not usually accept pets. Bring your disaster supply kit to the shelter. Make sure that you fill up your car with gas before you leave. ■

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/FILE

It is best to bring your own chairs, bedding and food. Do not bring weapons, alcohol or illegal drugs. ■

Daytona Beach Shores police officers check ID’s of motorists wanting to cross the bridge onto the beachside as a mandatory evacuation went into effect in Daytona Beach due to Hurricane Francis on Sept. 3, 2004.

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Small summer storms can pack hurricane’s punch By Cindy Swirko Staff writer

It’s been 10 year since two lusty ladies blew into Marion County and left behind countless fallen trees and homes without power for weeks. Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne had slowed to tropical storm strength by the time they crossed North Central Florida, yet they still caused misery, including three deaths related to the storm. As most Floridians have come to learn, storms don’t have to be named to pack a punch. And those that pop up seemingly out of nowhere can be even more frightening because they come without the warnings that accompany approaching hurricanes. The thunderous storms form on most summer afternoons as cool sea breezes collide with air heated over scorched land. The result can be hurricane-strength wind gusts, lightning, hail and heavy rain that can cause trees BRAD MCCLENNY/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/FILE to topple and driving to become The carport and a Ford Ranger were damaged at a home on the corner of Northeast 16th Terrace a test of nerves. and Northeast 28th Avenue after a storm ripped through Northeast Gainesville in 2010. “Most of our summertime thunderstorms are microbursts equals that of the world’s that affect a relatively small maximum thunderstorm area area, and they could have — the Lake Victoria region of hurricane-force winds with equatorial Africa. them,” said Al Sandrik, a Sandrik said microbursts meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville. cover an area up to 2.5 miles in diameter. Thunderstorms that “All that wind in the upper cover a wider area are called atmosphere is actually coming macrobursts. down to the ground.” Advances in technology and The average thunderstorm computer modeling have contains about 275 million enabled meteorologists to gallons of water, which is forecast the formation of storms enough water to fill 416 Olymhours in advance and to track pic-sized swimming pools, them as the move. according to the Florida Divi“We always encourage people sion of Emergency Manageto be weather ready and weather ment. FILE PHOTO No other part of the nation has cognizant. We would like people A fallen tree and power lines block the 1600 block of Northwest on any given day to be on more thunderstorm activity Seventh Avenue in Gainesville in September 2004. weather watch,” Sandrik said. than Florida, according to the While some inland residents Florida Climate Center at summer thunderstorm erupt. thunder. may scoff at developing a Florida State University. Experts urge the public to When severe thunderstorms hurricane plan, Alachua County listen for severe thunderstorm The western half of the threaten, move to a sturdy Emergency Management peninsula typically has 80 days watches and warnings. When building or car. Do not take Director Dave Donnelly said a year with thunder and lightthe sky darkens, look and listen shelter in small sheds, under ning. Central Florida’s frequen- that the plans may be needed for increasing wind, flashes of isolated trees, or in convertible should a particularly violent cy of summer thunderstorms lightning and the sound of automobiles. Windows should

Portable generators ■ Only qualified

electricians should install generators. ■ Never run generators inside, or in a garage, because they produce deadly carbon monoxide fumes. ■ Always thoroughly read the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid dangerous shortcuts and ensure the safe operation of your generator. ■ Keep generators away from all open windows — including neighbors’ windows — to prevent deadly exhaust from entering a home or business. ■ Don’t directly connect your generator to your home’s wiring. Power from a generator connected to a home’s wiring will “back feed” into utility lines, potentially leading to serious injury or death. ■ Never fuel a hot generator or one that is running; hot engine parts or exhaust can ignite gasoline. ■ Turn off all connected appliances before starting your generator. Turn appliances on one at a time, never exceeding the generator’s rated wattage. ■ Don’t touch a generator if you are wet or are standing in water or on damp ground.

be avoided, and boaters should try to get out of the water or the area. People should avoid using landline telephones and electrical appliances, which can conduct electricity. If possible, cars should be moved to a carport or garage to prevent damage. Motorists who feel uncomfortable driving in a storm with heavy rain should pull into a safe spot. It is against the law for drivers to use their flashing emergency lights if the vehicles are moving.


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SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2014 |17

Medical Reserve Corps ready to spring into action background in communications or logistics. For instance, when a As its name implies, the fungal meningitis outMarion County Medical break occurred last year, Reserve Corps could claiming the lives of three quickly introduce doctors county residents, MRC and nurses into the volunteers manned a aftermath of an emergenphone bank to handle calls cy or a disaster. from concerned residents, But if the community Ackerman said. were pounded by a Other MRC helpers also hurricane this year, county health officials say, processed results of a state the MRC would need more health survey conducted in Marion County middle than medical pros to help. The needs during or after schools. Still more helped the a storm — or a disease department conduct its outbreak or perhaps a terrorist attack — often go annual back-to-school flu shot initiative, Ackerman beyond the knowledge someone gathered in medi- said. The HHS website points cal or nursing school. out that interpreters, That is why the department is constantly casting chaplains, office workers and legal advisers are a wide net for new MRC important volunteers recruits, the key requirecalled on to assist in an ment for whom is a desire emergency. to serve in a pinch, said To join, interested Craig Ackerman, spokesvolunteers can contact the man for the Florida health department at Department of Health in 629-0137 and reference Marion County. the program. “Sure, we’re always Or they can register or looking for skilled medical get more information people, but we’re also through a portal on the seeking people who want health department’s to volunteer and help,” he website, www.floridasaid. health.gov/chdMarion. The MRC is a national Applicants can sign up to program organized in the serve locally, or may opt wake of the 9/11 terrorist for assignments elsewhere attacks under the U.S. Department of Health and in Florida or across the country, Ackerman said. Human Services. New members whose Today, it includes about 208,000 volunteers spread skills are verified are out among 950 local provided an account chapters across the through the State Emercountry. gency Responders and Ackerman said Marion Volunteers of Florida Web County has about 175 portal. MRC volunteers. Through that they can be While medical profesnotified via email, an sionals — including automated phone call or dentists, pharmacists and both, depending on their veterinarians — fill preference. important needs, AckerAckerman said the man said the health system is utilized both as department also can make an advance notification use of people with an system, in the event of a array of skills, such as a tracked phenomenon like By Bill Thompson Staff writer

STAFF PHOTOS BY ALAN YOUNGBLOOD

Marion County Medical Reserve Corps volunteer Lola Lucky participates in a Marion County Health Department exercise on May 1.

Want to join? Anyone interested in joining the Marion County Medical Reserve Corps may contact the health department at 629-0137 or visit floridahealth.gov/ chdMarion. a hurricane, and as a rapid-response network to issue the call to duty in a sudden happening, like a tornado. In either case, the health department wants to get a core message to the community, Ackerman said. “Call us up,” he said, “we’d love to have you.” Contact Bill Thompson at 867-4117 or bill.thompson@ocala.com

Participants prepare to conduct an exercise at the Marion County Health Department. The simulated disaster was used to practice how fast they could get medication distributed in case of a biological attack.


18| SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2014

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Experts: Major hurricane could impact gasoline supply Halifax Media Services

WINTER HAVEN — Florida motorists should have a plentiful supply of gasoline this summer and at lower prices, at least for a while. That was the consensus of oil and gas industry analysts who spoke to The Ledger of Lakeland following an article from Bloomberg news service raising the possibility of supply shortages and higher prices heading into the hurricane season beginning June 1. A major hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico would alter that optimistic supply and price scenario because it could force refineries on the Louisiana and Texas coast to shut down along with Gulf shipping lanes to Florida, the analysts said. The state gets 97 percent of its gas from Gulf refineries. In coming years, however, shortages could occur because of Florida’s increasing dependence on the Texas and Louisiana refineries while the availability of U.S. flag

ALAN YOUNGBLOOD/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/FILE

Evacuees fleeing Hurricane Frances look for an open pump only to find short supplies of gas at a filling station in Ocala in 2004. Experts say barring a major hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, no gas shortages are expected this year in Florida. gasoline tanker ships sailing the Gulf has fallen. A 1920 federal law known as the Jones Act mandates only U.S. flag ships carry goods between the country’s ports. “I think what the Bloomberg article does is focus on the vulnerability Florida has simply because 97 percent of its

gas has to arrive on U.S. barges,” said Gregg Laskoski, the Tampabased senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. com, which tracks prices and industry trends. “Because of that, we see a greater amount of volatility in the Florida market.” But GasBuddy is not projecting supply short-

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ages in Florida this summer, absent a hurricane or other disaster, Laskoski added, and its forecast calls for a downward trend in the average annual U.S. gasoline price to $3.39 per gallon this year from $3.49. “We do not have a Florida-specific forecast, but we believe that the volatility here could keep Florida prices from falling by the same rate we project nationwide,” Laskoski said. Whether shortages occur, there’s been no sign yet. “We have not received anything from our members indicating a supply disruption,” said David Mica, executive director of the Florida Petroleum Council in Tallahassee. “The industry is very resilient.” Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for the Auto Club Group, the Tampa-based AAA affiliate, said talk of supply shortages is “a little premature.”

“There’s some potential, particularly if we see some supply disruptions to the refineries in the Gulf Coast. Right now, there’s ample supply,” Jenkins said. In fact, Texas and Louisiana refineries are shipping gas to Florida as fast as they can produce it to avoid reaching 100 percent capacity in their storage tanks, he said. Moreover, gas supply issues in Florida usually become less problematic during the summer, Jenkins said. The state’s peak demand traditionally happens in March because of winter residents, spring breakers and an influx of tourists for baseball spring training. “Our price trend right now is going down. We may have already reached a peak,” he added. Jenkins’ forecast came as good news to Lance Martin, 41, of Lakeland. “That will be a blessing, even if for a few months,” Martin said. “Then I might be able to afford steak instead of pork chops and chicken.” Martin works for real estate companies as a contractor cleaning foreclosed homes in Central Florida before they go back on the market. He spends between $350 and $400 a week on gasoline for his truck and equipment, including mowers and trimmers, Martin said. He also works as a wedding disc jockey on weekends, which also requires him to haul around a lot of equipment. Florida did not always rely so exclusively on Gulf Coast refineries for gas supplies, the analysts said. The state previously got significant supplies from

Caribbean refineries that have shut down in recent years because of declining prices. The Caribbean refineries — not subject to using U.S. flag ships under the Jones Act — also acted as an important alternative supplier when hurricanes shut down Gulf Coast refineries and oil platforms, such as during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. As a result of the market shift, the Jones Act has become a political football with many oil industry officials calling for its repeal. “The biggest problems we’ve got is hurricanes and the Jones Act,” said Ned Bowman, executive director of the Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association in Tallahassee, which represents gasoline distributors and retailers. “It’s cheaper to ship cargo from Port Arthur, Texas, (an oil terminal) to West Africa than it is to ship from Port Arthur to Florida.” There are only 42 U.S. flag tankers working out of the Gulf Coast refineries, according to the Bloomberg article, and many of them are being diverted to East Coast and Canadian ports. But Bowman declined to predict gas shortages and price spikes this summer absent a hurricane. Florida gas consumers may escape hurricanerelated price spikes this year, but they’re bound to occur in future years without changes in the law, Bowman and Laskoski said. “We have expressed concerns many, many times,” Bowman said. “In Florida, it’s not a matter of if you get a hurricane, it’s a matter of when.”


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Heart of Florida United Way 211 to assist residents from Pennsylvania to Mississippi from FEMA Regions III (the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia) and IV (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee). Despite this geographic breakdown, Heart of Florida United Way 211 also is eligible to support callers, as needed, in all FEMA regions. “Being selected for this role is a true testament to our staff and everyone involved with 211,� said Caree Jewell, the director of the Heart of Florida 211 system, in prepared remarks. “We look forward to putting our extensive years of experience and involvement at both the national and local level in disaster response to

By Olivia Gonzalez Correspondent

After a natural disaster, when people are looking for help and don’t know where to turn, they might call 211 — the social services equivalent of 911. In Marion County, that call would be answered by an operator who works for what’s called the Heart of Florida United Way 211, a system that serves 15 Florida counties. But this hurricane season, those operators won’t just be talking to Florida callers. Heart of Florida United Way announced earlier this year that it has been chosen to be one of five nationwide call centers that will support the National Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH for short). Heart of Florida United Way 211 will cover calls

 

  

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CAREE JEWELL, director of the Heart of Florida 211 system assisting those in need nationwide.� As part of a designated DDH core region center, the Florida operators will receive calls and text messages. Specialists will provide crisis counseling to clients experiencing a variety of emotional issues due to a disaster such as post-traumatic stress, grief over the loss of a loved one, or hopelessness related to a devastating financial loss. Heart of Florida United Way operates the largest 211 helpline in Florida and provides information and referrals to social services in its 15-county area. It

also serves as the afterhours provider for the National Epilepsy Foundation Helpline and offers suicide prevention and crisis counseling as part of the National Suicide Prevention Line Network and the Crisis Hotline for Orange and Osceola counties. “We’ve increased our service and decreased our wait times,� said Jewell. “In March for Marion County the average wait time was 63 seconds, and nationally the average was two minutes. We’re decreasing our wait times and helping callers sooner.�

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Rebuilding after a storm depends on many factors By Carl McKinney Correspondent

When storms damage homes, most homeowners look to their insurance to help them rebuild their lives, but not every homeowner reads the fine print. Since every policy is different, it’s important for a homeowner to look over their policy carefully and understand what’s in it to avoid surprises, said Bryan Williams, insurance manager for McGriff-Williams Insurance. If any ambiguities or questions arise, he suggests setting up a meeting with the insurance agent to clarify the policy. “Ask lots of questions, make sure you understand what’s covered, and make sure you understand the deductibles,” he said. One of the biggest misconceptions people have about their home insurance policies is that they assume a standard policy covers floods, Williams said. Flood insurance actually has to be purchased separately. Flooding is usually defined as water rising from the outside in, so a normal policy might cover leaks from plumbing, for DOUG FINGER/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/FILE example, but not storm water. Workers clean up debris and cover roofs and broken windows in plastic following a storm in Flood insurance is mandated The Villages on Feb. 2, 2007. by the federal government on any home with a federally age protects just the house itself, Every driver is required by law falling trees, Ehrlund said. backed mortgage. Policies are homeowners can buy policies to have liability insurance, Damage from wind and falling bought through private insurthat protect the contents of the which covers only damage to trees is also the most expensive ance companies, but the rates house as well. another vehicle. In order to be to repair, he said. are set by the federal governMold isn’t usually a problem protected against any damage The cost to get it fixed varies ment and determined by several after storms, since people tend that a hurricane might bring, on what blows where, Ehrlund factors, including the risk level to call and have water damage comprehensive insurance is said, ranging anywhere from a of the area, the elevation of the taken care of right away. Howevnecessary. few thousand dollars to a property, the community it’s in er, it can be an issue if a homMost vehicle damage resulting substantially larger amount. and the level of coverage, said eowner waits too long after a from storms is cosmetic or Most standard insurance Andy Renshaw, floodplain flood to get the house checked structural, which means it policies cover wind damage, but manager for the city of out, said Eric Ehrlund, general should be taken to a collision damage caused by hurricane Gainesville. manager of Restoration Specialspecialist for repair, rather than wind has a separate deductible, Depending on these factors, ists, which serves several a mechanical specialist. Williams said. Depending on flood insurance can be bought Unlike homes, around 90 the area of the state, it can be for as little as $129 per year. The counties throughout Florida. Since people in Gainesville percent of comprehensive anywhere from 2 percent to 5 level of risk of a property is usually park their vehicles in policies for automobiles cover percent of whatever the home is determined by FEMA, and safe spots during storms, there damage from fl ooding, Williams insured for. varies from house to house. One aren’t a lot of claims for stormsaid. Historically, the biggest house, for instance, might be related damage, Williams said. A large portion of storm-relatdamage Gainesville sees in the halfway in a medium-risk zone ed damage to houses and aftermath of storms and and halfway in a high-risk zone. When there is, it’s usually a falling limb. vehicles comes from wind and hurricanes comes from wind, Though the minimum cover-

Power outages It’s not unusual to lose electricity before, during or after a storm. Here are some tips: ■ Learn what each circuit breaker in your home feeds so you can turn off sensitive pieces of equipment. ■ You may choose to turn off your main circuit breakers. However, when you turn your main circuit breaker back on, you will want to start with lighting circuits only. ■ Avoid contact with downed lines; they may be live and can be deadly. ■ Report any outages to your power company. ■ Don’t call more than once. ■ Wait to report non-outagerelated incidents. ■ After a storm, workers may need to get to your home’s meter; be sure to clear that area. ■ Also, don’t approach workers during the power restoration process; companies will devise a plan to get power restored as quickly as possible. ■ When the power is restored, please leave an outside light on so crews know which houses are OK. ■ Also following a power outage, unplug all large appliances and electronics to prevent power surges when electricity is restored. ■ Avoid candles and lanterns because of fire risk. Use flashlights indoors. Williams said. Nobody wants to find out their insurance won’t cover the damage after their home is destroyed by a hurricane, or get sticker shock when the deductible is higher than they think, Williams said. “For the most part, be careful, and there are no surprises,” he said.


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Scott approves tax holiday for hurricane supplies Residents can save on items such as batteries, tarps and flashlights. The Associated Press

ORLANDO — Florida Gov. Rick Scott on May 12 signed into law a wideranging tax cut package that authorizes three separate sales tax holidays in the next few months. Scott signed the legislation at the kickoff of the Governors Hurricane Conference. The bill includes a nine-day sales tax holiday for hurricane preparation supplies.

Starting Saturday, Floridians can purchase batteries, flashlights, tarps, and Scott even generators worth $750 or less without having to pay the states 6 percent sales tax. “This is going to go a long way to helping Floridians prepare for hurricane season, making sure they have all the supplies they need to get themselves and their families ready,” said Bryan Koon, the state’s emergency management director.

Hurricanes by month

Statistics show that 79.4 percent of all tropical storms and 84.7 percent of all hurricanes since 1851 form in August, September and October. 600 500

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400 300 200 100 0 Jan.-Apr. May

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SOURCE: National Hurricane Center

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SEAN OCHAL/Staff graphic

SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2014 |21


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Protect yourself from tree, roof damage before and after storm By Carl McKinney Correspondent

ROB C. WITZEL/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/FILE

Hawthorne resident David Bertuccelli cuts down a tree that fell from his property onto his neighbor’s home following the passing of Hurricane Jeanne in 2004.

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Tree removal services and roofers can help make a home storm-worthy. They also might be needed after a storm to repair any damaged roofing or remove fallen trees and limbs. Experts say there are certain tips that homeowners should follow to avoid getting taken advantage of before or after a storm. Homeowners should make sure that trees near their house are trimmed because limbs can be turned into projectiles by heavy winds, said Dave Donnelly, emergency management director for Alachua County. Dead and decaying trees are especially dangerous, he said. The Tree Care Industry Associations accredits tree removal businesses. A homeowner should ask to see these credentials before hiring. The association also recommends visiting www.treecaretips. org for information on how to choose a tree service. For example, homeowners should ask for a written work proposal, which should read like a contract. The proposal should say that all work will be done according to the American National Standards Institute standards for tree care. It should also list the methods that will be used so homeowners will know what equipment will be used. Amateur tree cutters might rip off a rainspout, break a fence or drop a limb on a car or house, according to the website. A tree service asking for money up front is a red

Chain-saw safety tips Each year, approximately 36,000 people are treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries from using chain saws. ■ Operate, adjust and maintain the saw according to manufacturer’s instructions provided in the instruction manual. ■ Properly sharpen chain-saw blades, and properly lubricate the blade with bar and chain oil. ■ Choose the proper size of chain saw to match the job, and include safety features such as a chain brake, front and rear hand guards, stop switch, chain catcher and a spark arrester. ■ Wear the appropriate protective equipment, including hard hat, safety glasses, hearing protection, heavy work gloves, cut-resistant legwear that extends from the waist to the top of the foot, and boots which cover the ankle. ■ Always cut at waist level or below to ensure you maintain control over the saw. flag, according to the website. A roofer might legitimately need money for materials, but homeowners should avoid tree service companies that ask for it. The Better Business Bureau recommends checking with your insurance company about policy coverage and filing requirements well before a storm. A homeowner might need to fortify a roof before a storm, or have it repaired after one. When hiring a tree service or a roofer, it’s best to look for someone with worker’s compensation insurance coverage, said Bob Nichols, of Perry Roofing. If a worker is injured on a property without being insured, the owner could be liable. Some roofers are bonded for additional insurance, making them preferable, he said. Always ask to see the insurance in writing, he added. Just like roofers, the homeowner could be liable

if a worker for a tree service company is injured on the property. The treecaretips.org website suggests asking for a certificate to prove the company has liability and worker’s compensation insurance. The BBB keeps track of complaints filed against any company that belongs to it. The BBB has multiple roofing and tree services with an A+ rating. Finding a reputable roofer is important, Nichols said. Bad workmanship on roofs makes the home more vulnerable, doing more harm than good. The BBB recommends checking for references for both tree care services and roofers. Local references from recent customers can help gage a company’s quality. It also suggests exploring multiple options, getting a written contract, checking for permits and licenses and inspecting the work.


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STORM GUIDE

Reinforced homes can be costly, less attractive Halifax Media Services

Lessons learned 50 years ago could be used today to build hurricane-resistant houses, experts say. That conclusion comes from research of houses built since the 1960s in the Pacific basin’s “Typhoon Alley,” which endure even Category 5 storms thanks to construction using reinforced concrete. “The entire house becomes a storm shelter,” said structural engineer Kenneth Luttrell, of CYS Structural Engineers in Sacramento, California. Such houses are also able to withstand strong tornadoes and the storm surge that often proves more deadly than a fierce storm itself, he and other experts said. “There is a belief that it is too costly and takes too much time to build a house to resist tornadoes and earthquakes,” said Luttrell, though he adds such construction is now required in some earthquake zones. Concrete-shell houses could pay off in Florida, too, engineers contend, and cost only slightly more than traditional construction using standard materials. The state is no stranger to the technique. Architect John Lambie, for instance, designed reinforced concrete houses for Paul Rudolph and other modernist architects in the 1950s in Southwest Florida. But rather than use concrete as a primary material, Lambie used steel forms that proved to be labor-intensive and costly. As a result, the “Lamolithic” houses were not built after the 1960s. Though many are still

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Built in 1959, this John Lambie “Lamolithic” house in the Sanderling Club on Siesta Key has been remodeled three times. Lambie used steel forms that proved to be labor-intensive and costly. standing, they have not been tested by a strong hurricane for durability. The houses in Guam and other parts of the Pacific basin have been. “Typhoon Alley” regularly experiences storms packing 200-mph winds. Guam’s concrete-shell houses were developed after a devastating 1962 typhoon that destroyed 90 percent of the residences on the island. After declaring the U.S. territory a disaster area, President John F. Kennedy directed industrialist Henry Kaiser to help develop storm-resistant housing as part of a relief package. Kaiser, in turn, hired structural engineer Alfred Yee to design the proto-

types that would become the first reinforced houses there. In 1993, the homes Yee and Kaiser developed withstood an earthquake recorded at 8.1 on the Richter scale. While the houses could take a punch, they were not perfect: Their windows were often of poor quality, and they were not insulated, which turned them into broiling hothouses in the midday tropical sun. Though insulation was added to exteriors years after they were completed, the homes remained uncomfortable in warm temperatures. In more recent times, the insulation issue has been rectified by the use of insulated concrete forms,

said Douglas Bennion of Quad-Lock Building Systems, in British Columbia. In that technique, lightweight foam forms are stacked and reinforced steel bars are inserted into them. From there, concrete is poured into the cells that are created. Insulated concrete forms are already being used in Florida. Insulated concrete has another advantage, too: It can be pre-fabricated away from a construction site, reducing the overall cost to the homeowner. Additionally, builders can pour such concrete into pre-made frames and install them in place using so-called “tilt-up” construction methods.

Despite the advantages and technological advances of recent years, few builders are constructing disaster-resistant houses in the U.S., said structural engineer Cloyd “Joe”

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Warnes, a specialist in precast concrete construction. That also is despite the fact that the reinforced houses also tend to resist flood damage and storm surge, which is elevated tide that is pushed ashore by high winds and low barometric pressure. It is worse when it comes ashore during a normal high tide. “Damage from heavy rain and storm surge is more than that from wind,” Warnes said. Reinforced concrete houses are about 5 percent more expensive to build than conventional houses built to code minimums. Warnes said that one reason reinforced concrete houses have failed to become popular with builders is that while they are more indestructible than typical houses, they are considered less attractive. To remedy that and add curb appeal, architectural detailing can be added, the engineers said. If it is fastened properly, it, too, can survive a massive storm without becoming debris.

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2014 Storm Guide