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Tech Corner

Some Ways to Prepare Before the Next Big Blow

Either build storm shutters or buy some of the many that are on the market. If you make your own, don't skimp; get 5/8 or 3/4 inch thick plywood, not particle or wafer board. Also use strong hardware to anchor these panels, using through-bolts with large flat washers to back them up.

Trim trees around your house to reduce windage that can cause them to be blown over.

Stow all loose objects in your yard or on your patio such as lawn chairs, tables, etc.

If your roof has the spinning turbine-type ventilators, consider covering them with strong trash bag liners, snugged down with duct tape, or better yet, make covers from a strong canvas type material. This will keep them from spinning too fast which can cause them to tear apart.

Close all interior doors in your house. In case there are windows broken, this will hopefully contain the pressure to one room, lessening the chance of the increased interior pressure lifting your roof.

When things get really bad outside, get into the smallest interior space you can find. A small closet works well.

A good waterproof storage area for some important items is your dishwasher. Even your computer tower can be placed inside after removing dish racks. (Don't forget where you put these items after the storm!) All important papers can be stored in doubled plastic zip-loc type bags.

If you lose power to your house, go to the circuit panel and switch off breakers. That way, when power is restored, you won't get surges that can damage just about any appliance. If one breaker has only lights connected, leave it on and turn a light on so you'll know when power is restored. Unplug microwave ovens if they are connected to this breaker. When power does come back on, don't switch everything back on right away: wait a few minutes. Power may fluctuate until things settle down on the main circuit.

Be sure to have at least one simple corded type phone hooked up that will still work if power is off while phone lines are still working. Cordless phones will not work without power to their base unit. Even cell phones may not work if power to the relay towers is off.

73 - N4UMS, Bill