Central Florida is looking at its first probable tropical storm occurance this weekend with Isaac. Isaac is Florida's third tropical storm, with the Keys and North Florida experiencing early in the hurricane season, tropical storms Debby and Beryl.
Before Isaac comes across the state or skirts the west coast of Florida, now is the optimum time to prepare your landscape to weather the storm. Is your house and yard ready for a hurricane? Even if Isaac doesn't directly pass over the state, tornados, gale winds, and subsequent rainbands could cause havoc and damage to your home and landscape.
Here's a preparation checklist for you:
- Keep your eye and ears on the weather. Check the weather stations frequently or download a weather app to your phone for alerts. Have plenty of batteries on hand for radios, computers for news.
- Remember your BBQ can be used to cook outside for meals or to make coffee. Get your camping cookware out. Have plenty of charcoal or gas on hand.
- Fill your car's gas tank up.
- Turn your irrigation system off now. We've had plenty of rain over the last few weeks and will be getting frequent rainfall over the next ten days. You don't want your lawn saturated before the heavy rainbands come through.
- Reschedule all fertilizer, herbicide, or pesticide applications for the next ten days. Any chemicals put on your lawn now will only be diluted to be effective or swept away with the stormwater runoff. Don't waste your money!
- Walk around your home, garage, and barns to check for secure windows and doors. Make sure buildings have locks.
- Store any chemical products in airtight containers in sheds or garages, not inside your home.
- Bring in flags and awnings.
- Stake any newly planted landscape material that could snap or bend harshly with winds.
- Store any pool equipment, patio furniture, lawn decorations such as gazing balls, bird baths, door wreaths, real estate signs that could be flung against your house or car.
- Check pool covers to make sure they are secure.
- Before the storm comes through, harvest any fruits or vegetables that are ripe or almost ripe so that you don't lose them.
- Take your digital camera and walk around house to document "before" photos in case of damage during storm.
- During the storm, don't park your car underneath any trees.
- Remember, after (if) Isaac goes through and the rain may stop, flooding will continue to occur for several days, as the runoff builds up. Remove any items in swale areas or near docks as tide, river, and lake levels rise. Do not drive on roads or streets that you cannot see the surface as areas may have given way.
Keep up with local weather on your radio with My790am.
Stay safe, stay dry, and take any days you have to stay inside to read that book you haven't had time for, play games, have family time. Be appreciative that with Isaac, we are going to have plenty of rain to get through our dry winter and spring seasons. Hurricanes and tropicals storms are necessary for the replenishment of our acquifers.