Hurricane Preparedness for Well Owners
It's been awhile since we've dealt with a tropical storm or hurricane here in Florida. The last major hurricane was Wilma in 2005, which left 98% of South Florida without power. Now, it looks like tropical storm Erika might make landfall in the coming week. We thought we would take this opportunity to go over the basics of hurricane preparedness in Florida.
First, make sure you have plenty of operational flashlights, batteries, candles and a store of shelf-stable, ready-to-eat foods. A fully-stocked first aid kit and a radio are also great things to have around. Make sure your yard is picked up and clear of debris that might fly around in heavy winds, such as hammocks, patio furniture or lawn ornaments. For larger storms, it might even be necessary to board up the windows in your home.
For well owners in particular, it is most important to have a stash of bottled water and some large containers that you can fill up before the storm hits. Unlike people who have city water, you will lose access to water if the power goes out because well pumps require electricity to operate. Unless you have an old fashioned hand pump for emergencies (which we highly recommend: see our blog post about hand pumps for more information), you'll need to stock up on water beforehand. Store as much water as you can - remember you will need it to do everything: cook, drink, bathe, wash dishes and even flush toilets!
There are many products available that will allow you to store large volumes of water. The options range from $5 for a 5-gallon container to $25 for 100-gallon, in-tub reservoir. There are plenty of styles and prices to choose from to fit your specific needs ad budget. You can find most of these products online or in your local hardware store.
Make sure to pay attention to evacuation notices, and leave for somewhere safe if it is recommended by local officials. Familiarize yourself with local shelters and evacuation maps. Plan to stay with a relative who lives out of the storm's path if at all possible.
After the storm is over, keep an eye on your water for cloudiness, sediment, odor or anything out of the ordinary. Any time there is heavy rain, it is important to check the quality of your well water. See our blog post about what well owners should do after periods of heavy rain for more information.
Stay safe out there, everyone!
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