Winds: What You Need To Do Before They Hit

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Today it’s all about winds: what you need to do before they hit. I’m sitting here watching the news and remembering the winds we lived through in Farmington, Utah many years ago. The gusty winds have been anywhere from 70-112 miles an hour today in northern Utah.

One year the winds were so strong it flipped trains on their sides. In case you missed this post, Things to Stock Up On Before a Hurricane

The truckers had to pull over and park, hopefully under an overpass, to try and protect their trucks from the high winds. As of right now, the report is a record for Utah with 45 semi-trucks blown over. Some years we had those really heavy-duty freeway signs bent in half. Oh my goodness, the sounds of the winds are scary.

We lived in a rambler (one story home) the sound in that house wasn’t as bad. But, we also lived in a two-story and I swear I felt like the wind was going to take the top off our home.

Winds: What You Need To Do Before They Hit

Stay Home and Stay Away from Windows:

If at all possible, please stay home if your state or city is requesting that you stay off the roads because of the dangerously high winds. Keep your family away from all windows in case they break from trees falling or items blowing through your yard.

Another concern is falling trees and branch destruction. Even old established tress are prone to being blown over in heavy winds. Be sure to consider keeping trees near power and telephone lines properly trimmed. That not only helps protect the lines, but makes the trees less prone to fall since there isn’t as much mass for the wind to catch hold of.

Stock up on Food:

We have all been stocking up on food. The recent Pandemic has made people more aware than ever that we must stock food. We are not hoarding and we are not spreading panic, we are being REAL, my friends. In case you missed this post, Canned Foods I Highly Recommend You Store

Stock up on Water:

I’m sure you’ve heard that you only need one gallon of water per person per day by FEMA. I strongly disagree, I highly recommend four-gallons per person per day. Please start with 3 days worth of water at the very least, then 7 days, and please move onto 30 or more days worth of water for your family. We need water for hydration, cooking, and personal hygiene at the very least.

Paper Products:

Please stock up on paper plates, hot cups, cold cups, and plastic silverware. Here’s the deal, I don’t want to use my water to clean the small eating utensils. I can wash some, but I don’t want to use up all my fuel to heat the water to wash dishes. Of course, I store water to wash the pans or other cooking utensils.

Of course, I will bake brownies in my Sun Oven if the sun is out. Please don’t purchase a Sun Oven for your area if you have limited sunshine. Just giving you the heads up here.

Laundry:

Are you like me, when I hear a storm is headed our way, I make sure ALL the laundry is done. Now, granted we only have 3 or 4 loads a week with the sheets and towels. But I love knowing my laundry is washed, folded, and put away.

I must confess I LOVE clean sheets, I only wash them once a week, and no, I don’t iron them as my grandmother did. I watched a show about Oprah and she has someone who works for her that changes her sheets every 2 days. That sounds heavenly to me, unless I’m the one changing them.

Be Ready For Power Outages:

Today, our TV news channel announced 175,000 people are without power and they have no idea right now how long before they can get it restored. This is where blankets come into play in the winter, or we may need a wood stove/fireplace to keep us warm. Well, in the summer, stock some Spray Bottles, trust me I have used them to try and cool off.

Yes, I can wear my bathing suit when the temps hit 90 degrees, but a spray bottle works better for me when the A/C is out. LOL!

Fuel:

Please stock up on fuel that is safe to store on your property. It could be butane canisters for butane stoves, propane tanks for the BBQ, or camping stoves. If you have a wood stove, stock up wood, or coal if your stove can handle coal. We used to have a wood-burning stove that we could interchange both fuels. I sure miss that stove since we downsized to a smaller home.

Flashlights and Batteries:

Sometimes we need a quick reminder to grab some fresh batteries. I’m still so humbled that my friend, Harry, from Texas sent me some C and D batteries. I was having trouble finding them here. I still haven’t seen any. Anyway, please check your flashlights to see if they work and if your battery stash is adequate. If you have solar flashlights, even better.

I store small ones in my front window in our living room so they can gather solar power. They are ready when I need them. If you have solar yard lights they would work as well, gather the sun and bring them inside when needed.

Cars and Trucks:

Please keep your gas tanks at least 3/4 to full, if at all possible. If you had to evacuate, you will not be one of those cars waiting in line at the gas station, only to find when you get to the tanks that they are now empty. Where I live every three-day weekend the gas station within a mile of me hangs those yellow bags “out of gas!”

If you need to travel the local roads, be aware of fallen trees, branches and utility lines. Never drive across any lines unless directed to by authorities who’ve tested to make sure the lines aren’t live. Also, be cautious when passing large semi- trucks on the freeway. Gusts can push them over. They often park under overpasses so they can be protected from the winds, so keep an I out for these rigs since they may not have their lights on.

Windows:

You may want to make sure all your windows are locked and secure. If your screens are loose, remove them and store them. They are easy to put back on.

Front Porch:

I’m one of those ladies that has two chairs with a plant on a table on the porch by the front door. Yes, I love working outside with my dogs and laughing with neighbors that stop by. BUT, I bring the plant inside when the winds get bad. I also remove the chair pads if the winds are over 50 miles an hour.

Gates:

We must secure our gates or you may not have a gate if the winds get really bad. We have had sections of our fence end up a block away. Now we have block (cement/concrete) fences. But when we had wood and vinyl slats, bye-bye fence sections every couple of years.

Garage Doors:

Make sure your garage doors are closed and secured or the wind may blow whatever is in your garage down the street. If you have a carport, secure whatever may blow away. I use rope and bungee cords on just about everything. My favorite ones are the 48-inch Bungee Cord Straps.

Gardens:

If the winds are really bad, we harvest what we can and pray the winds die down. I have tried covering the garden boxes but they get ripped off way too many times.

Backyards:

You are going to want to strap down your BBQ, we had ours tip over one year and now it’s secured to a railing with those wonderful bungee cords. If you have a trampoline they may end up a block away if the wind hits your yard. Sometimes, using rope or bungee cords to “huddle” your backyard chairs may help them from becoming airborne.

Winds: What You Need To Do Before They Hit

Here are some numbers to think about when Hurricane Force Winds are due:

Category One: 74-95 MPH

Category Two: 96-110 MPH

Category Three: 111-129 MPH

Category Four: 130-156 MPH

Category Five: 157+ MPH

Final Word:

Sometimes we need to be reminded about storms that include strong winds: what you need to do before they hit is critical! Please keep prepping, we must. Stay safe, and stay well. May God bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Trees Blown Over AdobeStock_299135945by WideAwake

10 thoughts on “Winds: What You Need To Do Before They Hit

  • September 9, 2020 at 7:38 am
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    We have learned many of these tips from hurricane seasons here in NW Florida. Here’s a few more.

    Things like trampolines, lawnmower trailers, patio tables can be turned upside down & weighted down with cement blocks or 5 gallon buckets of water. The object is to reduce the sail area that can be caught in the wind.

    Laying patio chairs on their backs reduces the sail area, too. We either wedge our chairs under the potting table or lay them in the overhang where the lawn tractor is stored.

    If you have time, pull vines & trim bushes off the chainlink fence. This reduces the weight & lets the wind blow through. We normally have a couple days notice before the hurricane makes landfall.

    We also work all year to keep the jungly growth away from the house and buildings. It’s a full time job in this area to keep shrubs, bushes & trees away from falling distance of the house.

    Reply
    • September 9, 2020 at 9:20 am
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      Hi BDN, great comment! It reminds me of a neighbor that had their glass patio table in the back yard crash into their pool from some bad winds! I forgot about that!! It shattered with glass everywhere. I like the tips on putting cement blocks or 5-gallon buckets of water to secure items. The shrubs, that’s a full-time job! Great tips, thank you!! Stay safe, Linda

      Reply
  • September 9, 2020 at 10:09 am
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    Quick comment about C-D batteries and flashlights. Those batteries are so big and cumbersome so we replaced all of our old flashlights with smaller LED ones from Costco. They come in a three-pack and are quite affordable. They use AAA batteries. Some of the flashlights will also have a strobe effect on them which may come in handy. We have them alllll over the house! They’re by doors, beds, counters in the kitchen, by the kids’ beds, bathrooms, desks, in our cars – you name it, they’re there. That way we know immediately where to grope to find one if the lights go out. Now we no longer have to store those bigger batteries. AA and AAA batteries are frequently on sale at Costco for a good price, too. *Guess this wasn’t such a “quick” comment afterall! LOL

    Reply
    • September 9, 2020 at 1:46 pm
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      Hi Robbie, great tip! I have six solar flashlights in the front room window ready to go! I need the C & D batteries for other items, not flashlights. I will have to check out those flashlights when I go to Costo. Great comment, Linda

      Reply
  • September 9, 2020 at 2:34 pm
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    Good suggestions.We had a big storm in CA in our area one year. We had some glass b;ow across our yard and fly into our window right behind our bed. What a night and scare! We sold our house and moved to another state. I noticed Northern Utah had 99 mph. winds yesterday that turned over trucks. We hve been through there and know what those winds can be like. We always need to prepare!

    Reply
    • September 9, 2020 at 2:47 pm
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      Hi Cheryl, wow how scary!!! Yes, actually the winds in one area got up to 112 miles an hour. They had 45 semis tip over in one day, the first time in Utah history. Waiting to hear if all the drivers are okay. These winds were crazy, I have two daughters who live in Salt Lake City, Utah. So many families still do not have power. Crazy weather. I’m glad you moved! Stay well, stay safe! Linda

      Reply
  • September 9, 2020 at 5:52 pm
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    Something to keep in mind as well is to keep trees away from your home. I love the shade that trees give but with high winds (and now major forest fires) trees close to your home can be disastrous if winds cause limbs to crack off or if the tree itself is uprooted. If the trees are close to your home, you can/will have major damages.

    Reply
    • September 9, 2020 at 6:07 pm
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      Hi Leanne, you are so right! Salt Lake City, Utah has major issues with large trees that have uprooted or snapped in half. So crazy, we love the shade but not the damage! Linda

      Reply
  • September 10, 2020 at 12:23 pm
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    Just wanted to share a personal example that isn’t strictly prepping related.

    Shortly after my wife and I moved into a new home we put up inflatable decorations for the holidays. One evening we went out for a few hours and came back to find the inflatable missing from the yard! It was a 7′ or 8′ inflatable pumpkin and it had blown down the street. We thank our lucky stars that it didn’t blow into the road and cause an accident! Ever since then when we have inflated decorations outside we watch the wind forecast obsessively so we can deflate them when the winds get too high for the specific inflatables. Our dragon for Halloween we drop at 10Mph, but the Christmas scene is lower profile so we keep it up to 15Mph.

    Last time we had a serious windstorm around here, we made sure the BBQ grill was up against the house and tied down the lids on the trashcans with the smoker chips, and then tied the cans to the porch railing. Also brought in the porch furniture…it was a bit crowded but safer than leaving them outside to potentially become missiles to damage the house, garage or even worse…the generator!

    The home I grew up in had trees quite close to the house, but it was dense enough to almost be called a forest so the trees would all support each other during windstorms. But if any tree was showing signs of distress it would be cut down in calm weather so we didn’t have to worry about it going the wrong direction during a wind event.

    Thanks for all you do for the prepping community!

    Reply
    • September 10, 2020 at 1:14 pm
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      Hi DMWalsh, great tip on bringing in the porch furniture!! You know it takes ONE windstorm and you learn quickly how dangerous they can be! I’m so glad the inflatables did not cause an accident. Whew!! I love the holidays! Yikes, you need that generator protected for sure! Stay safe, great comment! Linda

      Reply

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