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Spring time is here, and it is soon going to be that time again. Yes, Hurricane Season 2001 is fast approaching, and now is the time to get prepared. Don't get caught with your pants down because then it may be too late. Hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin has increased over the past six years, especially along the Carolina coast.

So, take a look at these pointers for those who live in mobile homes, or those who live in a house, and then you'll be ready for when and if a tropical storm, or hurricane strikes your area during the course of the upcoming season. Don't get caught unprepared. Now, is the time to get ready for hurricanes.

It is important to prepare your mobile home now for the upcoming hurricane season. Mobile homes are unable to withstand hurricane force winds, and tornadoes spawned by these storms. In all likelihood, if you are in the path of an approaching hurricane, and live in a mobile home, you will be forced to evacuate to a more secure building in the least.

Please secure your mobile home with over-the-top straps that are secured by anchors on either side, or frame ties to prevent them from tipping over. If the mobile home happens to have been built before 1976, it along with the ties are built to withstand winds of up to 80 mph, or a little bit beyond Category One Hurricane force. On the other hand, if the mobile home was built after 1976, then the structure along with its securing ties, will be able to withstand winds of up to 110 mph, which is just below major hurricane status since a Category Three Hurricane has winds of 111 mph or greater.

In addition, to securing your home, make preparations for your evacuation. Mobilize the mobile home park area, in which you live in, to prepare for the coming storm. Select a group leader, and create a list of residents, and the locations where they will go to along with phone numbers of friends and relatives.

Have a "buddy system" and assign healthy, adroit people to help others evacuate safely. Check to ensure that everyone has made arrangements for transportation and accommodation. Close and secure shutters as well as ensure that all loose objects around the home are secured. Turn off all electrical, gas, water, and sewer lines. Go to all your neighbors homes to make sure they're leaving.

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It is important to have your home protected as best as possible. Make sure windows are covered by storm shutters, or plywood. Most homes that are properly protected and secured by these particular coverings will make them safe from most hurricanes except the most powerful ones. Other types of window protection that can be used for a home are laminated glass, Duraframe Window Jamb System, which are more recent innovations.

Secure all loose objects around the house like garbage cans, chairs, toys, benches, and equipment so that they don't become projectiles in a powerful storm. For those who own businesses, commercial buildings that have been built since 1998 must be able to withstand winds between 100 to 110 mph, which is just below major hurricane force. They need to be protected with things such as plywood, or properly taped to prevent shattering glass that could become a hazard to pedestrians.

How much is too much? Well, too much is never enough when it comes to hurricanes, especially major hurricanes. Not everybody believes that homes need to withstand the force of the impact from a 2-by-4 shot through a cannon. However, if you have seen special shows on hurricanes and tornadoes, the winds generated by these storms have a force and power that is much like that of a 2-by-4 shot through a cannon into a solid piece of wood or glass at 35 mph.

Make sure you check your codes. There are products out there that say that are hurricane protective may not be able to meet the requirements of your municipality's building code. So, check with your local building inspector with the name and product number before you buy any shutter, impact-resistant window or any other storm protective coverings to make sure its meets code. You can obtain plywood at your local home improvement store, and get it within a day while custom-made shutters can be sent to you within two weeks.

However, as a storm approaches, the lines at the store get longer, orders rise, and so does the backlog. If you live near the coast, and happen to be in the path of approaching storm or hurricane, please take the storm threat seriously, and have an evacuation plan ready to execute. Organize such a plan to evacuate, and have loved ones know where you'll be staying along with phone numbers to contact you. A mobile phone wouldn't hurt either. Make sure you make a contact list of relatives that you will be staying with in case of evacuation, and those who will want to know where you are, and how you're doing.

Begin discussing possibilities with neighbors about a possible landfall, and what to do to prepare for it. If you plan to ride out the storm if and when it comes your way, make sure you prepare before the season starts, and in the early part of the season by having plenty of supplies available. That would include food, water, lights, batteries, radio, medicine, and first aid kits. Make sure you have a secure room set aside for shelter during the storm. Arrange with neighbors to check up on each other before and after the storm.

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Note: The source of much of the information in this article comes from Storm 2001. A special thanks goes out to the people from Storm 2001.

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