Hurricane season is “officially” here for the Orlando and Central Florida area! Although hurricane season in Florida actually officially opened as it always does this past June 1st, Hurricane Dorian has certainly gotten every Floridian’s full attention by now. According to the NHC (US National Hurricane Center), Hurricane season in Florida typically lasts through November 30th, but the vast majority of these tropical depressions and storms storms start forming closer to the end of the season, with September accounting for a majority of the season’s final total. With the forecast for Hurricane Dorian projecting landfall somewhere in Florida this coming Monday, NOW is the time for everyone to get their home prepared and ready to ensure their family’s safety should it make landfall near them. According to the latest CBS Weather updates, Dorian may be an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane when it does makes landfall.
How Do I Prepare For a Hurricane in Central Florida?
There are several steps you should take to prepare for a possible hurricane and, additionally, help protect your swimming pool during each and every hurricane season.
What Do I Need to Do Before the Hurricane?
The first step is to ensure that as much water as possible will be able to drain from your pool’s deck as rapidly and fast as is possibly can. First test how well your deck is currently draining by simply spraying the deck with your garden hose and watching how fast the water actually disappears. The objective is to make sure that the water runs unobstructed out of your drain’s end to low spots in the yard, swiftly flowing away from your house and your pool’s deck. You may find that there is some blockage (mulch, grass trimmings, dirt, etc. that may be blocking the end of the drain) that will need to be removed.
Most pools in Central Florida have a plastic slotted deck drain that’s designed to route the excess water away from the slab to your yard. If you do have an acrylic painted deck, you sometimes may see that several of the slats are painted over. If you find this to be the case, carefully push the paint through and thereby open up the slats using a small, flat-headed screwdriver. If there is any dirt or other rubbish inside your drain, insert a garden hose from one side and then simply flush it out with water until it’s cleared.
If you don’t have a pool-deck drain, then it can be critically important to make sure that any stones, mulching, grass or dirt are not blocking the edge of your pool deck. All of these may block and prevent water from quickly moving off the edge of your deck and into your yard. A simple and easy solution for deck edges that drain extremely slowly is to dig a small trench that directs the water away from your house and directly to a lower spot in your backyard.
Lastly, before a potential hurricane can come to your Central Florida neighborhood and cause significant damage, take the time to trim your trees of any branches or deadwood limbs that potentially could become airborne in a hurricane’s extremely high winds. Trimming all of your foliage and trees now will help minimize any potential damage to your home, pool equipment or screen enclosures if a hurricane such as Dorian were to come “visit” us here in Florida.
What Do I Do When a Hurricane Is Actually Approaching?
It’s so very important that we never lose sight of the strength that these enormously powerful storms possess, plus their very real potential to cause tremendous damage (including the loss of lives) and leave a neighborhood totally devastated in their wake. Although much more information is available on the Ready Campaign website, the Federal campaign asks that the public do four (4) “key things” when faced with a potential emergency, such as a the onset of a hurricane:
1) Stay informed.
2) Make an emergency plan.
3) Build an emergency supply kit.
4) Get involved in your community by helping your neighbors get prepared
So, let’s be very clear… there’s absolutely no time to waste when you’ve been informed that your house or home is in the predicted path of an approaching hurricane! Remember to stay informed and always “err on the side of caution” when you’re evaluating the “predicted” arrival time of the storm. Keeping in mind that hurricanes are truly unpredictable and can change their course at any given moment, you need to be prepared even if your home is not currently in the hurricane’s “predicted” path.
Now take one more look around your pool area. Is everything removed that possibly could become airborne in a situation of extremely high winds? Is everything else totally secured down? A good “rule of thumb” is that if you are able to lift an object off of the ground, then a hurricane also can definitely lift it and potentially use it to damage your home and landscaping! This includes not only the umbrella, but your patio table too! For those of you that may be new to Orlando or the Central Florida and Coastal areas of Florida, never underestimate the potential force that a hurricane possesses! Looking at several pictures of the extensive damage caused by previous hurricanes that “visited” Florida is a good way to be reminded of how powerful and devastating a hurricane actually can be. Although best removed from the area and placed in your garage or storage elsewhere, some people may suggest to you that if your pool is made of concrete, objects such as tables, chairs, pool equipment and toys can be placed inside of the pool itself to help keep them “shielded” from the high winds. Here at Pools by Bradley we DO NOT ever recommend putting anything in your pool during a storm! Placing any objects in your pool that are NOT specifically manufactured and intended for use in your pool is never a very good idea (and can result in severe damage to your pool and your investment).
Never empty your pool of water!
Pools that have been emptied are prone to having some serious future structural problems. Additionally, they can even be lifted off of their foundations if the winds are strong enough! If your pool’s properly equipped with adequate drains and skimmers and the surrounding area is properly drained, the water level should simply be left as it is. As we previously discussed, remember to clear the area adjacent to any of your deck drains to allow the water to easily flow off your deck.
Make sure that all electricity and power sources to your pool are turned off at the circuit breakers. Lastly, it’s recommended that you super-chlorinate your pool water and you should “shock” the pool as you normally would do.
Questions About Preparing Your Pool For a Hurricane?
Please reach out to us if you have ANY questions about getting your pool ready for an approaching hurricane! Whether we built your pool or not!
All of us here at Pools by Bradley live and breathe our mission of designing and building your ultimate outdoor pool atmosphere. We also want to provide as much education to our clients as possible! We intend to inspire you to improve the recreational time you spend with your family and friends in your new outdoor environment. Our motto is “take care of the customer and everything else will take care of itself”. When you choose Pools by Bradley to help you build your dream pool, you can rest assured that you’re choosing the very best. As a local family owned and operated company founded in back 1996, we have received numerous design awards and honors. Pools by Bradley is rated as one of the top 50 pool builders in the U.S., plus recognized as the “Best Pool Company” in Orlando by Orlando Magazine several years in a row! We offer custom built pools and spas with additions ranging from water features and lighting effects to rain curtains and water slides…the sky’s the limit! Contact us online or call us today at 407-323-7946 (Lake Mary) or 386-410-7946 (NSB) to see how we can help you build the pool of your dreams!