Posts Tagged florida hurricanes

It Isn’t Only Hurricanes that Cause Power Outages

power outagesFlorida and hurricanes go together like peanut butter and grape jam. But, as you know only too well, your home’s power connection can go down because of other reasons. And if power outages are extended, you run the risk of losing all the perishable foods in your freezer and refrigerator. You won’t be able to run the air conditioner. If you have a home business, you won’t be able to work. Forget about going anywhere else to work, because the loss of power affects others in your community.

Other Weather Events

While Florida isn’t in the middle of Tornado Alley, it’s not unreasonable to believe that the state is vulnerable to excessive wind storms spawned by extreme thunderstorms. Given the vulnerability of the electrical grid to excessively high winds, it’s reasonable that you worry about a power outage.

Wind speeds can be high, rivaling those of tornadoes – or tropical storms. Power companies, water companies, businesses and residences are going to be greatly affected by these storms. And, in the event of a strong hurricane, tornadoes can spawn off from these bigger storms.

Excessive Demand for Power

If outside temperatures go excessively high, the demand for electrical power can overwhelm the electrical grid. Businesses and residences turn air conditioners and refrigerated air on early in the day, which puts too much stress on the power company’s stores of electricity. Before you know it, brownouts and rolling blackouts become the order of the day.

When situations like this affect your South Florida community, backup power is necessary. For families with someone whose life relies on a constant, reliable flow of electricity, a standby generator is mandatory.

It’s always warm and humid in Florida. During the summer months, the temperatures will go up. You and your family don’t want to be in the dark, enduring high humidity and temperatures, waiting for the power company to restore your power.

How This Affects Your Family

No matter the cause of the blackout in your South Florida community, you need to have a reliable backup source of emergency power. A source of backup power can help you:

  • Keep perishable foods from spoiling
  • Keep your A/C humming
  • Provide security and protection from looters
  • Keep power going to your home computer
  • Keep lifesaving medical equipment operating

Blackouts and brownouts are happening more and more frequently, sometimes from unexpected or unknown causes. If you have a family member whose life relies on electrical current, a commercial standby generator can give you peace of mind.

Backup Generators

You wouldn’t think that a source of emergency power would be necessary, but it could be. More and more, families and businesses are turning to backup generators and commercial standby generators to remain functional during a disaster or even just during a widespread blackout.

Chronically ill family members aren’t the only concern. Your youngest family members are as well. They need to feel secure and safe and, to do this, you need to help them maintain as normal a schedule as possible. While candles and camp stoves are an option, if you have very young children, these are actually more dangerous. Having a backup generator can help you avoid emergencies.

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Top 4 Most Devastating Florida Hurricanes in History

florida hurricanes

Flood in the Belle Glade area after the 1928 storm. (Historical Society of Palm Beach)

Being prepared for a disaster by having a home standby generator can make a world of difference. For starters, a standby unit means you don’t have to rely on gas (which could be in short supply after a major natural disaster) and you don’t have to head outside to refill the unit during or after the storm.

Unfortunately, some of the worst Florida hurricanes to ever hit the region happened long ago, before emergency power systems, generators and other helpful devices were invented.

Here’s a breakdown of the five worst hurricanes in the history of Florida.

Key West, 1919

Although Key West has been struck by hurricanes numerous times, none have been as devastating as the one that landed there in 1919.The hurricane’s death toll could be as high as 800 (the exact numbers are unknown), with many of those deaths happening onboard ships that were sailing in the surrounding waters.

One of the reasons for the massive damage caused by this hurricane was how long the storm lasted. Although the strongest winds (110 mph) only lasted for a few hours, the storm lingered over South Florida for 38 hours. The sustained 39 mph winds made evacuation difficult and might have affected how many lives were lost in the storm.

After striking Florida, the storm then continued on to Corpus Christi, Texas, becoming the first hurricane ever to hit the city directly.

Okeechobee, 1928

The most devastating hurricane in the history of Florida, Okeechobee killed more than 2,000 people and destroyed over 6,000 homes. That’s in addition to 2,000 other people who died when the hurricane struck the Caribbean, especially the islands of Puerto Rico and Guadeloupe. In Florida, the hurricane was particularly devastating because it struck farther inland, taking residents by surprise.

Aside from the destruction brought over by the 125 mph winds, Okeechobee also caused massive floods.The rain that came with the storm caused the Lake Okeechobee dikes to crumble, inundating the surrounding area.

The Herbert Hoover Dike was constructed in the lake after the hurricane to help control the movement of the water and prevent a similar tragedy from ever happening again.

Labor Day, 1935

Known as the Labor Day Hurricane or the Florida Keys Hurricane, was a category 5 hurricane that struck the upper Florida Keys. The hurricane is still considered the “most intense landfalling U.S. hurricane,” with winds reaching 185 mph.

Over 400 people died during the storm, including 200 World War I veterans living in a local work camp. The hurricane derailed trains, washed away bridges, and completely destroyed the village of Islamorada. A storm surge almost 20 feet tall washed away entire area of the Florida Keys.

Andrew, 1992

Called “the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history,” Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida in August of 1992. It caused over $25 billion in damage and hit the state with winds as strong as 177 mph.

Andrew caused a relatively low number of fatalities: 23 people. However, it left over 175,000 homeless and almost 1.5 million people without electricity for days. The hurricane also caused massive natural destruction, knocking down over 70,000 trees in the Everglades. Floods and heavy rain caused additional damage and required massive evacuations.

While installing a home standby generator will not necessarily keep you safe when Florida hurricanes hit, it can still be a great ally during the storm’s aftermath. Keep in mind that in many cases, people return to their homes after the storm has passed but before electric power is restored. Having a home generator means you’ll be able to cook, have access to warm water and feel safer during a moment of crisis.

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