wiadmin No Comments

When Lightning Strikes along the Coast

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

Living along the Gulf Coast usually means more exposure to thunderstorms and definitely right after, lightning strikes. Thunderstorms most often form in mid-latitude areas where warm air exists underneath much cooler air. Fronts are the boundaries that separate these two large air masses when they meet. Lightning bolts may last for just about one of 10,000th of a second, but the electricity they can generate could light a 100-watt bulb for three months.

There are risks associated to lightning strikes, and being constantly exposed to such may be too much to handle for some. The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warns of the danger posed by ground currents, which happen when a lightning strikes, accounting for possibly more than half of all lightning injuries and deaths.

Image source: Accuweather

Fortunately, as long as you keep in mind these tips, you can deal with this natural threat effectively and continue to enjoy what coastal living promises:

  • Close all windows and doors and stay in the middle of the house.
  • Stay away from anything connected by wires such as a corded phone and switch off all electrical appliances.
  • Refrain from getting near water and objects that conduct electricity, mostly those that are made from metal.
  • Do not take a shower and get away from sinks or any similar objects. Lightning can even strike through pipes.
  • Should a lightning strike happens while you are outside, especially if you are in an open field, steer away from trees or poles or any large object and curl into a ball in a standing position.
  • A vehicle may prove to be a safer option for you but remember to close all windows and not to touch the car’s walls as its body is mostly made up of metal. Stay inside for 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder.
  • Be aware of the level of risk you are facing. If you hear thunder in the distance, start heading inside.

Whether you are living in the city or near the sea, natural threats may always pose a risk. Being well-informed and knowing how to protect yourself and your family will allow you greater freedom and less chances to worry.

wiadmin No Comments

Tropical Storm Hazards: How to Deal with Them

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) defines tropical cyclone as a non-frontal storm system that has low pressure center, spiral rain bands and strong winds. To distinguish the disaster types from one another, meteorologists refer to storms depending on their locations:

  • Cyclone – Indian Ocean and South Pacific
  • Hurricane – Western Atlantic and Eastern Pacific
  • Typhoon – Western Pacific

These disasters generally cause a wider range of destruction than floods. A noteworthy fact is that safety measures can be observed since their occurrence can be predicted several days in advance.

The National Weather Service has identified the key hazards from tropical cyclones:

  • Storm surge flooding – the abnormal rise of water resulting from storm’s winds
  • Inland flooding from heavy rains
  • Destructive winds that can put down buildings and manufactured homes
  • Tornadoes
  • High surf and rip currents – can damage structures along the coastline from as far as 1,000 miles offshore

Here are some tips to protect yourself, your family and your property from these hazards:

  • Have an escape route in case there is a need to evacuate.
  • Prepare a disaster supplies kit that contains the following

Image source: Weather Underground

  • Listen to local authorities and follow their advice, however unreasonable it may first sound. Heed all warnings. They are in the best position to do so.
  • Stay away from windows or glass areas.
  • Secure the walls, roof and eaves of your home.
  • Unless instructed or forced to evacuate, remain indoors and stay in the strongest part of the house/building.

If you have properties along the coastline, one of the most effective ways to protect them from these natural phenomena is getting the right insurance.

Whitehaven commits to resolve any issues during these catastrophic events as they have expertise when it comes to the current insurance conditions along the Gulf Coast. You may probably have been aware of the risks when you decided to purchase that property. Through proper management and an open mind, you are on your way of getting over the stress caused by such potential risks.