We have been lucky (so far) this year with hurricanes - but we need to prepare nonetheless. Many people in Belize have not been quite so lucky with fires ..... we will deal with protection and preparation for these two "disasters" in this week's article.
1. Knock down those COCONUTS! A recent article about devastation from Hurricane Georges said " coconuts were flying around like lethal cannonballs." Get somebody up those trees and get those nuts down. You may even find yourself able to sit in the shade without fear of a nut falling on your head!
2. PLYWOOD - get enough to cover your windows. Get nails, hammers, bolts or whatever is best for securing the plywood to your home. Remember that the wood will bend inwards from wind and pressure - perhaps you will need to place a piece of 2 X 4 around the perimeter of the window so there is ample allowance for this. The plywood won't keep you totally dry, but it will save you enormous amounts of money in replacing broken glass, and it will protect YOU if you are inside the house.
3. DUCT TAPE - buy a few rolls. Make sure the adhesive is fresh. If a storm heads our way, apply big "X's" of the tape to your window glass. This way if a pane of glass breaks, the pieces won't fly around and hurt you. You can also use the tape to seal edges of windows to provide a bit more protection against leakage.
4. ROOFS - Flying zinc can cut a person in half. Take stock of the condition of your roof and if it needs repair, try to attend to it now.
5. UNIDENTIFIED FLYING (OR FLOATING) OBJECTS - Everything not tied down is bound to fly around or float around in a hurricane. Every one of these objects can hit you or your house. Support posts under your house can be knocked out by large logs or other debris being pushed around by strong seas. As best you can, get rid of junk before it becomes a missile of destruction. In the case of lawn chairs, potted plants and other items commonly kept on verandahs, be sure to bring them inside if there is a storm coming.
1. SMOKE DETECTORS save lives. Get them, put in fresh batteries and have them installed. Check them regularly to be sure they work.
2. FIRE EXTINGUISHER - Do you have one? If not - get one or two - and keep them in a place where you can get to them easily. Keep one near the kitchen especially. Read the directions and make sure you know how to use it if the need arises.
3. DON'T STORE certain things in or around your house. Old paint and rags can spontaneously combust. One day I watched a whole apartment building "blow up" on a hot day when the old paint and rags became "too hot". You would have thought there were bombs in that place!
4. DON'T MAKE FIRES - when it's windy, when it's dry, or without a hose and water nearby. And DON'T set a fire and walk away while it is burning - ever. If you read your fire insurance policy carefully you may find your company does not cover you for loss due to a brush fire or other carelessly set fires. Clear dry brush from around your home. If you have workers clearing land for you supervise them closely. Remember it's YOUR house in danger. Make sure all fires are out before dark.
Those are a few things all of us can do. Let's do them and make San Pedro a safer place for all !!
Congratulations San Pedro on some of the wonderful new colors that are being seen on homes, hotels and businesses! Also take a look at some of the very interesting and beautiful new buildings going up around town. I am particularly fond of a couple of great new wood homes now under construction ..... you don't have to build in concrete to make a first-class home ..... there is a charm to our Belizean woods that cannot be imitated anywhere. Soon we'll do another "Color Up" survey ..... do you have a favorite colorful building you would like mentioned in a future article? Let me know.........
"Here's looking at you San Pedro..... YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL!!"
Thanks for reading ........
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