The Most Useful Hurricane Prep Tips – Lessons Learned from Hurricane Irma

the most useful hurricane prep tips - lessons learned form Hurricane irma

Hurricane Prep Starts BEFORE the Threat of a New Hurricane

Yes, you read that right! Planning and prepping for the next hurricane starts now.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you start your hurricane preparations before the next hurricane threat arrives. These are tips from the experts at FEMA and NOAA and other government agencies tasked with keeping you safe!

  • Know your hurricane evacuation zone
  • Decide when to evacuate your family (Cat. 1, Cat. 2, Cat. 3 or when a mandatory evacuation is called for )
  • Write a written plan for when your stay, including a supply list
  • Write a written plan for when you evacuate, including a supply list
  • Plan to include your pets
  • Have more than one evacuation destination plans – you need to evacuate away from the pending storm.
  • Talk to your neighbors about past storm experiences.
  • Buy hurricane supplies now, before they become a valued commodity – think generator, drinking water, ply-board, canned goods, extra gasoline cans, extra propane tank for your gas grill and more.
  • Take an inventory video of each room in your home.
  • Scan all your insurance documents and important papers to store in the cloud.

If you’d like a more VISUAL HURRICANE PREP LIST, check out one of our earlier posts with a super cool hurricane prep infographic.

Now that you know how to start preparing for the next hurricane, let us check on some hurricane myths floating around the internet…!

What NOT to Do: Debunking Hurricane Prep Myths

From the Tampa Bay Times come these myths that have been floating around on Facebook and other social media sites this past week as Floridians prepared for Hurricane Irma to make landfall. People just keep sharing these over and over and over!

Have you heard these myths? Have you SHARED these myths on social media? Please stop!

  • Crack your windows during a hurricane
  • Taping up windows prevents them from shattering
  • Hotels are required to house pets and service animals
  • The dishwasher is a safe place to keep valuables you don’t want to get wet
  • You only need to board up windows and doors that are facing the water

Do not take your advice from Facebook. Do not take your hurricane advice from ‘friends, families and neighbors’ reposting ‘copy & paste’ tips from who-knows-where. Instead follow the guidelines from FEMA and your local government agencies experienced in hurricane preparedness.

HUrricane Tips to Sink Your Teeth in Myrtle Beach

Hurricane Prep Tips To Seek Your Teeth In!

You can connect with FEMA on ready.gov to get started.

Start here!

Another great agency for up-to-date hurricane information is NOAA.

Start here!

We understand that sometimes reading these official government sites can be intimidating, so take care to always check your sources if you do read non government information on non government sites.

Hurricane Preparation and Family Emergency Planning Go Hand in Hand

If you have never made a family emergency plan, start today.

That includes making a plan for a tornado, hurricane, flood, fire or other natural disaster.
We hope you never, ever have to implement such a plan, but in case of emergency, you will be so happy to have a plan to refer back to to help you move forward.

As always, if we can be of assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to us!

Call Strand Security in Myrtle Beach at 843-318-6392

How To Protect Yourself In Case of Attack

How to protect youeslef in case of attack - Myrtle Beach Self Defense

South Carolina Self Defense Laws

We at Strand Security are very much concerned with your personal safety, not ‘just’ your security!

Why?

Years ago Heather was robbed at gun point. After this traumatic experience, she’s used her knowledge and experience (about self defense) to educate women and young girls about the importance of self defense. Strand Security has been offering FREE CLASSES to their customers under the Myrtle Beach Self Defense umbrella. Community members can also attend for a small fee. These classes have been fun, educational and most of all, empowering to women and girls.

  • We want women to know how to prevent an attack.
  • We want women to know how to fight back during an attack.
  • We want women to feel empowered enough to fight back during an attack and know of ways they can get away.
  • We want girls to feel empowered too!

Myrtle Beach Self Defense New Logo

However… can knowing and practicing self defense protect you at all times?

Read on…!

Concealed Weapon Permit

In these classes, we don’t only teach and practice self defense techniques, but we also talk about ways to stay safe and to prevent being a victim. We understand that we can’t always prevent crime from happening, but learning to recognize warning signs, and not putting yourself into a bad situation to start with can do a lot to prevent an attack on your person.

While we have these discussions in class, the subject of carrying a concealed weapon comes up every single time!

We can’t make a judgement call for you whether you should be a concealed weapon carrier, or not. What we can do is give you some additional resources for you to check out so that you yourself can make a more educated decision about how to protect yourself and those you love.

What Does South Carolina Law Say About Self Defense?

We searched google, of course and found the following articles.

Please read these at your convenience and learn as much as you can.

Defending Your Castle – Self Defense in South Carolina

From the piece

To convict a person of murder or voluntary manslaughter based on the use of deadly force against another person who is attempting to enter his home, the State is required to negate that person’s claim of self-defense. Under South Carolina law, a person is justified in using deadly force in self-defense if: (1) he was without fault in bringing on the difficulty; (2) he was in danger of losing his life or of sustaining serious bodily injury or he actually believed such; (3) if his defense is based on belief, his belief was not unreasonable or, if his defense is based on actual danger, the circumstances would warrant the fatal blow; and (4) he had no other probable means of avoiding the danger of losing his own life or sustaining serious bodily injury than to act as he did.

Avoiding Charges for Self Defense With A Weapon in South Carolina

From the piece

South Carolina has a “stand your ground” law which protects those who use force in self-defense. The stand your ground law is found in the Code of Laws in Title 16, section 16-11-440.

According to this law, if a person is not doing anything illegal and that person is attacked in any place where he or she has a right to be (including your home, your work, or a public place), that person has the right to stand his ground ground and “meet force with force, including deadly force,” as long as he “reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or another person or to prevent the commission of a violent crime as defined in Section 16-1-60.”

For stand your ground laws to protect you, you must have actually believed that you or someone else would be hurt or that a violent crime would have been committed if you had not taken action. Your belief of an imminent risk of harm must have been a reasonable one.

 

Self Defense in South Carolina

From the piece

Self-defense in South Carolina is a concept that many people probably think they know and understand or at the very least have heard of it.  However, what is self-defense and what self-defense is not is probably drastically different from what the average person understands.  This article discusses the law on self-defense and how it is applied in South Carolina.

 

A Detailed Look at South Carolina’s Stand Your Ground Law

From the piece

According to the Protection of Persons and Property Act (“PPPA”) a/k/a “Stand Your Ground” law, a person has the ability to protect himself or herself, even through the use of deadly force, if someone else is unlawfully and forcefully entering a home or occupied vehicle, or if someone is removing or attempting to remove another person against his will from the home or occupied vehicle. A reading of the current law doesn’t appear to require it to be YOUR home or vehicle, so long as you were invited to be in the home or vehicle by the owner or person living there.

The PPPA DOESN’T apply if:

  • The “intruder” has a right to be in the home or occupied vehicle, such as being a resident, an owner, a tenant, or titleholder to the property or vehicle. We caution you that if you invited this person into your home, and then later kick them out, you are likely not entitled to protection under the law.  On May 7, 2014, the South Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion in State v. Manning which stated that “Stand Your Ground” does not apply if the person was invited into your home. If you shoot someone and go to trial, the jury may still be told that they can consider other defenses, such as the old Castle Doctrine Law or the law of self-defense, but immunity under the “Stand Your Ground” statute is out.

  • The person being removed from the home or vehicle is a child, grandchild, or person under lawful guardianship of the “intruder.”

  • You are engaged in unlawful activity or using the home or vehicle in furtherance of unlawful activity. The law does not define “unlawful activity.” However, if you were conducting a drug deal in your house when the incident occurs, you are probably not protected by the statute.

  • The “intruder” is a law enforcement officer performing his duties, so long as the person defending himself knew or reasonably should have known it was a police officer.

Plan. Prepare. Protect.

Whichever way you want and need to protect yourself and those you love, do it with a plan.

Know you rights!

If you want to learn self defense, get in touch with us at Strand Security. Fall classes are starting back up. As always, classes are free to our Strand Security customers.

Call Strand Security in Myrtle Beach at 843-318-6392

Should You Stay or Should You Go?

 a visual hurricane prep guide

A Visual Hurricane Prep Guide

With Hurricane Irma barreling down on the Caribbean and headed for Florida, people in the Carolinas are faced with this question:

Should I stay or should I go?

Instead of asking that question, take action and prepare now, regardless whether you stay or go evacuate!

Prepping for a hurricane should not be taken lightly. There are many things to consider.

Helpful Hurricane Facebook Post From Those with Hurricane Experience

In the last few days, we’ve seen this post do the rounds on Facebook – especially among our Myrtle Beach, Grand Strand and Florida friends.

The advice on how to prepare for a hurricane is solid. Check out these tips.

 


 

Here are some Hurricane Prep Tips:

1. Start running your ice makers now and bagging the ice in freezer bags. Fill as much space in between your freezer items as you can.
2. Freeze regular tap water for pets, cleaning or drinking in tupperware-type containers. REMEMBER to leave a small bit of space between the top of the water & the lids so the ice expands but doesn’t crack the container.
3. Start using up your perishables to make more room for ice in the freezer.
4. Fill up all vehicles & check tires & oil.
5. Cash from ATM, at least enough to get you through tolls and gas out of town. Call your bank if you plan on leaving the state so they don’t freeze your card for out-of-area “suspicious” transactions.
6. All important docs screenshot & send to your email. Take originals in sealed bags or plastic bins.
7. Pet & livestock food & supplies. Vet records in case you need to shelter then at a storm-safe facility.
8. Evacuation plans and share with family members so they know where you’re headed.
9. Consider putting heirlooms & photos in plastic bins in a high place, second floor, or safe room if you don’t plan on taking them with you.
10. SECURE ALL FIREARMS & AMMUNITION PROPERLY.
11. Old rags & beach towels on your windowsills. Even with the best windows & shutters, water seeping from the wind pressure happens. A few damp towels is better than soaked drywall or floors!
12. Shutter windows and doors and bring everything outside into your garage or house NOW. Do not wait until the day before. Better to get done early and relax than wait until its too late, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE MANDATORY PERSONNEL (hospital employee or first responder).
13. If you don’t already have your hurricane supplies, you might want to get them now! Before the shelves get empty!

 


 

We think this is great advice and it certainly is a great place to start prepping.

However, the question remains – “should we stay or should we go?” and only YOU can answer that!  While you watch the weather station, the news stations and make your own plan, you might need a bit more guidance on how to properly prepare than that Facebook post alone.

We’ve collected several more hurricane prep tips and created this handy, shareable infographic.

visual hurricane prep guide

Above all…

Be safe and secure whether you evacuate or stay for the storm.

Call Strand Security in Myrtle Beach at 843-318-6392

 

 

 

Will Drones Have an Impact On Your Home Security Now, or in the Future?

Will drones have an impact on your home security?

Drones Are Here To Stay!

Whether you own one, want one or don’t care either way; drones are here to stay!

Many new businesses have sprouted up with the introduction of affordable drones sold to the general public.

Drones are used for taking photographs and video, and have been used to conduct land surveys and to find ships lost at sea, just to name a few uses.

After drones became affordable for just about any amateur photographer and videographer, many towns, municipalities and cities reacted by instituting ‘no fly zones’ for drones for the safety of air traffic and their citizens.

Are Drones Safe?

Flying drones is a great hobby. It can also be part of a great business model, if you can make money off of the videos and photographs taken with your drone. But are there any safety concerns with flying drones just about anywhere?

Sure there are!

Safety first when it comes to drones, especially if drones are flown near airports, busy highways or cell towers!

How about near your home? Will flying drones impact your home security? Will flying drones enhance or hinder your home security?

Futuristic? Drones As Part of  Your Security System

New technology will enable drones to be part of your home security system – if not now, in the very near future!

In this article in Digital Trends we read about a new home security system that deploys a drone to patrol your property! Sounds like something out of a sci-fi book? Think again! The technology is here and soon most, if not all, security systems will have this capability. This article predicts

“The idea of a security camera that doesn’t fly will seem like the dark ages.”

That will be an amazing day…!

Can Drones Interfere with Your Security System or Home Automation System?

Sure, drones can interfere with your systems, that can happen, and it has happened. However, it’s not the main concern you should have about your home security system. If your Wifi system is password protected, drones should not be able to interfere with your home automation or security systems.

But there is a much larger security concern with drones…

Drones Have Access To Private Property!

Drones can pretty much fly wherever they are guided! That means the lines between private property and public land are not so clear anymore – from the air, there are no gates, fences or lines drawn in the sand…

Case in point (and we know – this was a helicopter, not a drone) are the fly-over pictures released on July 4 weekend of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Read the full article of what happened here.

The point is; helicopters, and now drones, give private citizens access to private property and that means your neighbor could decide to fly a drone over your backyard to SPY on you…! Or worse; someone who is out to hurt you, your family or wants to burglarize your home, could use a drone to ‘scout’ the area before striking.

We feel that’s all pretty scary to think about!

So what can you do to protect yourself from drones?

drones and home security

Be Aware of Drones Flying Near Your Home

The first step to preventing a crime is to be alert and aware. When you do notice a drone flying over your property, take notice. Find out where it is flying back to; who is flying the drone. Take a picture of the drone if you can, and notice the size, color and time of day it’s flying over.

The next step is to make sure all family members know your family emergency plan and go over and practice this plan at least twice per year.

Last but not least, activate your security system when you are home alone, and when you leave your home. It might be a good idea to have at least one of your outside cameras pointing up at the sky!

Be Aware! Be Prepared: Drones Are Coming!

Whether you like drones, or not, they are coming to a neighborhood near you, very soon.

Be aware.

Be prepared.

They are coming.

Call Strand Security in Myrtle Beach at 843-318-6392

How to Prevent Inventory Loss in Your Business

How to prevent inventory loss in your business in Myrtle Beach

Theft Can Cripple Your Business!

Whether you own a restaurant, a retail store, an accountancy or any other business, if you have employees and customers, you can lose inventory. Not all loss can be accounted for. Not all loss can be prevented. However, theft on a larger scale is mostly preventable and that’s what this article is all about!

According to Loss Prevention Media one sure way to limit your losses is to remove the opportunity for malicious loss

Individuals typically consider four questions before embarking on an act of theft.

First, what is the risk of being caught?

Second, how easy will it be to carry out the act?

Third, is the likely reward worthwhile?

Four, if I do get caught, what is the likely punishment?

 

Once we have a better understanding of how and why theft takes place, we can go about putting systems in place to prevent theft from happening.

How To Stop Thieves from Stealing From Your Business!

How To Stop Thieves from Stealing From Your Business!

I would think you’d agree with me that preventing theft is better than catching a thief in the act.

Therefore the first tips deal with prevention:

  • Install surveillance cameras. Make sure these cameras are located strategically throughout your place of business and trained upon places where theft is most likely to take place (cash register, back room, front door). Often, just seeing these cameras in your place of business will deter a thief.
  • Install a security system. This system should be monitored during off hours as to keep the place of business secure while it’s closed.
  • Put up signs. In prominent places around the workplace, display signs with security cameras and/or security monitoring. Again, if a potential thief sees these signs, they are more likely to skip your establishment and go somewhere else to steal.
  • Train your employees. Sometime during the hiring process, talk about loss prevention and theft consequences. Make it clear there is a ‘no tolerance’ policy in place. In your newsletters and employees meetings, reiterate loss prevention techniques and tips and remind them of your surveillance cameras.
  • Hire a loss prevention consultant. If you are losing inventory at an alarming rate, hire someone to find out where and how your inventory is disappearing. It’s not always obvious how and where thieves strike.
  • Lock up! This might seem like an easy thing to do, but you’d be surprised how many business owners deal with (new) employees who forget to set the security alarm system at the end of the day or forget to lock up the business correctly after their shift.

The next tips deal with catching a thief in the act of stealing (in case your ‘warning signs’ didn’t work)

  • Hire a loss prevention specialist. This person should be tasked with watching surveillance video in real time and thus should be able to catch thieves and employees in the act of shoplifting. If you have a large business, you might need to hire a team of loss prevention specialists.
  • Electronically tag your products. Tag your (most expensive) products with electronic monitoring devices. Install gates at your exits to catch thieves.
  • Train your employees. Every employee should recognize the signs of a shoplifter or thief and should know all steps involved in catching the thief in the act. This requires yearly training on your part – making sure everyone is on the same page and know how to handle any situation.
  • Install panic buttons. In strategic places all throughout your place of business, install panic buttons for the safety of your employees and the security of your business.

Taking Action to Prevent Inventory Loss Will Save You Money!

Not all theft can be prevented.

Not all thieves can be caught.

However, having a clear plan in place on how to handle situations as they occur will help tremendously. Investing a bit of money into your business for a security system, surveillance cameras and loss prevention employees might in the end, save you money,  and time and lots of headaches along the way.

Call Strand Security in Myrtle Beach at 843-318-6392

 

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