We all hear the experts talking about how important it is to create a hurricane preparedness plan each time a hurricane threatens the coast. But, the truth is that too many of us don’t actually heed to the advice until it’s almost too late.
This is dangerous for more reasons than we can list here. However, it would be foolish to think that it can’t happen to you.
Hurricanes are very real threats to most of the state of Florida and there is no such thing as a hurricane proof house. So, if you don’t know where to start with your hurricane preparedness checklist, fear not. We’ve outlined some steps to take that will get you pointed in the right direction below.
Hurricane Preparedness Tips That Could Save Your Home
The best advice we can give is to start early. Hurricane season begins in June and doesn’t end until late November. Taking action at the start of Spring will alleviate headaches and dangerous situations later in the year.
Let’s take a look at those actions that will prevent a catastrophe from turning into a life-altering event.
Start With the Yard
Make sure you have a place to secure outdoor furniture and other items such as the grill and outdoor plants when a hurricane is announced. These are often forgotten in the moment of panic and can cause significant damage when the winds pick up. A hurricane can move items several miles so you’re not only saving your belongings and home but also the safety of others.
Save the Garage Door or Carport
Your garage door may seem sturdy now but it can become as fragile and dangerous for your home in a hurricane as a bomb. Make sure your garage door is reinforced with horizontal wooden beams or have a vertical garage door brace installed.
If you have a carport, make sure the posts are secured to the ground and the roof is braced. This type of structure can rip your home into pieces when the wind blows through.
Don’t Forget the Porch
The same goes for the porch or deck. It’s essential to secure these structures to your home and anchor them firmly in the ground.
Seal the Holes in Your Wall
While the holes in the exterior of your home where the cable wires come through may not leak during a typical storm, a hurricane is not a typical storm. Winds and rains will literally be coming in sideways and these holes will be susceptible to leaks and other damage if they’re not sealed up. A simple tube of caulking or silicone should do the trick.
Look Up! - Don’t Lose Your Roof
Florida requires builders to attach your roof to the walls of your home with metal straps but it’s still a good idea to have them inspected.
Beyond the straps, you should ensure that your roof tiles or shingles are not missing or cracked and tightly secured. One good gust of wind can tear the entire roof off with just a few loose. If your roof is severely damaged, it’s best to install a new one.
Doors and Windows Are a Must
One of the first things people think about when discussing hurricane preparedness is securing the doors and windows. This is because these are the most vulnerable frameworks in your home.
Windows can be blown out by flying objects, and yes, even just the wind itself. Doors that aren’t sealed may let a significant amount of water in that can cause flooding and other damage.
Check Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
Beyond the actual structure of your home, it’s important to note that you should double-check your Homeowner’s Insurance policy for the proper coverage in the event of a hurricane.
Many homeowners insure their homes for the worth of the home but don’t consider what it may cost to completely rebuild. Talk to your agent about what your best option is.
Do You Have Flood Insurance, Too?
Hurricane proof homes are not necessarily flood-proof homes. Flooding is extremely common after a storm so even if your home withstands the beating of the hurricane itself, you could end up with other damage if you live near any body of water, including lakes and rivers.
Take Pictures/Videos of Your Belongings
While you’re evaluating your insurance policies, don’t forget to take pictures and videos of your stuff. Take pictures of everything because if you lose it all, you’ll need proof that you owned it prior to the loss.
During the Storm
Now that your home is ready for one of the worst types of storms on the planet, let’s glance at a quick checklist of what you should do when the storm actually hits.
Waterproof Important Documents
If a hurricane warning is issued for your area, one of the first things you should do is remove your important paperwork from your files and secure them in Ziploc bags or other waterproof containers. This includes Social Security cards, tax documents, and any other irreplaceable files.
When the storm hits, it’s inevitable that the power will go out. The problem is, when it comes back on, it will come on for hundreds if not thousands of homes. Not to mention that every power source in your home will reactivate at once when the power is restored, which can cause a power surge that could damage your electronic devices and appliances.
Get to a Shelter
Don’t stick around during the storm. No matter how much work you’ve done to protect it from the brutal wind and rain, get to a shelter and let the storm pass. Your life is more important than your home.
Do YOU Have a Hurricane Preparedness Plan?
Creating a hurricane preparedness plan is critical for both the safety of your home and your family.
Don’t wait until the storm is on the horizon to make your checklist or especially preparations. Take these extra measures to protect your life as soon as possible for the most positive outcome after the storm passes.
Make sure that your home is hurricane ready so you can think about the other important actions that may be necessary in the moment of emergency.