We’re already in hurricane season, but there are still a few months left. Last year when Hurricane Irma blew through it devastated much of Florida. How can we be prepared for this year? There are many things that you can do to help protect your home and property from the damage that a hurricane can cause. Even in evacuation areas where you have to leave your home, you can prepare it to be in one piece when you return. Make sure that you have a set plan and can execute it.
Ways to Prepare for a Hurricane
We’ve compiled a list of the most recommended ways to prepare your home for a hurricane.
Review Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
Even if your home is damaged after your preparations are made, you need to make sure that you are covered. Your homeowner’s insurance policy will have details about your coverage. Most hurricane damages will be covered under specific hurricane damage or under windstorm damage. Even when you secure your home, we can’t predict what might happen from a storm.
Consider Flood Insurance
Along with the intense winds that hurricanes bring, they dump massive amounts of rain in the process. There isn’t too much as a homeowner that you can do about flooding, besides have coverage. The damage from flooding can be catastrophic even if the damage from the hurricane itself isn’t that severe. Even the ensuing mold damage can make your home a hazard to return to. It’s always better to be on the safe side. You can learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program and see what coverage you can afford.
Secure Your Roof
The roof has the most potential for your home being damaged; it is potentially the largest opening to your home. An easy way to secure your roof is to repair and secure any shingles that may be cracked or damaged. Another way is to install roof straps; it secures your roof to the frame of your house. If your house is older, you may not have hurricane straps already installed with your roof. Check to make sure; it’s a much less expensive route than getting a new roof.
Secure Carports and Porches
If you have a carport or a porch that isn’t necessarily stable, it can rip off of your house. The damage from that flying around and the massive hole it can put in your home will cause massive amounts of damage. Make sure that posts supporting these structures are firmly anchored to the ground and to the roof of your carport or porch.
Seal Your Windows and Doors
Even if there isn’t any visible damage to the seals around your doors and windows it’s integrity can still be damaged. Especially in hotter areas such as Florida. It can allow for side blowing rain to enter your home and cause mold and water damage to your home. You can easily seal them with caulk, which can be purchased at a home supply store for a relatively low price.
Clear Your Lawn
Everything from lawn chairs, decorative windchimes, light potted plants, and garden gnomes should all be brought inside of your home. They can easily blow around your yard and damage your home, vehicles and break windows. They could also blow into a neighbors yard and damage their house, and that could become your liability. If you don’t have space to bring those things inside of your home make sure you secure them in some way. Also, make sure any outside structures such as a shed or a stand-alone garage are also firmly secured. Wind from hurricanes can easily destroy small structures.
Board Your Windows
Many homes in Florida are fitted with hurricane shutters, although some are not. In the event that yours are not plywood can also be used to board up windows to protect them from flying debris. Always be sure to stock up on these supplies during the off-season because plywood goes fast when hurricanes are approaching.
Reinforce Your Garage Door
Garage doors can cave in during a hurricane. This can allow water into your garage and leave you unable to get your car out in the event of an emergency. Also, if your garage has attic space above it, the garage door can blow upwards and rip a hole in your ceiling and wreak havoc in your home. You can install a vertical garage door brace to assist in holding it in place. You can also add horizontal wooden beams behind this to help brace it even further during the actual storm.
If your home is damaged in a hurricane, reach out to Sentry Public Adjusting. We can help you restore your home and get you the most compensation for your damages.