Anyone who lives in an area that has the potential for hurricanes fully understands the need to be prepared.
With the official Hurricane season starting on June 1st and ending on November 30th, it’s important to make sure you are ready for anything in 2018.
While the path of the hurricane can be somewhat predicted, they do have a reputation of changing at the last minute.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2018 brings the potential for 9 to 13 hurricanes that could affect you and your loved ones. It’s important to plan ahead and make certain preparations before it’s too late.
As property managers in Orlando we personally know how important it is to not be caught unprepared for hurricane season. Luckily, there are plenty of ways that you can take preventative measures to protect your property from hurricane and storm damage. Below are some great tips on how to prepare for a storm that is headed your way this hurricane season.
1. Review Your Insurance Policy
While homeowners should have their insurance policies reviewed on an annual basis, it is especially important to look this over before hurricane season starts. You’ll want to make sure that your homeowner’s policy limit is enough to rebuild your house if you need to. Keep in mind that the real estate value of your home is not the same as the rebuild costs. Make sure you fully understand the cost difference and confirm that your insurance will cover any rebuilding costs.
2. Prepare Your Roof
One of the most impacted parts of your home during a hurricane will be the roof. If you live in an older home, your roof may not be up to current roofing codes, and therefore will be a lot more at-risk for wind damage and water leaks.
Before the season starts, be sure to inspect your roof, or hire someone to do it for you. One of the main things that you’ll want to look for are curled or missing shingles or tiles. It is also a good idea to go up to your attic and look at the roof from the inside.
This can give you a better perspective on something that you can’t see from outside. You may also want to invest in some metal “hurricane clips” that a roofing contractor can install for you. These clips connect your roof to the walls of your home in order to stabilize it more.
3. Secure Windows and Doors
If you live in an area that has the potential to be affected by a hurricane, you may want to invest in some hurricane shutters. These shutters cover doors and windows and are a great way to protect your home from a violent storm. Because they are removable, you won’t have to worry about leaving the shutters up all year round which could alter the look of your home. These steel or metal shutters are corrugated, meaning that each panel overlaps the next which provides maximum strength.
If you don’t want to go the shutter route, making sure that your windows and doors are properly sealed can make all the difference. Since there is a huge potential for flooding in a hurricane, you’ll want to make sure that there are no gaps or holes which will allow the water to seep in easier.
4. Remove Items from the Lawn and Yards
Most of the year it is perfectly fine to have patio furniture, lawn chairs, grills, and decor our in your yard. However, during hurricane season, all of those things can become weapons. These items can severely damage your home, as well as you and your family. Whenever a storm is coming, be sure to take all items off of your lawn and store them in a safe place. With winds that can reach well over 100 miles per hour, just something as simple as a garden decoration can become an extremely destructive weapon.
5. Remove Broken and Damaged Trees
Damaged or dead trees can also become huge issues for homeowners during hurricane season. Hurricanes are known to take down trees and seriously damage ones left standing. These trees can easily fall on your house, across your fence, or destroy your roof. By removing the dangerous trees before the storm arrives, you can avoid potential danger, and prevent serious damage to your home.
By taking the time before the storm hits, you can avoid a ton of potential damage. In addition to the tips above, make sure to keep an eye out for things in your home that could cause bigger problems during hurricane seasons.
While some things may seem trivial in January and February, you will wish you had them fixed and taken care of before it gets too late. Hurricanes are something that we, unfortunately, need to be prepared for at any time during the season. By following the tips above, you can hopefully protect your home and everything in it.
CNN. “NOAA Forecasts Below-Normal Atlantic Hurricane Season Thanks to El Niño” Retrieved from: https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/09/us/noaa-hurricane-season-forecast-wxc/index.html. September 13, 2018.
Insurance Information Institute. “Hurricane Season Insurance Guide” Retrieved from: https://www.iii.org/article/hurricane-season-insurance-guide. September 13, 2018.
House Logic. “What to Do Before a Hurricane Hits” Retrieved from: https://www.houselogic.com/finances-taxes/home-insurance/hurricanes-protect-your-roof/. September 13, 2018.
Sun Sentinel. “Hurricane Shutter Guide: Compare Types” Retrieved from: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/weather/hurricane/sfl-hc-shutterguide-htmlstory.html. September 13, 2018.