With hurricane season in full swing, it's important to understand how to prepare your home in Florida. Significant storms can strike Southwest Florida at any time during the season, and being ready is key to protecting your home. Hurricanes are like no other storms on earth. They bring torrential rain, flooding, storm surges, and devastating winds that damage homes, destroy treasured property, and disrupt family life.
But you can be ready. It's never too early to understand how to prepare for a hurricane, and there are several steps you can take to protect your home. Here are three hurricane preparedness tips for you to consider, so you can start preparing today.
Protect Your Windows and Doors
If your house is in danger of being hit by a hurricane, protecting your windows and sliding glass doors is one of the best things you can do. Broken windows can let in rain and wind, which can cause extensive damage to your home, and increase the pressure under your roof, which could mean losing your entire roof.
Impact windows and storm shutters will provide the best protection for your home. There's a debate with impact windows vs. storm shutters, but both are good options. But if you wait until the last minute, or you haven't chosen hurricane protection yet, using heavy plywood to board up your windows can help, too. Don't bother taping your windows, though. Tape won't keep trees from breaking your windows when a 100-mph gust of wind flings one at your house.
Make sure you secure windows and doors on all sides of your home, as well, because a hurricane can hit your house from any direction.
An important rule for any hurricane or tropical storm is: do not be in a room with windows that can be broken. If you don't have a windowless room in your house, stay in a room where you can hide behind an overturned table or heavy sofa, in case glass breaks and starts flying around your home. Consider the benefits of hurricane windows vs. shutters, so you can have a safe and protective option installed before the next storm strikes.
Trim Trees on Your Property
The best time to have your trees properly trimmed is before hurricane season even begins. Regular trimming done by a professional over the course of a tree's life can help create a sturdy framework. Cut off weak branches, as well as those that are positioned over structures, such as houses and sheds. Trees are a major threat during hurricanes since entire trees or broken limbs can land on a house or break a window.
Even the best-trimmed trees can still cause serious damage. The goal of tree trimming is harm reduction, which is part of how to prepare for a hurricane in Florida. But you should also be considering harm mitigation, which is much more likely when you have the right kinds of windows or shutters.
Check Your Insurance Policies
In order to safeguard your home, you'll want to make sure you have homeowners insurance and flood insurance. Your homeowners' policy should have a rider for hurricane coverage or hurricane buydown insurance. Homeowners insurance with that attached to it typically covers wind damage and other hurricane-related damages, but it doesn't cover floods.
In areas that are prone to flooding, such as Southwest Florida, it's important to have an additional flood policy to protect your home in the event of a flood. Even a few inches of water can cause serious harm to your home. To make sure you get the most out of your policy, take an inventory and document all your belongings and property, before a hurricane strikes.
Get Your Home Ready Today
In the event of a storm, the best thing you can do is make sure your home, family, and pets are safe. While there are a few last-minute things you can do, it's best to prepare in advance by installing impact windows or hurricane shutters.
Storm Solutions can help you prepare your home before a hurricane and can also assist you with any necessary repairs to your windows or doors after the storm is over. Serving Naples/Marco Island, Fort Myers/Cape Coral, and Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda, we are Southwest Florida's top contractor. For more information, visit our website, or call us today at 239.288.2807. Our free impact window pricing kit can help you get started on the options that are right for your needs.