Could this year be the year another major storm hits Southwest Florida? We certainly hope not, but we know it is always a possibility. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November, with the peak season from mid-August to late October.
Hurricanes can wreak havoc when homeowners are caught unprotected. Don’t wait until the dangerous weather is here to protect yourself and your family: there are many steps you can take to prepare both inside and outside your home:
Hurricane Prep Tips for Inside Your Home
Even if you plan on evacuating, sometimes hurricanes can increase in strength or change path quickly, leaving you to shelter in place with very little warning. In the event you get stuck in your home, having these items prepared is a wise practice:
Hurricane Prep Kit
To keep you and your family safe and comfortable, have a stocked emergency kit ready to go before the hurricane season starts.
Stock your hurricane prep kit with items like:
- Non-perishable Food
- Baby Formula
- Can Opener
Because springtime in Southwest Florida often means it’s time to plan a restock, check your kit early to ensure the items you need to replenish are available on store shelves.
Insurance coverage for hurricane damage can vary; to protect your home and possessions, take the time to reread your homeowner insurance information to see exactly what is–and is not–covered. You may find you need to add extra coverage, like flood insurance, if you feel there is a gap. You may also have a separate hurricane damage deductible. After a hurricane causes property damage is not the time to discover you aren’t completely covered.
Create Documentation for Insurance Claims
While you’re checking your insurance coverage is a good time to create your own documentation for potential future claims. Photograph and write memos for costly possessions in the event of an insurance claim. You’ll want to include any expensive items like computers, televisions, stereo systems, and artwork.
Move any electric cords off the ground in case of flooding, even if you don’t live in a flood zone. If you are ordered to shelter in place, unplug and store any cords that are not necessary during the hurricane.
Store important documents somewhere high and away from floodwaters. This may include birth certificates, insurance policies, warranty information, stocks, and bonds. You can also place them in a waterproof lockbox that can be easily packed in the car if evacuation becomes necessary. It’s also a good idea to make digital copies if possible and store them on the cloud or an external hard drive.
Hurricane Protection Tips for Outside of Your Home
When the hurricane hits, you can have peace of mind if the outside of your home is already protected.
Hurricane Window Protection
Protect all of your home’s windows and glass doors. Give yourself enough time to make an educated decision on what’s best for your home; don’t wait until the storm is approaching.
Hurricane protection options for windows include:
- Impact windows are impact-tested and Miami-Dade County compliant to withstand hurricane-force winds.
- Hurricane shutters come in a variety of styles and options to match your needs.
- Hurricane screens offer large-scale protection for the more open areas of your home.
Hurricane Door Protection
All entry points to your home could be weak against the effects of a hurricane and its possible 150mph winds. To prevent your doors from being blown in and potentially damaging your home, consider impact-tested hurricane doors that are compliant with Florida building codes and have earned distinctions such as the Miami-Dade Notice of Acceptance.
General Outdoor Hurricane Preparedness
Although hurricane protection for your windows and doors is important, there are a few more steps you can take to prevent damage to your home and property during a hurricane.
Consider these hurricane damage prevention steps:
Secure your boat. You have several options, including simply pulling it inside a well-secured garage or taking it to a professional facility for the short duration of the storm.
Buy a generator. To ensure the stores have stock, buy a generator before the storm. Use it for powering appliances if the electricity goes out but be sure to keep the generator outside while it’s running. Permanent whole-home generators are also an option but require advanced planning.
Prune loose tree branches and foliage. Trim trees and shrubs around your home, so they are more wind resistant and less likely to become flying hazards. This is helpful for both your home and your neighbors around you.
Caulk around doors and windows. Wind-driven rain can cause moisture damage in your home, even when the structure remains intact. This often-overlooked step can save you thousands in mold damage later.
Hurricane Protection Before the Florida Hurricane Season
The only way to be ready for a hurricane is to truly prepare, every year. While you may get a few days’ notice before a major storm hits, you won’t want to be without the proper hurricane protection when hurricane warnings begin.
Hurricane preparedness is the key to hurricane safety. Now is the time to get a free consultation and choose the best type of hurricane protection for you. For more information on your hurricane prep options, download our free eBook, The 12 Things you Need to Know about Impact Windows.