In Southwest Florida, you may enjoy vacationing in a mobile home or spending time on your boat, but when there's a hurricane coming, there is one thing you need to do: evacuate! Neither a boat nor a mobile home is made to withstand high winds.
Making Your Mobile Home More Hurricane Resistant
While you should plan to leave your mobile home well before a hurricane warning is issued in your area, you should also prepare to prevent significant damage to your home before a storm even threatens. You should verify that the concrete block piers that hold up your home are straight and unbroken and that the longitudinal metal ground acres and tie down straps that keep the home in place show no signs of rust and corrosion.
In view of past hurricanes, there is more that you can do, and the State of Florida will help you do it. The Mobile Home Tie Down Program, administered through local governments, has been set up to help make manufactured homes more wind resistant. A new tie die system uses a lateral foundation system with a longitudinal stabilizer device, along with ground stabilizer plates, if possible. Adding the new hardware can cost nearly $2,000, but the program that is available to homeowners will help you with the finances, make you eligible for insurance discount for adding mitigation features to your home, and educate you about other ways to retrofit your home to make it more hurricane resistant.
Protecting Your Boat In A Hurricane
If you are living on a yacht or houseboat or even have a recreational boat you use in Florida, you need an action plan for getting yourself and your craft to safety. When a storm is coming, you have several options:
- Get the boat out of the water. If you have a small boat, ideally you should remove it from the water to keep it away from the storm surge and wave action. If you have no other option, hold the boat and trailer down with multiple tie downs.
- Keep the boat in the water. If you have a large vessel, you might make the choice to stay put, or to move it to a "hurricane hole" where you can safely anchor a boat. In either case, when your boat is where it's going to stay throughout the storm, remove the sails or fasten them securely, close all ports, and secure the wheel or tiller with stiff lines. To prepare for the possibility that the boat might come loose and strike another vessel, remove anything that protrudes and set the fenders on the outside of the boat.
If you choose to stay on the boat, make sure that you are prepared by stocking quarters with fuel, water, ice, clothes, a portable radio, flashlight, prescription medications. etc. Make sure you know the steps you need to take to minimize damage on your boat during the storm. If you are in a crowded marina and know that your boat would be safer in a hurricane hole, check out your destination long before the storm hits.
Whether you have a mobile home or a boat, your goal is to shield it from property damage during a storm, while keeping yourself safe. Preparing for a hurricane means developing a plan well in advance and determining a personal safe harbor to ride out the storm.
If you do suffer property damage after a storm, Storm Solutions offers window repair throughout Southwest Florida. If you live in Naples/Marco Island, Fort Myers/Cape Coral, or Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda, check our website for information or just give us a call at (239) 288-4430.