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. In short, mobile homes and hurricanes don't mix!
Evacuating from your home is the ideal way to ensure your safety from a hurricane. However, you can't always take your home or boat with you.
Before you evacuate there are some things you can do to protect your property from the storm. Mobile home hurricane shutters are a good start, and there are some boat-based options, too.
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. To do that, start by verifying that the concrete block piers that hold up your home are straight and unbroken. You should also consider whether the longitudinal metal ground anchors and tie-down straps that keep the home in place show any signs of rust or 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-down 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 this program is available to help you with the finances, make you eligible for an 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.
In addition to making sure your tie-downs and other anchor points are in good condition, you will want to protect the windows as much as possible. Flying debris from high winds during a hurricane can seriously damage existing homes. With mobile home hurricane shutters, you can secure your property quickly, so you can evacuate and be safe. When preparing your mobile home for a hurricane, mobile home window shutters are an important consideration.
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 you are prepared. Stock your quarters with fuel, water, ice, clothes, a portable radio, a flashlight, prescription medications, and other necessities. Make sure you know the steps you need to take to minimize damage to your boat during the storm. If you are in a crowded marina and know 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.
To make sure you are as prepared as possible before the next storm strikes, check out our hurricane guide eBook. 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) 431-3190. We're here to help!