Preparing for Hurricane Season
Kevin Hill REALTOR®, Luxury & Waterfront Specialist is here to guide you with the very important decision of purchasing property.
Owning property in Florida comes with so many wonderful benefits, but also means homeowners need to be prepared for hurricane season. Hurricanes come thundering in with the possibility of bringing with them incredibly high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, rip currents, flooding and even tornadoes. Each of these elements prove to be a threat to the safety of the residents of the communities they touch, but also the homes (and everything else) rooted on the land.
How to Prepare for a Hurricane
If you’re new to living in an area affected by hurricanes, you might not know the many precautions you should take in order to protect the safety of you, your loved ones and your home. Other than being prepared to evacuate, here are a few tips for preparing a home for a hurricane you can put into action to weather any storm that comes your way.
Bring outdoor items inside and anchor down anything that can’t be placed indoors. Patio furniture, mobile fire pits and pool supplies are a few examples of things to secure inside. Ensure sheds or other large outdoor structures are securely anchored to the ground.
It’s also a smart idea to prune any loose tree branches, or ones that reach near power lines, to reduce the likelihood of damage being caused by wind-thrown branches. Essentially, anything you have outside your house the wind could turn into a weapon should be brought inside! Even consider using soft mulch materials in your home’s landscaping that won’t break windows or cause other damage. Some choose to cover their air conditioning units to protect them from flying debris or other potential hazards.
Strongly consider installing storm shutters to protect your windows. Garage doors and any other entryway doors to your home should also be additionally bolstered to handle the stress of high winds. Roof hooks can also be purchased because contrary to what you might think, your roof is not too heavy to blow away when it comes up against a hurricane.
Strong shutters and taking additional precautions to reinforce doors could make an enormous difference in your home’s ability to withstand a hurricane and the safety of your family. Stocking up on plywood may prove to be beneficial prior to a hurricane threat too!
Pack a basic storm kit. What’s in a storm kit? It’s a good idea to have at least a three-day water supply and two days worth of food. Additionally, include blankets for your family, garbage bags, batteries, flashlights, and whistles (enough for each member of the family).
A general first aid kit should also be included, as well as any essential medications (any medications for pets too!) and a waterproof bag with your insurance policies, health insurance cards and IDs. Kits may also include personal hygiene items, cash and a battery operated radio. It’s not a bad idea to keep extra flashlights and batteries in high and dry locations throughout your home too.
Know where the water, electric and gas shut offs are in your home. Knowing where each of these shut offs are (and how to shut them off) should be one of the first things located when you buy your home. It’s recommended that gas not be shut off until local officials instruct home owners to do so.
Cutting off your electrical power is especially important in the event of any flooding within the home – before treading through any flood water in your house be certain your electricity is turned off. In the case of a power outage, unplug electronics in case of a power surge to protect your electronics from getting ruined once the power returns to normal.
Sign up for community alerts. Find out if your city has a text, email or phone call alert system so you can stay informed in the event of an approaching hurricane. Cities will often post updates on Facebook pages or on Twitter in hurricane situations too.
In some cases, you may fall under a mandatory evacuation order. If this happens you should grab your essential items and leave immediately. Having a plan and preparing for hurricane season can help ensure you and your home weather even the worst of storms. Being prepared and understanding how to get a home ready for a hurricane may bring you the peace of mind you need to go out and enjoy the perks of living in a hurricane zone… without the fear that can come from hurricane season.