Written By: William Sergio
In Florida, hurricane preparation isn’t a maybe, it is a MUST! When Hurricane Irma landed in the United States, it cost us approximately $50 billion (adjusted for inflation). Shockingly, if a storm as big as Irma were to land in Miami, it could potentially cost about $300 billion.
Hurricanes aren’t a joke. If a category 5 lands in Miami, it will do catastrophic damage, but there are still things you can do to prepare yourself for this tragic and disastrous situation.
10 Ways to prepare your property for a hurricane
1. Protect places where wind enters.
There are many places where wind can enter your home. Basically, wind can enter wherever there is an opening or exposure. Depending on the direction and strength of the wind, wind entering your home can cause serious damage. Normally, the wind blows against your home, and the air is pushed into your windows on the area facing the wind. Now, a natural vacuum effect tends to pull air from windows on the downward side.
Please, make sure your windows are protected.
The best ways to protect your windows are shutters or hurricane-proof windows (impact windows).
2. Make sure you have a flood, homeowners, and wind insurance.
In Florida, homeowners insurance is a necessity. Interestingly, Florida law doesn’t require homeowners insurance, but many mortgage companies require it.
Remember, flood insurance is separate from homeowners insurance. Many people think that homeowners insurance covers floods, but it does not. Also, wind insurance is a separate deductible in your insurance policy. It is a good idea to include wind protection because a hurricane can cause serious wind damage and you want to make sure you are protected.
3. Make sure to have fuel for your generator, vehicle, and all gas-powered accessories.
What is the most fun part about an impending hurricane? Waiting hours for gas and then being turned away because the station ran out of gas. Well, that is why it is important to load up on gas ahead of time. Gas stations are the first to run short on supply. Make sure you aren’t last to the gas party and get your gas before the supply runs low.
Remember, gas only has a shelf life of 3 to 6 months, so you must also make sure you don’t keep gasoline for years and then try to use that gasoline.
4. Secure and bring in outdoor items and lawn furniture that could become projectiles.
When winds are over 100 mph, anything that is outside can become a projectile. A brick can destroy someone’s window and it could even kill someone. People have died from projectiles during hurricanes. That is why it is so important to secure all decorations, pool equipment, outside lawn furniture, or yard debris. By the way, if someone isn’t doing that, then it is important to call the city’s code enforcement. Someone should pay a fine for being reckless instead of potentially destroying someone’s property or taking their life.
5. Replace or Repair damaged or broken fences.
Repairing or replacing broken fences before a hurricane may seem counterintuitive because most people think, “Why should I fix a broken fence that will just get re-broken during a hurricane?” The problem is that collapsing panels, loose boards, and rotting panels/posts can become projectiles when the wind picks up. These parts of your fence will dislodge and then take the other parts of the fence with it. That is why you want to fix your fence beforehand, and then you might need to fix it again after a catastrophic hurricane. Sorry.
6. Use surge protectors and waterproof coverings to protect electronics/important items.
The job of a surge protector is to move electricity into the outlets that ground the wire. So, while the protector passes current to different devices in a power strip when the voltage rises above an acceptable level, then it won’t blow all of your appliances. Honestly, you should be using a surge protector year-round because lightning storms can cause blowouts to your appliances and a surge protector can mitigate the damage.
7. Check your roof for loose shingles, tiles, and/or debris
Loose shingles can act as projectiles and can cause serious damage. Not only can shingles be projectiles, but loose shingles can cause major water damage. A vulnerable roof can cause major water damage that can destroy your home or business inside and then cause mold. As a restoration and remediation company, we have seen our fair share of damage after hurricanes.
Protect your roof beforehand.
8. Make sure to use an emergency roof tarp if you have holes in your roof.
If you cannot afford to fix your roof or do not have enough time before a hurricane, then an emergency roof tarp is a great temporary solution. Shrinkwrap emergency roof tarps can withstand more damage than a traditional blue roof tarp and they last longer. Usually, they will hold up during minor weather occurrences, but not even regular roofs can withstand major natural disasters.
Note: BioResponse Restoration sells shrink wrap roof tarps that are effective for preventing serious water damage. In a catastrophic hurricane, a shrink wrap roof likely won’t hold up, but that goes for a regular roof as well. Our shrink wrap tarps can last for a year and are a good temporary solution.
Click here to learn more about our emergency roof tarps: CLICK HERE
9. Stock up on batteries and battery-powered light sources.
Candles can be dangerous because they can cause fires especially when unattended to. When using candles, please be careful.
Use battery-powered devices and make sure to stock up on batteries ahead of time.
For devices that require an electrical charge from an outlet, there are charging devices that use batteries.
Try to get these items ahead of time because when a hurricane approaches, all of these items become scarce.
10. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors need to be operational.
One of the biggest problems with power outages is when people use generators incorrectly. Some people who have never used a generator before put the generator inside their homes and this can kill you within minutes. Why? Carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, people try to use grills or camp stoves to cook their food and they also do this inside their homes during a hurricane.
Please, do not use stoves, grills, or generators inside your home. A carbon monoxide detector can help to alert someone that they are in danger. If there is carbon monoxide in your home, get help IMMEDIATELY!
Bonus Tip: Take pictures of everything before a hurricane.
Dealing with insurance companies can be a real pain. Usually, there is a back and forth before you get paid. One of the best ways to make sure your claims go through is to have proof of damage with before and after pictures.
Take pictures and videos of EVERYTHING before a hurricane and then take pictures of everything after a hurricane. Upload your pictures somewhere safe like a cloud. Always have proof of damage.
Hurricane Disaster Services
BioResponse Restoration is professional mold remediation, water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, and emergency roof tarping company. When disaster strikes, we are here for you. Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damages to your home or business. Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.
BioResponse Restoration will be here for you during the worst. Also, we can work with your insurance to help relieve some of the stress during this process. Call Us (855) 887 – 4272 or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.