Storm surge, heavy rains, and intense winds. All of these come hand in hand with a hurricane, and when your home is exposed to them, it could mean serious trouble. Storm surge can flood homes tremendously, and in some cases, entirely. Heavy rains can cause roof and foundation failures. Strong winds can rip the roof clean of a home. To withstand a hurricane, a home must be thoroughly prepared for the worst possible outcome. Here are some tips on how to prepare your home for a hurricane:
Glass Windows and Doors
One of the most dangerous aspects of hurricanes is the wind, and it’s potential to fling objects through glass windows and doors. In most cases, with an object being picked up at over 100 mph, it’ll break any glass window or door it hits. To keep yourself safe during the brunt of the storm, avoid any rooms with glass openings to the outside world. If this means you and your family must be huddled in the bathroom, then do it. Being uncomfortable during the time the storm is passing is better than putting lives in danger. To prevent objects from going through your window, invest in shutters. Shutters are the easiest way to protect glass openings in the home. When the storm rolls around, just close and lock the shutters for instant protection of your glass windows and doors. If you’d rather not invest in shutters, use wood planks to board up glass openings to prevent any major damages, whether on a property, or on a person.
Maintain Outdoor Areas
Well before the storm strikes, store all patio furniture, outdoor toys, plants, and other outdoor items inside to prevent them from damaging the property during the intense winds. Larger items that can’t be brought inside should be anchored down with rope, chains, etc. Turn off and disconnect propane tanks, electrical systems, and gas connections that go into your home. If possible, bring in gas or charcoal grills. Do not store propane tanks in the home or garage. Chain the propane tank in the upright position to a secure object that isn’t near the home.
Swimming Pool Care
In South Florida, a majority of properties have a swimming pool. Since South Florida is so prone to being hit by hurricanes, knowing what to do to keep your pool safe before a storm is important. Do not drain your swimming pool. A common misconception among home owners is that draining a pool will stop it from overflowing and flooding their property, which is incorrect. Most pools in 2017 feature overflows that drain excess water. Do not lower the water level more than 1 or 2 feet. If you lower it more, strong hydro-static pressure can potentially make the pool “float” or “pop” up out of the ground, according to the Broward County Hurricane Preparedness Guide.
Water in the pool serves as a makeshift shield, protecting the inside of the pool from any flying debris. Unfortunately, the area of your pool that will be the most damaged during a hurricane is the pumps and it’s motors. To attempt and prevent these damage, shut off the circuit breaker that goes to the pool equipment. Then, entirely remove the motor, and relocate it to a place that is dry, and high enough to avoid water from rain or flooding. An alternative to removing the motor is to tightly wrap it with plastic sheeting, and tightly tie that with strapping tape or rope. While doing other pool maintenance, collect all small lids and other pool parts around the deck of the pool.
Any large dead branches should be removed from trees. This is especially true if these branches pose a threat to any part of the house. Any branches that hang over the house and near the roof should also be removed. The high winds that hurricanes bring with them can cause trees to bend and branches to flail intensely. The flailing branches can damage the roof considerably. Prune, or remove all of the leaves, from trees that seem to be leaning. This will balance out the canopy, and in turn, the tree, to avoid the tree from uprooting out of the ground that is soft from the heavy rainfall associated with hurricanes. Consider performing maintenance on trees early on, as they can cause extensive damage to your home.
Line your home with sandbags to protect the home against minor flooding. In some cities, the local government will supply residents with bags, as well as sand and shovels when a hurricane warning is administered. Emergency experts recommend sandbags as a last-minute flood protection effort, but also suggest using potting soil or an expandable foam as more effective flood protection.
To make sure that the home is covered before the storm, check insurance policies, and see how they relate to the damages cause by hurricane. For instance, many home insurance policies do not cover floods. National flood insurance is provided through the National Flood Insurance Program, which is managed by FEMA. Good home insurance will cover both the structure of your home, as well as the contents of your home.
Is Your Home Ready?
Restoration USA is a disaster restoration company located in Pompano Beach. With over 25 years of combined experience and expertise in Florida, Restoration USA knows hurricanes. Want to make sure your home is prepared for a storm? Want to know who to call after the storm? Restoration USA is here for you. We perform leak detection and mold removal, as well as water extraction and water damage repair. Want to see if your home is ready for a storm? Call (866) 745-6428 or visit online at http://www.restorationusa.com and ask for a free hurricane readiness home evaluation.