Steps to Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane
All Florida homes are prone to hurricanes and tropical storms, and Florida residents know how important it is to prepare for these storms. Keeping up with news coverage and warnings issued during storm formation is critical to emergency planning. Still, there are other steps to hurricane preparedness than simply staying informed by watching the news. Here are several ways to prepare your home for a hurricane or a tropical storm.
Outside your Home
Pick up your belongings outside the home, like lawn furniture, garbage cans, potted plants and other items, to prevent them from becoming projectiles. Trim any trees or shrubs to remove loose and dead limbs so they won’t cause damage from the winds. Make sure any storm drains around your property are clean and are not blocked – this helps prevent water from building up and causing flooding on your property.
Your Home’s Exterior
Checking downspouts and gutters to ensure they are clean of debris is extremely helpful for directing water away from your home. During a hurricane, your doors and windows are two of the most vulnerable parts of your home.
Checking all of your window and door seals is critical for proper preparation. Inspect each window and door and see if sealing before the hurricane is necessary. Boarding up doors and windows or installing storm shutters also helps to protect your home during the storm.
Inside your Home
There are safety precautions you can take inside your home as well. Adjust your refrigerator’s temperature to the coldest setting, so if you lose power, there’s a greater chance your food will not spoil. You can also freeze bottled water to ensure you still have cold drinking water if power is lost. Unplug all electrical devices not being used to prevent electrical surges if power is lost and avoid damage to your electronics.
Photograph the Interior and Exterior of your Home
Always take photos or videos of your property before a hurricane to correctly record the condition of the property. Use your phone to take the pictures and back up the images into the cloud.
Take pictures of the inside of your closets to document all your clothing and personal items. Photograph the contents of your drawers and cabinets to assist in establishing all of your personal property. Taking pictures of your electronics and furniture will also assist in documenting the nature and type of these items should damages occur.
Plan for Evacuation
If there’s the slightest possibility you will have to evacuate, ensure you’re ready to move quickly. You should ensure your car’s gas tank is full, you’ve prepared supplies and you’ve finalized your evacuation plan. Have a plan of where you are driving and an evacuation checklist, so you do not forget anything. Make sure you turn off the utilities to your home to avoid further damage while you are away seeking shelter.
Find a “Safe Zone” in your Home
Planning your safe zone is vital if you’re riding out the storm at home. Find a location in your home that’s clear of windows, on the ground floor, where you can hunker down if things get rough. Ensure you store your hurricane supplies and preparation kit in the safe zone.
Storm Preparation Matters
When it comes to you and your home surviving a hurricane or tropical storm, there is no way to be too prepared. Since we traditionally know precisely when a storm will make landfall, there’s no reason to be caught unprepared or not planning. Knowing how to prepare your home for a hurricane or tropical storm is vital to getting through the storm.