Is your home ready for hurricane season? Sometimes people think that because they have not been through one in a while or they have heard the season is expected to be mild that they do not have to worry about it. Remember that it only takes one storm to destroy a home (or many homes). That does not mean you should be freaked out about hurricane season. You should just be prepared. Here are some tips for preparing your home for the season that do not require a major construction project to handle.
Hurricane Preparedness Tips
- Look at your insurance coverage. Does it include wind damage? What about damage from floods? The latter is super important because it takes only a small amount of water to do an amazing amount of damage. The problem is that, unless you have made it a point to include flood damage in your plan, it probably is not covered. You should not wait until it is too late to find out. If you have any questions at all about this, call your carrier and get clarification.
- Fortify your home. You can get straps to fasten your rod to the frame of your house. Your state government may have information on what you need to do to help make sure the hurricane does not blow off your roof. These can protect your home without requiring a large construction project to complete.
- Are your windows ready? If your windows are impact resistant, they should be able to handle a category 5 hurricane. If you have high impact windows, they should be able to take winds up to 200 miles per hour. If it has been a while since you had your windows installed, it might be worth it to have them redone. This is a big construction project but most new windows are energy efficient windows which can save a lot of money in energy costs (the typical home will lose 30% of its heat and air conditioning through drafty windows). You can also get coverings to reinforce whatever windows you have to protect them during a bad storm.
- Tie down whatever you can. That includes outdoor furniture and your landscaping. Maintain your hedges and bushes so they can better resist the wind. Trim any trees that need it. A lot of damage is done by weakened tree limbs that break off during a storm.
- Revisit your power options. Buy a generator if you live in a place that sees a lot of storms. This can be valuable for smaller storms as well as big hurricanes. You should also make sure you have batteries that work and all your flashlights and the like have new ones. It is easy to forget about your flashlights when you have not used them for a while.
- Check your landlines. Most homes have at least one landline phone connection. If your home is wired for landline phone service, you should have a dial tone on that line. It is not there to make normal phone calls but to reach 911 so that when there is an emergency you can reach the police or fire department. Check to make sure you have a phone that does not rely on a power supply to function.
- Take stock of your possessions. Take pictures of everything you have so you can file an accurate insurance claim should you suffer damage from a storm. Make a list of all of your valuable possessions.
- Have a stock on nonperishable foods and water. If the power is out for a few days, you will want to have some food and water on hand. Now, if you do not like the idea of stockpiling bottled water, you do not have to. Hurricanes may be dangerous but they usually give you some advanced warning. Save some bottles from soda or juice and fill them with tap water before the storm hits. Most of the country has very good quality water so this is as good as expensive bottled water.
Hurricanes are emergencies for which you can prepare. It does not take a major construction project to ready yourself. Follow these steps and you will make the experience less stressful and save you time and money.