Tips on Preparing Your Home for a Hurricane
Do you know how to prepare your home in the event of a hurricane? If you own a home anywhere in Florida, securing your home when a hurricane is barreling towards you should be second hand. Having preparations in place well before a warning goes into effect is key. If you are scrambling around trying to get all of your supplies together and battling increasing winds while installing them, you are setting yourself up for disaster. If you are unsure of what to do, then we have some great tips to ensure that your home is protected to the best of your ability.
- Windows are a priority. And that masking tape that you were planning on using is not going to stop your grill from being flung through the window (which you should have stashed away anyway). Hurricane speed winds can make anything a projectile, smashing through uncovered windows and sliding glass doors. It is imperative that you either have impact glass, hurricane shutters or plywood. We recommend using ¾” plywood with screw holes drilled around the edge at about 18” apart. If you choose the plywood option, you will need to install these well ahead of the storm. Do not wait until the last minute because it can take quite a bit of time.
- Your roof is another part of your home that should be a priority. Hurricane winds can get under the roof, lifting it up and creating a lot of damage. You will need to secure the roof to the walls using hurricane straps, or clips. If you choose to install these, check with your insurance provider since you may qualify for a discount due to the extra protection to your home.
- Your garage is a weak point on the home since it is the largest opening. Check your garage door for both its wind rating and debris impact resistance rating (sticker on the inside). If you have an older garage door, you may want to consider upgrading it to a stronger, more wind resistant door. In the meantime, you can brace your garage door with vertical wood supports. Horizontal supports tend not to be very effective due to the wide span of the garage. Also, double check all of the brackets, rollers and tracks for any loose or rusted/corroded parts. Replace as needed.
- Do not forget to protect your air conditioning unit. If it is a window mounted air conditioner with discharge ducts through the window, remove the ducts and/or the unit and close off that opening. Any openings make the house more vulnerable to wind damage. If your a/c is a separate unit outside, use plywood and a tarp to protect it from flying debris.
- Clear your gutters of leaves and debris so that heavy rains can flow off of your home properly. Secure any loose areas of the gutters. Having a strong gutter and downspout system on your home will help reduce water damage during long periods of heavy rain during a hurricane.
- Take a look around your yard for anything that is loose and should be secured inside of your home. Cut down any weak tree branches that may become loose and cause damage to your home. Bring outdoor furniture, bird feeders, kids toys, and decorations inside of your home. Cover and fasten down your grill to the best of your abilities.
- Consider purchasing a generator since power outages can last for weeks following a hurricane. This will ensure that you have light, can power medical equipment, can store cold food, and can have air conditioning. A portable emergency generator is capable of powering multiple rooms in your home, but the best solution is a home standby generator. This type of generator automatically turns on and can last for a long time.
We hope these tips have helped you in putting together a hurricane preparedness list for you home. The most important part is to keep you and your family safe. If you are able to take these simple steps prior to a hurricane watch or warning, you will know that you are doing everything you can to protect your family home.
For more tips and hurricane supplies for your home, please stop by Shell Lumber. We are located at 2733 S.W. 27th Avenue Miami, Florida 33133, visit us online at www.shelllumber.com or give us a call locally at 305-856-6401 or Toll Free 800-621-6391.