With the devastation that comes from a hurricane, you’ll agree that to prepare yourself and home adequately will save you money and unnecessary stress. Regardless of your decision to face the storm in your home or relocate for temporary shelter, it’s imperative to prepare ahead of time. This will determine how you fare when it strikes and also how quickly you will bounce back.
Hurricane Watch versus Hurricane Warning
Before delving into the preparation piece, it’s very important to be familiar with the forecast terminology.
A “watch” implies that the occurrence can take place in 48hours. You may have no choice than to evacuate if you live in a coastal area.
A “warning” implies that the occurrence should be expected within 36 hours. This is more severe as hurricane force winds could be as fast as over 70mph.
These guidelines will contribute to a successful preparation for Hurricane.
Put together a hurricane response kit: This should include basic necessities such as water and non-perishable foods, flashlight with batteries, battery charger for your cell phones, medications and preferably a radio powered by a battery. You may want to store extra water in bottles, fill bathtubs and sinks so that you can have a little reservoir, at least.
- Trim trees and remove dead limbs. You don’t want to know the damage that falling trees and debris can do to your home. So, make sure to prune trees to make room for winds to flow through easily. Also prune limbs close to your home, watch out for splitting trees and also remove dead limbs.
- Strengthen external components of the house. As you can imagine, when hurricane strikes, the winds impact from the roof to the external walls and all the way down to the foundation. This damage can be minimized, pretty much by strengthening the exteriors. You may want to consider hiring a competent yet affordable contractor who will be able to do these for you:
- Install hurricane straps to reinforce roof-to-wall and wall-to-foundation connections.
- Install reinforcing bolt kits at the top and bottom of doors.
- Reinforce garage doors.
- Installing storm shutters over windows.
- Repairing damaged gutters and downspouts to make sure water can drain away from your foundation. Generally, clean gutters can reduce water damage to its barest minimum.
- Properly brace roof trusses.
- Make sure to review your house insurance policy: Typically, this is a convenient point to contact a public adjuster to help you understand what your policy entails and what it does not. This will prepare you to know what expenses you might incur in the case of unforeseen circumstances.
Our final thoughts would be that, in addition to the above, make sure to keep sensitive documents (social security cards, passports, home deeds, car titles etc.) in a waterproof place. In fact, we advise that you also back these documents up on a cloud-based service like Google drive.