Preparing For a Hurricane
What you need to know to get your home ready.
Hurricanes and tornadoes can change strength and direction on a whim. When Hurricane Irma hit Florida, it went off the original predicted path, and caused severe damage to homes all over Florida – the outer bands of the storm were so powerful it affected previously unexpected areas. Your home is your most important investment, and you want to protect it from natural disasters. With rapidly changing environmental factors and unpredictable paths, time is of the essence when preparing for a hurricane.
Storm-proofing your home early and having supplies on hand is absolutely necessary if you want to stay safe. If you decide to play a waiting game, you will not be prepared. Resources quickly diminish and your window of opportunity closes – the best time to prepare for a hurricane is as soon as possible.
Major storms can strike at any time and forecasting natural disasters can be tricky. Staying calm and organized is crucial for successfully preparing for a hurricane. Creating a plan and preparing your home for a storm can be quite extensive, but taking action early can prevent the need for repairs later. A knowledgeable and experienced roofing company is happy to help guide you through protecting your home and your family against storm threats. You can rely on a professional roofing company to make the best recommendations for your home in case disaster strikes.
Below is a fundamental list of how to prepare for a hurricane from our roofing experts. Keep this checklist on hand to protect your home from natural disasters.
1. Clean Out Your Gutters.
If leaves, branches and other debris are obstructing the rain flow, the water can back up and damage your roof. Other potential issues from clogged gutters include roof rot, mold, roof leaks and sagging gutters.
2. Take Pictures.
In case of damage, you will need pre-storm pictures and videos surveying your home and possessions to make valid claims for insurance purposes.
3. Review Insurance Policy.
The time to review your insurance policy is before a natural disaster strikes. You want to be as informed as possible and avoid surprises. Flood insurance is separate, and if you live in a flood zone or a Hurricane-prone area, you should definitely consider investing in it.
4. Trim Nearby Trees.
Extreme wind and rain can cause excessive damage to trees, which in turn can cause damage to your house. Trees can be uprooted or struck by lightning, which can cause damage to your roof or windows. Carefully examine the areas surrounding your home to assess for potential tree hazards.
5. Correct Weak Spots.
Inspect your roof to ensure shingles are intact, and use adhesive to correct tears. We recommend using waterproof tape and sealant to ensure water does not make it inside your home. You want to make sure your roof is not vulnerable to severe rain and wind so you can avoid having to make pricey roof repairs later.
6. Reinforce Your Roof.
Severe winds can cause pressure around your roof. Once the roof lifts off, the walls can quickly lose stability, and the entire house can be flattened. Galvanized steel hurricane clips are a great solution to help reinforce the connection between the top plate and rafters. In the state of Florida, contractors are required to incorporate metal straps to attach the roof to the walls.
7. Strengthen Your Garage Door.
When it comes to your home, garage doors are the most susceptible to storm damage. Once the garage door blows off, the rest of the house is vulnerable to more severe damage. The best way to protect your garage door is to install horizontal braces and brackets.
8. Hide Patio Furniture.
One day a chair, the next day a missile. It’s best to bring your outdoor furniture inside in preparation of extreme winds.
9. Safeguard Windows and Doors.
Cover windows with storm shutters or plywood. Despite rumors, keeping your windows slightly open during a storm does NOT help equalize pressure – it actually introduces a tiny portal for debris to flow, and increases the pressure inside the home. Protecting doors and windows is critical during a hurricane, as flying debris can act like bullets in high force wind.
10. Seal It.
Make sure windows and doors have secure seals to prevent high-pressure rains from sneaking into your home. Seal exterior holes from electrical wires with caulk to prevent possible leaks.
11. Make a Kit.
It’s one of those worst case scenario preparations, but it’s best to prepare for the worst and make a hurricane kit. This way, you’ll be stocked with batteries, non-perishable food, flashlights, and other important items to have on hand.
12. Purchase a Portable Generator.
In case of a power outage, having a generator on hand is highly beneficial from helping people with certain medical needs to keeping food fresh. Always run your generator outside of your home, and never power it via a wall outlet.
13. Have a Plan.
Make a plan for before, during and after the storm. Have extra supplies on hand for preparations and repairs, so you don’t have to wait in line or experience material shortages when you desperately need materials.
14. Store Emergency Numbers.
Keep the number of a trusted roofing company in your phone to have on hand for emergency repairs. Another important number to store is your homeowner’s insurance customer service line and your insurance agent’s direct line.