Preparing For Hurricane Season
As a homeowner, a hurricane — or any strong storm — can prove to be your biggest nightmare. Storm damages can easily cost thousands of dollars to fix. Of course, there are precautions and safety measures you can take now to protect your property from storms, but where do you begin? It’s all so overwhelming!
No worries; floridacentral can help you prepare! We’ll provide suggestions, so you can keep you, your loved ones, your home and your property safe when the wild storms blow in!
1. Check your insurance coverage
Review your homeowner’s insurance policy. Verify that damage from flooding and strong winds is adequately covered. If your policy seems to be insufficient, now is a good time to consider upgrading to a plan that will provide more extensive coverage.
2. Protect your property against flooding
Perhaps the most devastating damage caused by hurricanes is the extensive flooding from high storm surges. Spend an afternoon cleaning out your gutters and downspouts, to ensure they are in optimal working order. During the next rainfall, do a quick scout of your external drains and pipes, checking that they’re working effectively and that there are no areas where water gathers. If you spot a problem, tackle the job as quickly as you can after the rain. An easy fix-up today can save you thousands of dollars in water damage tomorrow.
3. Inspect your property’s structure
Before storm season hits, give your property an extensive once-over. Ensure there are no structural issues that may be worsened by the strong winds and waters of a hurricane. Shaky roofs, loose shingles and weakened external walls can all give storm winds entry to your home, where they can do substantial damage.
Check your windows too, sealing up leaks and making sure the latches are secure. If your area is usually hit by strong storms, you may want to consider boarding up your windows in case of a hurricane, especially those facing the direction of the fiercest expected winds. You can do the same for your external doors.
4. Review your evacuation route
Weather reports will usually come in with sufficient time to evacuate should it become necessary. Plan an evacuation route in advance and make plans for where you’d stay in case of a storm.
5. Stock up!
Avoid waiting until a hurricane is on the way to get supplies as you may find the shelves empty. Prepare your storm stock now. Designate an area in your garage or shed for storm supplies and keep it stocked with bottled water, flashlights, extra batteries, a first-aid kit and non-perishable food items, such as canned goods and condensed milk. FEMA recommends stocking one gallon of water per person for three days, and nine non-perishable meals per person.
It’s also a good idea to purchase a crank-powered or battery-operated radio so you aren’t cut off from the outside world. You can even find one with a cellphone charging port which can really come in handy in case of a power outage.
6. Take last-minute precautions
When a hurricane warning or watch is in effect, it’s a smart idea to do yet another check on your property. Here are some last-minute measures you can take in the days before a storm is set to hit your area:
- Secure a tarp over external air conditioning units to prevent damage by airborne projectiles.
- Walk through your property, removing any scattered debris and loose-hanging branches.
- Patch any visible foundation cracks around your home.
- If your home has a sump pump, clear any debris and check that it’s operating properly.
- Double-check to ensure your gutters are completely cleared.
- Consider sealing and boarding your windows and doors.
Hurricanes can cause extensive damage and demand careful preparation on your part.
At floridacentral, we are here to help. Visit us online today at www.floridacentralcu.com to ask about our competitive rates on loans for preparation or flood-related expenses. Stay safe and dry this hurricane season!