Much as it has been over the past few years, storm season 2020 has been extremely intense. 30 named storms have hit the U.S., 13 of which have been classified as hurricanes specifically. At FP Property Restoration, our storm damage recovery experts are here to help get your home up and running again after hurricanes and other intense tropical storms. While most of these storms have fortunately not made landfall in Florida it is still a good idea to learn how to prepare your house for a hurricane. Learn what you can still do this year before it’s too late, and remember that FP Property Restoration is available 24/7 to provide the emergency services you need.
The Top 5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane in 2020-2021:
- Make Sure You Have the Right Supplies On-Hand: There are some things that every homeowner who lives in hurricane-affected areas should purchase before storm season starts. Consider making a “disaster bag,” filled with all the items needed to get you through a few days if a storm strikes and you suddenly lose power. These items include: a radio and batteries, toiletries, a gas can, portable chargers, a surge protector, working gloves, canned or pre-packaged food (along with a can opener,) blankets and sheets, bottled water, a cooler (and ice to put in it,) flashlights, a first-aid kit, sandbags (to place around your house in an attempt to divert water,) toiletries, any necessary medications and cash, in case you have to run out for anything. On a slightly more expensive scale, you may also want to purchase some larger pieces of equipment designed to protect your home. Among these devices would be a sump pump to prevent water/sewage back-ups, as well as a generator in case you lose power.
- Secure Your HVAC System: While a bad hurricane can destroy parts of your whole house, it can be devastating for your HVAC system in particular. A damaged HVAC system is not only dangerous to your household, it also means you may not be able to get the comfort you need once the storm moves on. To secure your HVAC equipment before a storm hits, remove any foliage, bushes, or loose debris that may be obstructing your outside unit. This will prevent impact damage in case a hurricane does hit (and generally improve your system’s performance.) You should also reduce the temperature in your house as much as possible to prevent a power outage, without cranking your AC so low you are at risk of over-extending its abilities. If you are in the midst of a storm, turn off your thermostat and circuit breakers, so your electrical system does not end up damaging your heating and cooling units. Once a storm has passed, inspect your units for damage, and call a technician if necessary. It’s also not a bad idea to contact an HVAC professional for maintenance ahead of storm season, to ensure your system is in good working order and doesn’t pose any safety risks to your home.
- Reinforce Your Roof/Other Entry Points: The last thing you want during a hurricane is for the doors to get blown open or for the roof to cave in. You should invest in a heavy-duty garage door, ideally one with steel reinforcements, extra hardware, and spring components designed to withstand severe wind. You can also use galvanized steel and aluminum panels to reinforce your garage door, or just put up storm braces when a hurricane is approaching. As for your entry doors, consider upgrading to fiberglass, as these doors are usually impact-tested for wind. Meanwhile, when it comes to your roof, there are a number of metal options that should provide significant protection in case a hurricane hits. Tin, steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc all make strong roofing materials, and heavy-duty architectural shingles, which are 50% sturdier than asphalt and can withstand winds up to 150 miles an hour, are a great option as well. You can also install steel hurricane clips to hold your trusses and rafters in place, and some homeowners may even want to put in an escape hatch, in case of extreme flooding. All this can be very expensive, but you may be able to receive assistance from your insurance company to make the whole process easier!
- Consider Installing High-Impact Windows: As we’ve talked about on our blog before, windows are right up there with roofing and entry points when it comes to hurricane preparedness. The best way to protect your windows from a tropical storm is to install what are known as “high-impact windows,” which are designed to hold against winds up to 150 miles per hour. In many coastal cities, houses are required to have high-impact windows, though if you live in an older home, your windows could probably use an upgrade. Look for the DP (design pressure) rating when putting in a new window. The higher the DP, the greater the amount of wind, water, and additional pressure your windows will be able to withstand. You may need to check building codes and obtain a permit before upgrading to high-pressure windows, however, the investment is worth it when you consider how much you can save in storm damage. Other ways to protect your windows include adding storm shutters, putting in weather-stripping and filling holes with caulk, as well as putting film over your windows (this will not prevent them from breaking, but it will help hold glass together, so it does not blow all over your house.)
- Don’t Forget Last-Minute Preparation: There are so many things to do when you know a hurricane is coming, it’s hard to even know where to begin. First off, make sure all your electrical devices are charged, and then unplug any electronics that are not essential to prevent fires. You should also bring in patio furniture, put up your shutters, clean out your drains and gutters, and redirect downspouts. Ideally, you will not have any large trees in your home if you live in an area where hurricanes are a risk, but if you do, make sure the branches are trimmed properly before the beginning of hurricane season. Finally, create a designated meeting area so you can find other family and friends if you are forced to leave your home, and make sure to check storm updates as much as possible while you are locked down. If you do all these things (and have your trusty disaster kit handy,) you should make it through pretty much any hurricane just fine.
Call FP Property Restoration for Comprehensive Storm Restoration & Cleanup Today
Once a hurricane has passed and you have to begin the process of repairing your property, make sure to give our experts at FP Property Restoration a call. We offer both catastrophe response and temporary repairs, meaning no matter how extensive the damage is, we’ve got you covered. Our team has earned national recognition for our response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Michael, so you can trust our reputation for getting the job done right. And with contents restoration to help the inside of your house get back to normal, too, there’s no reason not to call FP for all your disaster relief needs.