Because Florida is a coastal state, tropical storms and hurricanes can creep up and cause both flood and wind damage to properties. The three types of storm fronts that homeowners should look out for during hurricane season are:
- Tropical depressions: Sustained winds of between 25-38 mph.
- Tropical storms: Sustained winds are now reaching 39-73 mph.
- Hurricanes: Sustained winds have reached at least 74 mph.
When it comes to tropical storms, and especially hurricanes, a homeowner's greatest threats of damage to their home comes from wind, storm surges, and flooding.
Preparing your home.
The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 and lasts until November 30. During this time, an average of 10 storms will hit, with at least 6 of those developing into hurricanes, and about 3 of those hurricanes become a Category 3 or higher.
Getting your home ready can minimize damage and the need for any restoration after the storm has passed. When preparing your home for hurricanes, pay attention to the following details:
- Protect your windows with hurricane shutters or wood. You can also secure your roof with clips, if accessible, to keep the roof fastened to your house's structure.
- Have trees and shrubs properly trimmed in order to reduce damage from broken limbs.
- Bring all outdoor furniture, garbage cans, decorations, or any other loose items, into your home. This reduces exterior damage to your items and your home, and also keeps these articles from becoming potentially dangerous projectiles during the storm.
- Make sure garage doors are reinforced and your internal doors secured.
- When the storm arrives, stay away from doors and windows.
Additionally, whether it is your home or business, make sure any holes or gaps in your roof are patched, your window and door seals are in good condition, and all exterior structures are properly secured. It is also a good idea to check your sump pump to see if it is in working order.
Preparing your family.
If a hurricane hits, your family needs to be prepared for a potential evacuation. Having a pre-built emergency supply kit is your ticket to a quick and easy departure. Your supply kit should have enough to take care of every member of your household and include items such as:
- Non-perishable food for up to a week
- Water, 1 gallon per person per day, for up to a week
- First aid kit and any prescription medications
- Personal hygiene and sanitary items
- Flashlights and a battery operated radio
- Extra batteries
- Sunscreen and bug spray
- A lighter or matches
- Pet supply items, if applicable
- Baby supplies, if applicable
In addition to these items, we would also recommend placing things like your insurance, social security cards, passports or other government-issued identification, family photos, and other objects that you judge to be either irreplaceable or important for identification purposes.
After the storm.
Hurricanes are capable of causing chaos, confusion, and a lot of damage. If you have damage to your home or property, your best course of action is to file a claim immediately with your insurance company. If there are minor repairs that you can make to minimize damage, do them. Hire only licensed repair and restoration companies, like True Builders, to avoid inexperienced repair companies.
Keep a list of your preferred vendors, as well as a detailed list of your utility companies, on hand to make the repair process go more smoothly. Also, be sure to use only licensed vendors, like True Builders, in order to avoid scams.
The more you know about caring for your home before a hurricane, the easier the entire situation will be on your family and your home. If you live in Plant City, Lakeland, Winter Haven, or surrounding areas, set aside time to take detailed pictures of your home and possessions to help any potential insurance claim move along faster. Have your emergency kit and hurricane shutters ready to go at a moment's notice! Call us at (863) 647-1800 if you experience damage to your home due to a hurricane.
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