Florida hurricanes pose a grave danger to its citizens and there are many strategies you can employ to protect your home and its contents from hurricane damage. Create and share an emergency plan with family or roommates and list emergency numbers on the refrigerator or near each telephone in the house for easy reference in an emergency. Read on to learn more about how you can prepare.
Install Hurricane Windows
One of the best ways to protect your home during a hurricane is by installing impact windows. Traditional glass windows tend to shatter easily during a storm, leaving your home open to further damage from water, debris, and wind. By contrast, impact windows have an outer laminate layer that holds them together even after being broken by storm forces, keeping further damages at bay.
Installing impact windows not only protects your home from storm damage but can also save money on energy costs. This is because impact windows feature superior insulation properties which help maintain cooler temperatures during a hurricane.
Florida residents know that hurricanes pose a real threat, so it is vitally important that they prepare as best they can. Impact windows should not be your only defense, so make sure your home features Kendall hurricane windows sturdy roofing, and strong doors as well. Also, keep plywood or steel panels handy in case an unexpected hurricane arrives and hits Florida – these could come in handy to board up windows and doors and board up home windows with plywood and boards as a last resort.
Board Up Windows and Doors
Unless your home is equipped with hurricane shutters, boarding up windows and doors before a hurricane hits will help prevent windows from shattering from flying debris and the wind during a hurricane as well as keeping water out. Although boarding may not fully protect against hurricane damage to your property, it will at least help lessen it significantly.
Plywood sheets provide the optimal way to protect windows and doors – as seen here, at an inexpensive price point and are readily available at most hardware stores (provided you don’t wait until the last minute!). When purchasing plywood for this use, select exterior grade with a 5/8″ thick minimum thickness. Insurance industry groups generally recommend that plywood have 30 percent greater impact strength than OSB (oriented strand board).
Before a storm strikes, you must understand how to board up your home properly. Measuring the height and width of each window is critical; any miscalculation could result in boards not fitting securely enough and possibly being blown away during a severe storm. Drilling holes into both framing and sheeting is necessary if you plan on keeping plywood sheets secure during an attack.
Branches that fall during a hurricane can do significant damage to both your home and property. One way you can reduce this risk is by having trees professionally trimmed before any major storm strikes – in addition to improving the aesthetic appeal, trimming trees also helps with safety by decreasing wind resistance, as well as helping ensure their ongoing health. Regular pruning should also help your yard remain beautiful!
While some homeowners attempt to save money by trimming their trees themselves, this can be both dangerous and ineffective. It is best to leave this task to an arborist with ISA certification to ensure optimal results (source: https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/lakeco/2021/11/22/do-i-really-need-an-isa-certified-arborist-for-tree-work-how-do-i-pick-one/). Ideally, have one inspect your tree before beginning any trimming work for optimal results.
Pruning should take place annually in spring; however, light trimming can be completed at any time of year. Light pruning tasks include clipping low branch tips, removing suckering shoots from the trunk, and cutting off dead or broken branches.
Proper pruning techniques must always be observed, with this site stating the goal of never taking away more than 1/3 of a tree’s live crown in any one pruning session. Never remove more than one-third of its canopy as this makes the tree vulnerable to hurricane-force winds. When trimming lateral branches it is also crucial that they don’t exceed in diameter that of its trunk.
Proper planting and care of your trees is vitally important. Selecting the ideal species and planting it in suitable soil are both crucial for long-term health; keep the soil moist by watering regularly as well as providing regular fertilization treatments. Improper planting may lead to root injuries which are more prone to breaking in storm conditions.
Store Water and Food Supplies
Florida’s tropical weather offers many advantages, but hurricanes present unique threats. To minimize potential damages caused by hurricanes in your area, prepare in advance and act quickly when warnings or watches are issued.
According to the Rick Scott initiative – before a storm hits, gather supplies to keep your family safe and comfortable should there be an outage of power or loss of access to vital services like water or food. Be sure to include provisions for everyone in the house – babies and pets included! Be sure not to forget prescription medications that might be needed as well.
Stockpiling nonperishable foods and water for several days is also critical. Have a plan in place regarding where your family will seek shelter during a storm; the safest option in two-story homes usually lies within the strongest room – such as a bathroom or walk-in closet near the stairwell – while for single-story houses the ideal location is often an interior room that’s protected by walls from windows, doors and exterior doors.
Plastic water containers stored in cool, dark environments will provide up to six months of fresh drinking water if they are appropriately disinfected and disinfected regularly. Be sure to stock up on cleaning products for tubs, sinks, and toilets, in addition to having enough bottled water as a backup in case your tap water becomes unsafe during or after a storm.
Make sure to have a generator available just in case your home loses power during a hurricane; it could save lives if you need refrigeration for food preservation or keeping water flowing through pipes. Also don’t wait until evacuation orders are given or the day of the storm to fill your tank; gas shortages and skyrocketing prices during a hurricane are common, so stockpiling should begin well before an evacuation order might come through to get your propane.
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