The weather in Southwest Florida can be unpredictable. There are days when a sunny day ends with an active thunderstorm. Being unprepared in these situations can lead to problems, especially in serious cases such as hurricanes and flash flooding. In this guide, we’ve got 6 great tips to prepare your home for a storm.
6 Tips on How to Prepare for a Storm
1) Review Insurance Policies
Prior to a storm, it’s a good idea to review your home’s insurance policies. It’s helpful to know your coverages and deductibles for different types of damages. Make sure you have your policy and insurance claim contact information available in the event that you may need it. Take photos or record video of your belongings. It’s easier than manually taking inventory of all the items in your possession.
2) Secure Doors and Windows
A heavy storm can bring possibility of strong winds and flooding, which may compromise your windows and doors. Sealing your doors and windows may provide additional protection against flooding, while boarding up windows and glass doors will offer additional protection from strong winds and debris.
3) Bring Unsecured Items Indoors
If the weather forecast predicts an approaching storm, it’s important to take remove or fasten outdoor items that may be carried by high winds and cause damage. Bring unsecured items indoors. Decorations, potted plants, patio furniture, and other various yard equipment should be stored in a shed or garage to best ensure your home and belongings will ride out the storm safely.
4) Prune and Remove Debris
Check any trees and large foliage on your property for weak, dead or low hanging limbs that may be broken during a storm and prune them as needed. You may also consider harvesting any fruit-bearing plants so that they are not damaged by the storm. It’s very important to ensure that any debris from pruning is hauled away from your property before the storm because stacked limbs can take flight in high winds and possibly cause damage to your home.
5) Reinforce & Get a Professional Inspection
Have a professional inspect for loose shingles, tiles, or damaged metal on your roof. If there is anything that doesn’t look secure that may easily be broken or dislodged by strong winds and rain such as gutters, fascia, and soffits, having them fixed beforehand can help strengthen the integrity of the structure in future storms. Some structures can also be better protected against strong winds with tie down straps installed on the roof, carport and fencing. Reinforcing your garage door is also a good idea in high wind situations such as hurricanes.
If you are unsure if your roofing is secure enough for an upcoming storm such as a hurricane you may want to enlist the help of a professional. A professional inspection may help prevent you from missing preexisting issues and provide safety to your home and your family.