Hurricane season has officially started in Florida as of June 1st. Is your North Florida home prepared? We’ve created an easy to-do list for you to follow to make sure you and your home are ready for whatever life throws at you. Prevention will save you anguish and money in the long run. When everyone starts to panic, you’ll be able to relax and know that you’re ready for the forces.
A hurricane can create power surges which can damage your appliances and electronics. Make sure to add a power surge protector to your electrical panel and use power strips that have surge protectors to prevent any dangerous electrical situations. Get in a habit of plugging in and unplugging items you don’t use often.
Prepare plywood, storm shutters, and sandbags for use
Stock up on plywood, storm shutters, and sandbags in preparation for storms. You can get sandbags for free within days of hurricanes and tropical storms to place in front of your doors and around the exterior of your house to prevent flooding. Experts recommend piling the sandbags up at least 2 feet. Board your windows with storm shutters or plywood within days of a hurricane.
If you have any cracks in your windows or doors or running along the walls of your house, now is the chance to do some home maintenance and get them sealed. You can buy plaster or sealing tape from a home improvement store near you. If you’re not sure what sealant you need to repair your house, ask an employee for advice.
Make sure to remove hazards from the landscape. Clear out debris that could damage your home. Store any lawn items in your garage. Get your trees trimmed by a professional or trim them yourselves to reduce the chances of anything falling on your house. Make sure items that can’t be moved inside are tied down, secured, and protected. You can tie down small trees and scrubs. If you can’t store your car in a garage, try to move it to higher ground.
Clearing your gutters and drains is instrumental in protecting against flooding. Giving the water a clear passage to flow through can prevent instant flooding. Make sure all your gutters and drains are in working shape and don’t need maintenance. You can purchase a gutter gleaner from the store or just manually remove debris with your hands.
Review your insurance
If you live in Florida, you should have home insurance that protects against hurricanes and flooding. Check your insurance and make sure you have all your information in case your home sustains any damages. Make sure that your insurance is updated to include any recent purchases or home additions.
Take before and after pictures of your property for insurance purposes
In preparation for the storm, document what your home looked like before. Take photos of your landscaping, the house exterior, and the home interior. The documentation will help if you need to file an insurance claim. If you moved your belongings to better protect your home from the storm, you can also keep the photos as a reminder of how the furniture, etc. was placed initially.
Your supply kit should include at least 3 days of water and food. You should have a battery-powered or crank radio. Make sure to have a basic first aid kit, a few flashlights, and extra batteries. You can also include, maps, chargers, a wrench, a can opener, sanitation items, and a whistle to signal for help. Maintain an advantage by stocking up at the beginning of hurricane season so you can avoid the crowds. You can also store a few canisters of gas for your car in case there is a shortage.
Make sure your roof is stable. Have a roof inspector look at your home to make sure the sheathing is well-connected. If your roof is at risk, get it repaired or replaced. You can also use hurricane straps or clips to fasten your house’s roof to the frame. Trimming your trees is also useful during this step because trees can crash through your roof. Make sure that there are no landscape threats that could impact your home.
Inspect your sum pumps and drains to make sure they’re working properly. If they have a backup battery, make sure it is fresh or replace the battery. If you have a backup generator, test it to make sure it works. Get gas for the generator and place it in a location where it will be safe from the storm but easily moved and out of the way.
With your home taken care of, you can focus on your own safety. If you need to evacuate, you know your house will be okay without you. With these tips, you are ready to brave the storm.
Still sick and tired of hurricanes? If you’re planning on skipping town, our experienced North Florida Realtors can sell your home. If you’re looking for a new home before a hurricane hits, we can find you a house that is safe and fits your needs in the Gainesville, St. Augustine, or Ocala areas.