1. Cover all windows and brace or secure all access to the house
If you are physically impaired or need assistance, there are many companies that will help with this. However, do not wait to the last minute to ask for assistance. We have seen homeowners trying to install panels and plywood injured due to high winds from bands of the impending storm. These bands of high winds can start hours prior to the storms initial contact.
The corrugated metal/plastic panel hurricane shutters are less expensive than you think and are easy to install. Many times you combine the plastic with the metal panels and still have some natural light shine through! Remember leaving panels or wood on your windows all season while you reside in your home could leave you trapped during a fire.
2. Unplug small appliances
During a storm your power will flicker on and off. Unplug all unecessary electrical items as they may be damaged from surges during this time.
Use a battery backup for those essential/medically necessary items you may need. I.E. Small TV for the weather, Radios, phone chargers, electric cooler for medicines etc. These items will not run long, but will give you enough time to figure out an alternative.
Make sure all electronic devices (phones, ipads, tablets, kid’s entertainment) are charged and you have batteries for ALL items that you will need during the storm. This includes hearing aid batteries, and batteries necessary for medical devices. Trees, branches and water may impede your travel to stores for replacements for several days depending on your location
3.Trim trees that may be low hanging or close to your home.
As Roofing Contractors, we suggest Monthly Inspections of trees and foliage that may come in contact with your roof. Constant rubbing of trees and foliage on your roof can decrease the life expectancy of your roof. Trimming of your landscaping can cut back on flying debris that can cause havoc to your property and others. Many insurance companies do not cover damages caused by nonnative species of plants and trees. Check your policy to confirm and keep this in mind when purchasing trees and large plants for your property.
Clear gutters of debris. When large quantities of water fill your gutters and cannot make it through your waterspouts the water has to go somewhere. Patios and porches will fill with the extra water. Your fascia and roof will also absorb moisture/bloat from this additional water. All of these issues are common throughout our summer. Simple preparation can extend the life of your roof!
4. Bring in items that are not secure (furniture, plants,etc.)
After Memorial Day our weather becomes hotter. This is a good time to start taking items that can be damaged by mildew and the heavy rains and storing them in a safe place. When a named storm is in the area, then worry about bringing in large ceramic pots, decorative garden gnomes and figurines. If you do not have an interior space to store large patio items. Larger items can be tied together to and anchored to the patio. However, this can still be dangerous when small tornadoes in the storm appear and cause extensive damage. We have brought in the patio furniture and used it for extra seating during our Hurricane Party!
5. Use sandbags to block rising water from entering interior areas.
Sandbags can be cheap and helpful tools to keep water from intruding into interior area. If you live in low lying areas these can be extremely helpful. Older Naples homes many times are victims to rising water from even the smallest storm! If you have a place to store sandbags buy them in advance as Home Depot and Lowes can be a nightmare to navigate during a serious storm!
Please stay tuned for more tips to prepare for the Storm. If you have a tip you would like up to add, comment on our Facebook post and we will add it to our next blog!