With Florida’s hurricane season upon us, your property could be in danger of serious damage if the proper precautions aren’t taken. Though the thought of weather-related damage may seem daunting, Vesta is here to give you some easy-to-accomplish tasks that will help you protect your home from flooding and other natural disasters.
Here are some quick tips on how to keep your home and family safe from the dangers of hurricane season.
- There are many steps you can take to fortify your home against the winds and downpours that hurricanes generate. Here are some easy ones to get you started:
- Clean out your gutters, drains and downspouts and make any needed structural repairs.
- Move any outdoor furniture inside, and move rugs, electronics and other belongings to upper floors, or at least raise them off the ground floor.
- Wiring, sockets, switches and circuit breakers should all be at least a foot above the expected flood level in your area. You should also modify any anchored indoor equipment, such as a water heater or a furnace, so that it sits above your property’s flood level. Similarly, you should also elevate any major appliances in your house onto concrete blocks if they are in danger of being flooded.
- Generators, fuel tanks and air-conditioning units should be anchored and raised above flood level. Fuel tanks that aren’t anchored can break free, severing supply lines which will contaminate the ground.
- Secure your entry doors using head and foot bolts and brace your garage door to prevent more extensive damage. You should also purchase or make storm shutters and window covers for windows on all sides of your home.
- Trim trees and shrubs to help them better resist the wind and save them, while also reducing the chances of damage from falling or windblown limbs. If there are dead sections on your trees, broken limbs could land on yours or your neighbor’s house. Trees are a major factor that cause insurance claims, but in most cases, no one’s insurance policy will pay if the tree falls but doesn’t hit anything, even though hauling it away could cost a few thousand dollars.
- Inventory your home and possessions for possible insurance claims. The last thing you want to be doing after you’ve been affected by a hurricane is to try to remember everything you had in your home. Having an inventory will make the claim process much easier. The easiest way to do this is to shoot videos or still photos from every angle, including close ups. You’ll want this evidence to support any claims you make so that you can recover the maximum value of everything that was damaged or lost in the storm. Store these pictures in the cloud or give them to your insurance agent to keep them safe from the storm.
Remember, ANY steps you take toward storm preparation are good ones. You don’t need to do everything perfectly, you just need to do it.
Florida’s hurricane season officially began on June 1, and will end on November 30.