When it comes to hurricanes, one of the most important things to guarantee the safety of you and your family is to be sufficiently prepared. You should not only be adding physical protections to your home, but you also need to consider less obvious things, such as having the right insurance. The following is a list of things that you can do to help safeguard your home and family in the event of a hurricane.
Make Sure You Have The Right Insurance
While it is important to take steps to secure your home against the storm physically, many people neglect to make sure their home insurance is in order. A lot of issues families face from hurricanes arise from not have the correct insurance in place. If you live somewhere that is prone to hurricanes, you should have an insurance policy that will cover the costs of rebuilding your home if it is destroyed. Some people make the mistake of insuring their home for its total value, — this is a mistake as it can sometimes cost more money to rebuild a home than its value.
You should also consider flood insurance. Many insurance policies will cover the damage caused by the hurricane itself but will not cover you for the damaged caused by the floods, which often come after. After Hurricane Sandy in 2012, a lot of people’s homes were destroyed by the subsequent floods rather than by Hurricane Sandy itself.
You should frequently take a complete inventory of your valuable items so that in the event that a hurricane destroys your home, you can quickly make an insurance claim. Having your home destroyed is stressful enough, so make sure you don’t add to that stress by making a detailed list now.
Physically Secure Your Home
There are many steps you can take to make your home more resistant to hurricanes. The roof should be the primary area of focus. You should periodically be inspecting your roof and making sure that all shingles or tiles are secured. You should also ensure that none of them have become cracked and that none of them are missing altogether. If you get a new roof installed, you should consider paying extra to ensure that it is waterproofed.
In certain states, such as Florida, it is required by law that builders fit roof straps to all new roofs. These are metal straps which hold the roof in place, which can make it more difficult for a hurricane to do damage to the roof. If you have access to your roof through an attic, it is possible that you could have roof straps installed. Having this done will cost around $500.
Before hurricane season begins, you should inspect the seals on your windows and doors. In hot climates, these can deteriorate over time, allowing rainwater from a hurricane to get into your house and cause water damage. You should also make sure that any holes are tightly sealed. If you have things like electrical cables coming out of your home, you will need to seal the holes to make sure water can’t enter through them. You can sufficiently seal these holes using caulk from a home improvement store. It should only cost a few dollars.
Clear Your Garden
You should ensure that your garden is clear of anything that could be picked up and sent flying by a hurricane. Things like lawn chairs can become extremely dangerous when they are being thrown around by a hurricane. They could do damage to property by smashing through windows, and they could also seriously hurt or kill someone. During hurricane season, make sure that anything that could conceivably be lifted by hurricane winds is either safely stowed away or is tied down somehow.
Be Sure To Reinforce Your Garage Door
If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, you should be sure to have your garage door correctly enhanced. Garage doors can often end up being blown in by hurricane winds. If your garage is connected to your house, this could lead to your home being severely damaged by the winds. You can make your garage resistant to the elements by installing a vertical garage door brace. This can also be further strengthened by adding wooden horizontal beams.
Make Sure You Keep Up-To-Date And Prepared
The most important thing you can do during hurricane season is to stay informed of the risk of a hurricane. Keep up-to-date with the National Weather Service, as they will issue warnings about the likelihood of a hurricane. You should have an emergency kit prepared so that you can be prepared as soon as the warning comes.
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