Hurricanes are frightening and can cause a lot of damage to your home. But the more prepared you are for a hurricane, the less you have to fear. It’s important to have an evacuation plan and other resources if you have to flee—your safety comes first. The more you prepare, the fewer the repairs and the faster you can go back to normal after a hurricane.
Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane: Know Your Risk
Just because you live in a certain state, doesn’t mean that your risk index is as high as another area of the same state. Generally speaking, Florida can have a lot of high risk, but the state is divided into zones. There are several websites that can let you know what zone you are in.
Make sure to research the hurricane risk your area may have. There are maps that explain the frequency of hurricanes and the population density. Examine this and other state-provided resources to assess your risk and plan accordingly. Remember to know where your evacuation area is, and plan what route to take. The first priority should always be your safety.
Carry Appropriate Homeowners Insurance
Homeowner’s insurance most often does not include hurricane coverage. To get coverage for hurricanes, you must combine different types of insurance and insurance add-ons. This includes windstorm damage coverage, back up sewage coverage, flooding insurance, and others. That is why it is important to carefully examine what your hurricane risk is so that you don’t have to pay for more insurance than necessary.
When you move to a place with a high frequency of hurricanes, carefully study your homeowners insurance and understand what it covers. Find what add-ons or additional insurances you may need. You likely won’t be able to find insurance last minute when you find out a hurricane is about to come through. If you understand your insurance fully and what process to go through if disaster does strike, you won’t have to panic anymore than necessary.
Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane: Shutter Your Windows
Hurricanes come with strong winds. The force of those winds is enough to shatter windows. But those winds also carry debris that can hit your window and get into your house. This can cause expensive damage to your house and cause serious injuries. Also, if your windows shatter, the leftover glass in your home can be a hazard.
Window shutters can be a valuable investment that can reduce the damage to your home. Because of this, some insurance companies will even reduce your rates if you have them. Not only will you be protecting your home, but you’ll be reducing the costs of damages significantly.
As with any natural disaster, hurricanes can cause power outages for significant amounts of time. There is a lot you can do to prepare for power outages. You can have a fireplace and a store of wood. You can store candles and food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. But if you would like to retain power, backup generators are an important investment.
There are different types of generators, so find what will be best for you. Read the instructions carefully and use only as directed. A propane generator can be a great option. Just remember—if you have a propane generator, you should own your propane tanks. Thankfully, propane is quite stable, burns cleanly, and can be stored for a long time without having to worry about it losing its potency.
Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane: Reduce Water Damage
Water damage can be serious when a hurricane blows through, and it can be very expensive to repair. The best way to reduce these expenses is to prevent as much water damage as possible.
Consider using barriers (such as sandbags) around your house to prevent storm surges from entering your property. Keep up the maintenance on your home to make sure that there aren’t vulnerable spots in the foundation or walls that will allow water to come in more easily.
If your home does flood, deal with the flooding as soon as you can. If you can get the water out and your house dried out, you won’t have to worry about mold and you’ll be able to fix other problems more quickly.
Prepare Your Roof
One of the most important ways to keep water out of your house is through roof maintenance. Schedule regular inspections of your roof, especially before hurricane season. This can help you find hard to see problems in your roof and resolve them before the heavy winds and debris make them worse.
Inspect your roof soon before a hurricane yourself as well. If there are visual issues, these should be addressed immediately. Eliminate other dangers to your roof that may exist around your house.
Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane: Eliminate Potential Projectiles
Yard toys or trampolines. Unsecured sheds. Large or sick untrimmed trees. Unsecured garage doors. These are all things in your yard that can become extremely dangerous in a hurricane—not just to people, but to their property. For the safety of your and your neighbor’s homes, store or tie down these items properly.
If you have trees in your yard, trim them regularly to keep them strong. Keep large plants a safe distance from your and other’s homes so they will not fall into them.
Locate Shut Off Valves
In some emergencies (not just hurricanes) you will be instructed by local officials to turn off your water, gas, and electricity valves. Especially in the case of gas and electricity valves, if these are not turned off properly it can be dangerous.
Be vigilant about where your electronics are placed during a storm. Keep them as high above the flood level as possible, and unplug your electronics before a storm. Be aware of what a gas leak smells like, looks like, and sounds like so that you can know how to stay safe.
The goal, after keeping you safe, is to keep your home as safe as possible. Your home is important, and while following these tips and being vigilant about hurricane recommendations in your area, you can greatly reduce the amount of damage to your home.
Read this next: How to Take Care of Your Home in Florida’s Humidity
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The Southwest Florida Real Estate Investment Association is the leading source of SWFL real estate investing events that provide investment education and networking in southwest Florida. We analyze the housing market and foreclosures and provide information, education and networking events in order to build a network and knowledge base for investors and potential investors. Our members include real estate agent, brokers, investors, hedge fund managers, rehabbers, wholesalers and more.
Our SWFL REIA General Meeting is held in Fort Myers where we provide education on hot topics in investing and an opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow investors. You’ll get a chance to ask for advice from successful real estate professionals and even make a few deals on your latest projects.
To become a member, anyone can register as an individual, a couple, or a corporation. Being a member opens the doors for endless networking opportunities, advice from members with decades of experience, new ideas from entrepreneurs, camaraderie with those just beginning, and deals and contracts done in the meeting room. For those interested in Cape Coral rental property investment and/or Fort Myers rental property investment, SWFL REIA will be able to provide a network to help launch a successful investment career.
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One of the premier sources for real estate investing networking and education is the SWFL REIA. In the real estate world, the SWFL REIA is different in that they do not do information product sales. Their meetings are focusing on the best ways of investing in real estate by collaborating with other property investors who are sharing their experiences.
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