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Know your home’s vulnerabilities

Hurricane protection can involve a variety of changes to your house and property – changes that can vary in cost and complexity. A professional contractor licensed to work in Florida should carry out complicated or large-scale changes that affect the structure of your house or its electrical wiring or plumbing. However, there are several projects and tasks homeowners can do on their own to protect their home against a hurricane.

Know Your Home’s Vulnerabilities:

WINDOWS
Installing storm shutters over all exposed windows and other glass surfaces is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your home. Cover all windows, french doors, glass doors and skylights. There are many types of manufactured storm shutters available. Plywood shutters that you make yourself, if installed properly, can offer much protection from flying debris during a hurricane.

ROOF
The roof of your house is most vulnerable to damage from high winds. Proper roof construction is essential. A small investment made before a storm hits can save thousands in future damage. Have your roof inspected today by a qualified building professional to determine if reinforcement is necessary.

DOORS
Homes with double-entry doors usually have one door that is active and one that is inactive. The bolts or pins that secure most doors are not strong enough to withstand hurricane force winds. Check with your local building supplies retailer to determine the type of bolt system that will work best for your door.

GARAGE DOORS
Double-wide (two-car) garage doors can present a particular problem during hurricanes. Some garage doors can be strengthened with retrofit kits. Check with your local building supplies dealer.

Mobile Homes Require Special Precautions
Mobile Homes are particularly vulnerable to hurricane-force winds. Anchor the mobile home with over-the-top, or frame ties. When a storm threatens, do what you can to secure your home, and then take refuge with friends or relatives or at a public shelter. DO NOT ride out a hurricane in a mobile home. Follow mandatory evacuation orders!

Before you leave your mobile home take the following precautions:

  • Pack breakables in boxes and put them on the floor
  • Remove mirrors
  • Wrap mirrors and lamps in blankets and place them in the bathtub or shower
  • Install hurricane shutters or precut plywood on all windows
  • Shut off utilities and disconnect electricity, sewer and water lines
  • Shut off propane tanks and leave them outside after anchoring them securely
  • Store awnings, folding furniture, trash cans and other loose outdoor objects

Do-It-Yourself Home Preparations

  • Windows, Doors, Roof – Protect all windows and doors, as well as the garage door and roof.
  • Electricity – Unplug appliances – especially television sets – and turn off electricity (except refrigerator) and turn off the main water valve. Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings.
  • Outdoors – Store outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys, garden tools, grills, and tractors inside; anchor objects that cannot be brought inside but that could be wind-tossed. Remove outdoor antennas.
  • Sheds – Securely anchor all storage sheds and other outbuildings to a permanent foundation, or anchor to ground.
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