Hurricane Dorian: Home prep in full swing in SWFL

With the frenzy to get homes and family secure for Hurricane Dorian, we asked local homeowners about how they are preparing for a major storm. We also looked at tips they offered as well as other best practices for supplies like sandbags to prevent home flooding.

For starters, Estero Fire Rescue has sand piles available to people in the area, so they can help prevent potential flooding caused by Hurricane Dorian. People must bring their own bags to be supplied with the sand. Many people we spoke to said this is one way they are preparing their homes.

It’s recommended not to under or overfill sandbags. About two-thirds of the way is the sweet spot. When stacking them, don’t place a bag directly on top of the other. Cover the tied openings on all sides. Plastic sheeting underneath also makes sure water doesn’t get through.

While people are stocking up on water and gas, we heard from people who are also keeping other goods on hand.

“I have a hurricane kit all ready with canned foods and things that I rotate out,” said Wendy Warner in Cape Coral.

Warner said she would normally ask her neighbors for help to put shutters on her home windows, but she decided to hire a professional to do it this year.

“I would just rather be safe,” Warner said. “If I have to evacuate, I know my home is as safe as I can make it.”

She called Shutters 239 in Cape Coral for its services.

“Our office is getting swamped with phone calls every day,” Brian Struckler said. “And we are planning on working all weekend for people.”

Struckler doesn’t expect it to slow down. He also recommends anyone who plans to put shutters on their home themselves to do it now. But he also warns to do it slowly.

“Just take your time because they’re sharp; they’re dangerous; and you can fall off a ladder,” Struckler said.

Another option to protect a home is impact glass.

In Bonita Springs, we caught up with homeowner Mike Bode, who was preparing his generator. Bode had to run extension cords through his home during Irma in 2017.

“We had cords running all over the house,” Bode said.

This time, he had electricians from Mister Sparky hook up the backup generator directly to his electrical panel.

“Make sure that you have a professional licensed contractor to install it,” Michael Faulkner said. “If it’s installed improperly, it can cause some major issues for you.”

“That makes me feel a little bit more comfortable, a little bit more secure,” Bode said.

As Dorian inches closer, homeowners said they cannot go wrong being extra prepared.

“If it comes, I feel ready,” Warner said. “And if it passes by, I’ll just wait and see if there’s anymore coming.”

Reporter:Sara Girard
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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