From your roof and windows to your plants and patio furniture, being ready for a hurricane means having a good plan of action.
“Once hurricane season begins, anything goes, you can you can be faced with a storm at any time. You know, there’s always that mad rush at the last minute by everybody to try to get what they need and to prepare their homes,” said Jamie Hernandez, Hollywood Emergency Affairs Manager.
Start your home preps outside. Inspect your roof, your windows and your gutters and landscaping to make sure they can take hurricane force winds.
“Walk around and just see what could potentially be used by the wind would be what can be picked up by the wind and and used as a projectile that could damage your home and other homes,” said Hernandez.
It’s a good idea to have a roofer inspect your shingles or tiles to make sure they are secure.
Be sure your gutters are firmly attached and cleaned out.
Keep your shrubbery trimmed all season long and figure out how you will secure your windows and doors.
“If you can protect your windows from flying debris, you’ve you’ve you’re doing pretty well. It keeps the windows from from from shattering during the storms and and creating bigger problems for you during the hurricane,” said Hernandez.
If you have hurricane impact windows, make sure they close and lock.
If you are using hurricane panels make sure you know which panel goes on which window and have plenty of fasteners.
Also keep in mind the panels must be installed before the winds start and it’s likely to take several hours.
If you have accordion shutters. Test them now.
“Make sure they open and close correctly,” said Hernandez.
If you have no protection, plywood is the covering of last resort.
It should be secured into the concrete and cover the entire window opening. Give yourself plenty of time to cut and install the wood.
Keep in mind it will also take time to move all the pretty things you have outside–inside.
“This is a good example of basically furniture that could be used as projectiles by the wind during a hurricane. It’s just not bolted down. Same thing with the table, with the with the with these candle holders on the on the table,” said Hernandez.
Planters and landscape lights should all be removed. You should also consider taking down your awnings.
Remove hoses and if you have a pool…
“Your pool level is going to rise and you’re going to deal with overflow issues. So you want to probably lower that a couple of inches,” said Hernandez.
Once the outside is secure, it’s time to move inside and your main concern here is losing power.
“The refrigerator. Lower the temperatures. You know, a few degrees down. And then obviously, if the power goes out, try to limit the opening and closing up of those refrigerator doors just to try to keep the items inside as cold as possible for as long as possible until you get your power restored,” said Hernandez.
You should also lower your AC, so if you lose power your home will stay cooler longer.
Make sure power tools, computers and phones are fully charged before the storm hits then start pulling the plugs from their outlets.
“Because you can experience a power surge and the last thing you want to do is damage the electronic device,” said Hernandez.
You also need to find and secure important documents in a water tight container.
It’s a good idea to take photos of your possessions in case you need to make an insurance claim.
Finally, if you are riding out the storm at home set up your safe room.
“It could be a bathroom, it could be a closet, but something on the inside of the house that’s safely away from any windows that could potentially break or shatter during the during the storm,” said Hernandez.
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