Preparing Your Home for Florida’s Hurricane Season
The NOAA predicts 13-20 named 2021 storms, of whom six to 10 and three to six major hurricanes (category three or higher). Whilst it is unclear whether one such storm will hit South Florida, a higher than usual chance for storm tracking within 50 miles of Florida was recently anticipated by Colorado State University. Householders in South Florida should now prepare their own homes to prevent storms and costly damage.
In particular, damage to the roof can be costly to repair. Your roof is maintained on an annual basis and any problems (such as missing or damaged shingles) can be repaired promptly, leaving vulnerability easily paves the way for further storm destruction. Tree branches from the roofline should be kept away. If a major hurricane forces Floridians to evacuate from their homes this summer, they’ll find a patchwork of different COVID-19 rules and regulations at emergency shelters depending on where they live.
Lee County will look to guidance from the state Department of Health relating to COVID-19 and the use of masks in the general population shelters and will isolate people who have flu-like symptoms, while officials in Collier County are still working out protocols. With vaccines now readily available, and many Floridians leery of government regulations, emergency officials are deciding whether to impose mask requirements and how far they want to go with COVID-19 prevention.
Many counties that have already announced their emergency management strategy this year are, for the most part, keeping in line with long-established procedures. But they’re urging residents to only seek shelter as the last option in an attempt to cut down on crowds. Roof clips or straps can also be used to keep your roof in place during a heavy storm. Don’t forget to check your roof is up to code. If your roof was installed before 1997, you’ll likely need a new one in keeping with major hurricane code changes implemented in 1996.
Protecting your plumbing can prevent storm damage and expensive repairs. First off, before the storm or hurricane hits, turn off your water heater. Leaving it on places undue extra pressure on your plumbing system. If your water heater is leaking or otherwise damaged, it’ll need repairing. Consult a water heater repair cost guide for an estimate (repairs typically cost $506 on average).
Also, switching off your main water pipe can protect your water from external contamination. Open the faucet farthest away from the main line to ensure that air is still able to circulate the system. Outdoor drains should additionally be cleared of debris; blocked drains can’t cope with the volume of water and debris generated by major storms.
Hurricane-proof your windows
Storm shutters provide simple yet effective protection for windows during major storms. Flying debris, including broken glass, will be prevented from entering your home. Hurricane window film can provide further protection; it can be installed either by yourself or a professional and left in place all year round.
The clear plastic film is inconspicuous, and can also stop broken glass and debris from coming in through the windows. Hurricane glass can similarly protect against hurricane-force winds: it consists of two panes of tempered glass separated by a plastic film for extra strength and protection.
Effective home maintenance is essential for South Florida homeowners during hurricane season. By preparing your roof, plumbing and windows, you can protect your home and keep it in good condition for years to come.