As we venture deeper into the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season many homeowners in Florida have begun the arduous annual process of hurricane preparedness. In my discussions with our customers and friends alike, perceived costs associated with taking such precautions is one of the major reasons some families choose to forgo preparing until a storm is about to hit. While new hurricane impact windows and shutters are an amazing option, they can cost tens of thousands of dollars. There are a number of other very useful and inexpensive ways of protecting your most valuable asset as well as preparing your family prior to mayhem that sets in about 3 days prior to anticipated landfall. Below are a list of five ways in which you can take meaningful precautions without spending a fortune.
While this may seem like a no brainer, anyone who has been through a hurricane in Florida can attest to how quickly many grocery stores supplies are depleted. The general rule for stocking up on water is “1 gallon of water per day per person”. For about $20 dollars a family of two can have enough clean water to last about 10 days.
If you live in an area with trees or shrubs that could potentially turn into airborne debris during a storm, take the time to trim these back now. Not only is it a good way to eliminate that potential risk but also can add value to your home with the added curb appeal. Also, don’t forget about those coconuts!
3. Seal Outside Wall Openings
Those hairline settling cracks in your stucco most homes have in Florida can turn into much larger problems with wind driven rain from a hurricane or tropical depression. Buying some urethane-based caulk which helps prevent that water from entering the home is an inexpensive way of a potentially costly water or mold damage claim after the storm passes. With Florida being a sub-tropical climate mold grows very aggressively and can spread quite quickly.
4. Purchase Flood Insurance
Most homeowner’s policies exclude coverage for flooding. Flood insurance is for “rising water” , the most simplistic way of looking from this is that if it’s from the inside e.g pipe burst, it is most likely covered under the homeowners policy, if the water rises from the outside into the home, it is most likely a flood claim and would not be covered unless a flood insurance policy was in force. With most people living in “preferred” or “low risk” zones and policies starting at $183 / year , it’s an inexpensive yet meaningful way of not only protecting your home but also giving you the peace of mind that, should you sustain flood damage you aren’t paying for it all out of pocket. If you can’t afford flood insurance can you afford paying for flood damage?
5. Make an Evacuation Plan
Knowing where you will go in the event of an emergency is one of the most important and easiest ways to prepare for hurricane season. It is recommended that you have a few places to go, some great options include a friend or family member’s home in a different town, a hotel or shelter. It is also recommended you plan multiple routes to your location and set a pre-arranged meet up place in case you get separated from your family.
Next Steps: For additional information on hurricane prep click the link below: https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes