The Wemert Group Realty team here in Orlando, Florida, understands the importance of being prepared for the hurricane season as a homeowner. With our years of experience in the real estate industry, we have witnessed the impact that hurricanes can have on homes and our communities. Therefore, we want to share some valuable tips and advice on how to effectively prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.
- Create an Emergency Plan: First and foremost, it is crucial to create a comprehensive emergency plan for your household. Discuss evacuation routes, designate meeting points, and ensure everyone in your family knows what to do in case of an emergency. Keep important contact numbers, such as local authorities and insurance providers, readily available. Remember to consider the needs of any elderly or disabled family members and make arrangements accordingly.
- Review Your Insurance Coverage: Take the time to review your homeowner’s insurance policy to ensure it provides adequate coverage for potential hurricane-related damages. Understand what is covered and what is not, including flood insurance. If necessary, consult with your insurance agent to make any necessary adjustments to your coverage. Keep a copy of your insurance policy and other essential documents in a waterproof and easily accessible place.
- Conduct a Home Inspection: Before hurricane season begins, it’s a wise idea to conduct a thorough inspection of your home. Look for any weak points that may require attention, such as loose shingles, damaged windows, or cracks in the foundation. Addressing these issues in advance can help minimize potential damage during a storm. Hire a professional if needed, as they can provide a more detailed assessment of your home’s structural integrity.
- Secure Outdoor Items: Strong winds can turn outdoor furniture, gardening tools, and other loose items into dangerous projectiles during a hurricane. Ensure all these items are properly secured or brought inside. If you have a swimming pool, consider draining a portion of the water to prevent overflow during heavy rains. Trim any weak or overhanging branches that could pose a risk to your property.
- Invest in Hurricane Shutters or Plywood: Installing hurricane shutters or boarding up your windows with plywood is an effective way to protect your home from flying debris and strong winds. If you already have hurricane shutters, inspect them for any damages or necessary repairs. If not, consider investing in them or purchasing pre-cut plywood to cover your windows when a storm is imminent.
- Stock Up on Supplies: As part of your hurricane preparedness plan, create an emergency supply kit that includes essentials such as non-perishable food items, water, batteries, flashlights, a first-aid kit, prescription medications, and hygiene products. Stock up on these supplies well in advance of hurricane season and periodically check and replace any expired items. It’s also wise to keep a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio for receiving updates and important information.
- Back-Up Important Data: Ensure you have backup copies of important documents and files stored securely in the cloud or on an external hard drive. This includes insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, and financial records. In the event of damage or loss during a hurricane, having these backups will make the recovery process much smoother.
- Stay Informed: Stay tuned to reliable sources of information, such as local news channels, weather apps, and the National Weather Service, for updates on hurricane activity in your area. Follow the guidance and instructions provided by local authorities and evacuate if necessary. Sign up for local emergency alerts to receive timely notifications about severe weather conditions.
- Reinforce Your Garage Door: Garage doors are particularly vulnerable to hurricane-force winds. Strengthening your garage door can help protect your home from potential damage. Consider installing a bracing system or purchasing a retrofit kit to reinforce the door. If you’re unsure about the best solution for your garage door, consult with a professional.
- Document Your Property: Take the time to document your property before hurricane season begins. Photograph or video each room, capturing valuable possessions and the overall condition of your home. This documentation can be invaluable when filing insurance claims in the aftermath of a hurricane.
By following these tips and being proactive in your preparations, you can minimize potential damage to your home and ensure the safety of your family during hurricane season. Remember, preparation is key, and investing the time and effort now will help you face any challenges that may arise with greater confidence. Stay safe, stay informed, and remember that the Wemert Group Realty team is here to assist you every step of the way.