Florida is known as the home to amusement parks, delicious oranges, pristine beaches, and as the sunshine state. But when the sunshine subsides, Florida experiences some severe weather. Hurricane season is about six months long, from June to November, and causes millions of dollars in property damage each year. Thankfully, there are ways to protect your home from devastating damage. Here are some practices to help hurricane-proof your home.
Get Your Home Properly Insured
Homeowners insurance is not legally required in Florida. Although, most mortgage companies will require you to have it and show proof of coverage. The typical policy covers structural damage from a covered loss; fire, water leaks, tornado, or severe storms.
Homeowners insurance is essential to protect your home, and obtaining a policy after the damage will be too late. Insurance carriers have different policy coverages, so double-check what’s covered. Flood insurance might be necessary to help fill in the coverage gaps.
It’s recommended to get your roof inspected annually or after any major storms. Metal roofs are the most durable against strong winds. Fiberglass shingles are also a viable option. For those who prefer shingles, secure any loose shingles as they could be one of the first things to fly away with heavy winds and can expose your home to severe damage.
Adding hurricane clips to the roof can serve as an added layer of protection. Some insurance carriers offer credits to homeowners who implement specific home improvements.
Install Impact Windows
Boarding up your windows anytime there’s a storm can be daunting. Investing in impact windows can save you the hassle of boarding up the windows. If it’s not the right time in your budget to get impact windows, adding storm shutters will help protect your windows.
Leaving the windows unsecured will cause disastrous damage to the interior of your home. You should also clear off the window sills and move any smaller furniture by the windows to a safer place.
Reinforce The Doors
Once the windows are secured, check the doors. Fiberglass doors are recommended since they’re known to withstand strong winds and heavy rain. If you have wood doors, check the caulking to prevent any leaks. Garage doors sometimes get overlooked when preparing for a storm, and hurricane winds have the potential to blow in garage doors that aren’t secured. A heavy-duty garage door is ideal, but an alternative is to install vertical storm braces.
Survey Your Front And Back Yard
Minimizing the furniture in your yard can cut down on preparation time. Trim any dead branches or ones that are too close to your home. It might be necessary to remove the tree altogether to be on the safe side. Cleaning out the gutters regularly will minimize the risk of damage. While some people might like the ease of having a gravel landscape, it’s actually a potential danger. The smaller rocks can be easily picked up by winds and damage your home and car.
Create a Hurricane Plan
Having a plan in place in the event of a hurricane will help prepare your family for the storm. Designating a room in the house to go to when a storm hits can keep everyone safe. In that safe room, keep a hurricane kit with essentials like:
- 3 days’ worth of water, imperishable food, and your pets’ food
- First aid kit
- Flashlights, batteries, and whistles
- Generator and surge protector
- Important documents in a weather-proof container
Weather Any Storm With COBIA
The best way to protect your home from a hurricane is to have the right insurance policies. Without insurance, your home and belongings are left exposed and unprotected. With hurricane season lasting six months, homeowners insurance is non-negotiable. Contact COBIA Insurance today to learn more about homeowners and flood insurance.