Extreme weather events can be devastating, not just for families but entire communities. Many Floridians are familiar with the state’s hurricane season and the damage these storms can cause. It is important to ensure that your home is effectively protected against the harsh wind and rain. Before the hurricane season revs up, read this blog to learn more about the My Safe Florida Program and its impact for homeowners in Florida.
Preparation is Key: What is Hurricane Hardening?
Hurricane hardening involves taking measures to protect the infrastructure of a building from extreme weather conditions brought on by a hurricane. Depending on where you live, hurricane hardening could look different. For some people, this means raising your home several feet off the ground to prevent flooding from impacting your home or electrical systems. For other people, hurricane hardening could mean installing storm shutters. Oftentimes, windows are particularly vulnerable to strong winds. Some also choose to set up hurricane impact-rated doors to prepare for extreme weather events.
The big idea when it comes to hardening is to strengthen the weak areas of your home or business against hurricane-force winds and flooding. You might also decide to inspect your property for any cracks or openings that could let water inside. Remembering this small task could prevent your precious belongings from being damaged.
Understanding the My Safe Florida Home Program
With the My Safe Florida Home Program, Florida homeowners now have an incentive to implement hurricane-hardening improvements. The state, which announced details on the program in early July, has pledged to reimburse homeowners $2 for every $1 spent on hurricane hardening. Homeowners will be eligible for up to $10,000 from the state, however, they’ll have to spend $5,000 of their own money first.
Here are the requirements for homeowners interested in the program:
- Have to have a homestead exemption on your home
- A home’s insured value cannot be more than $500,000 (low-income people may be exempt)
- Must have had a hurricane inspection after July 1, 2008
- The home must be in a “wind-borne debris region” (see Florida Building Code)
- Building permit application for initial construction must have been made before March 1st, 2002
- The homeowner must agree to inspection once hurricane-hardening improvements are completed
Organizers of the My Safe Florida Home Program have requirements for which type of hurricane-hardening improvements will be accepted:
- Opening protection
- Exterior doors, including garage doors
- Brace gable ends
- Reinforcing roof-to-wall connections
- Improving the strength of roof-deck attachments
- Upgrading roof covering from code to code plus
- Secondary water barrier for roof
It’s important to note that this program only applies to single-family homes. Currently, there is no start date for the My Safe Florida Home Program. The state hopes to announce that information soon.
Let Your Hurricane Preparedness Begin With Us
Another part of preparing for hurricane season involves making sure your home or business is protected with home, flood, or commercial insurance from COBIA Insurance Agency. We offer you the benefit of receiving personal and commercial lines of insurance from one place. Our team is committed to providing those in and around Brevard County with exceptional quality service. Click here to find out how you can get a quote from us.