Hurricane Mathew was a big scare for South Florida. It had been almost 10 to 11 years since the last Hurricane came near or through South Florida. We tend to forget how serious a Hurricane can be. The news reports for other countries hit were not favorable. Our friends in Haiti suffered grave losses to life and now must deal with the deplorable conditions left from the hurricanes destruction.
Being prepared for a hurricane is so important. It truly is the difference between life and death. If you are in a region that is prone to hurricanes, even if it's not so frequent, have a checklist for preparation. You can find a checklist at the National Hurricane Center website http://www.nhc.noaa.gov plus they have many other helpful tools and information.
Having a checklist avoids confusion. a checklist keeps you organized and tells you exactly what you need. Review your checklist when you know a hurricane is approaching and stock up on the things you don't already have. Go early to beat the lines at the supermarket or gas station.
Protecting Your Home
This is a measure a homeowner should take not when a hurricane is on the way, but this measure should be taken with ample time. Hurricane shutters or Hurricane impact windows are a major tool to protect your home. Securing the glazed openings of any home will protect against strong winds damaging those openings and causing strong winds to enter the home and potentially blow the roof off. Speaking of the roof, Hurricane straps are metal tie wraps that add protection and strength to your roofing system in the event high winds are blowing against your home. Our friends at City Roofing specialize in Hurricane straps. Also, having a front door that swings outwards is another step of protection, this avoids the door being able to blown inwards and thus again winds entering your home.
Generators are very helpful and not required unless a homeowner desires. However, take into consideration any family members personal special needs. Example, is there an oxygen concentrator in the home that someone uses for health reasons? That would constitute a special need. Or simply, when the power goes out, you want a back up to keep the light on and use some utilities. Regardless, the most important factor in using a generator, is using it safely! If it's a gas powered generator, keep it away from the home and any open windows. NEVER use a generator inside the home, the fumes can be deadly.
Being prepared is your safest practice. Stock up on batteries, gasoline, water and food early, don't wait till the last minute rush begins. Have your hurricane shutters stored in an easily accessible area. And most importantly, Be Safe!
Certified Home Inspector.