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The 2016 Hurricane Season: What It Means for Your Home
Though in some areas of the United States people hold hurricane parties, this doesn’t mean hurricanes should be taken lightly. Hurricanes are brutal and unrelenting. They don’t have a conscience, and they’ll plow down anything in their path. As 2016 promises to bring us a very active hurricane season, it’s important that homeowners know what to expect. Preventative measures and knowledge of what lies ahead can make a world of difference in keeping your home and family safe during these powerful storms.
The Current Hurricane Forecast
If you think back to 2012, you’ll remember what an active hurricane season we experienced that year. For 2016, meteorologists expect a repeat performance. We may have gotten a break for a few seasons, but the storms are brewing in full-force. Weather professionals have named 14 hurricanes, exceeding the average of 12 per year.
The season will peak in August, and meteorologists expect that the rising water temperatures will create a perfect environment for hurricanes to gain strength as they become larger and build momentum. While there is no surefire way to determine how many of the storms sitting in the Atlantic Basin will make landfall within the US, the general consensus is that the potential is great for some serious storms this summer.
Preparing Your Family
If a hurricane is on the way, your family should already have a plan to stay safe. Communicating this plan beforehand can prevent things from going awry. Creating an effective plan involves researching your risk factors. What is the hurricane risk for the area your home is located in? Where are your emergency evacuation shelters? How high is your flood risk? Knowing these things can help you determine whether it’s safe to stay in your home, and if it’s not, when you should leave.
You should have disaster supplies. In an ideal situation you’ll never need them, but it’s better to have them and not need them that it is to need them and not have them. Keep several gallons of clean water, nonperishable food, matches, batteries, flashlights, and an emergency radio. You may also want to stock up on first aid supplies in the event that anyone experiences a minor injury.
Preparing the Inside of Your Home
You may want to create a bag of important items to take in the event that you need to leave your property. This should include cash, clothing for your family, important documents, prescription medications, and small valuables. Get these things together before the storm, and store them someplace safe. You may have to grab the bag and evacuate at some point, and gathering these items before there is any imminent danger is the wisest decision.
If you have a safe room in your home, you should prepare this area. It will become your home base during the storm. This should be a space with no windows, or boarded windows, where all of your emergency supplies are located.
There may be nothing you can do to prevent a flood, so your best course of action is to purchase flood insurance in the event that you’ll need it. Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t generally cover flooding or storm damage, as the water that damaged your home came from an outside source. Review your policy and see if you’re covered. If not, purchase additional flood insurance before the peak of hurricane season.
Preparing the Outside of Your Home
Anything outside of your home can quickly fly inside of your home thanks to hurricane winds. If you have garbage cans, patio furniture, or tools that are sitting out in the open, move them into a shed or your garage. Anything that isn’t properly secured can become a projectile. Securing or removing these items is necessary.
As hurricane season approaches, it’s vital to remember to trim you trees. Trees close to your property can come tumbling through your roof or windows, particularly if they have many low hanging or loose branches. Cut your tree limbs back, and have weak trees removed before they become a problem. You may need to speak to your neighbors if they have trees that can potentially affect your home should a hurricane strike.
You may have heard that you should tape your windows prior to a hurricane. In reality, taping them won’t do much. If you have storm shutters, let them down. If you don’t, your best bet is to board your windows. You won’t have time right before a hurricane to get plywood, measure it, and install it. Before hurricane season, purchase plywood, fit it over your windows, and drill holes in it at approximately 18 inches apart. Before the storm, all you’ll have to do is hang the plywood you already have.
If you have a crawlspace, you’ll want to make sure it’s protected. Water will flood your crawlspace, potentially causing damage to your home. Mold grows very quickly, wet wood rots, and water trapped beneath your home has no place to go. This is a dangerous combination of factors to play around with. Waterproofing your crawlspace can save your home, as long as you do it properly. You may want to consider installing a pump to draw water out of your crawlspace and direct it away from your home.
Getting The Help You Need
Whether you’ve already experienced damage as a result of a hurricane or you need help preparing your home for an imminent storm, the wisest decision you can make would be to enlist the help of a water damage restoration specialist. Water damage is a slippery slope, no pun intended. It spreads fast and opens the gate for compounding issues that are harder to combat.
At Restoration Local, we understand how important your home is to you and your family. We work by bridging connections between reliable, outstanding water damage restoration specialists and homeowners like you, who require their services. We’ll be able to provide you with a free estimate, allowing you to plan your restoration project or preventative service plan. The longer you wait, the more vulnerable your home becomes. Give us a call for a free estimate at 1-888-443-3110.