Though you ought to spend more, if possible, a mere fifteen minutes of preparation can save you from a world of pain, frustration, discomfort, and danger when a hurricane hits. To help you spend those fifteen minutes wisely, we’ve put together a short list of five steps you can take as part of hurricane safety home planning—without leaving your home or going out for anything you don’t already have handy.
1) Education & Information
Familiarize yourself with the standard emergency procedures for your area, such as evacuation routes, and determine whether there’s a risk of flooding for your home or roads you frequently use. The fewer surprises if something goes wrong, the safer you’ll be. Get the Florida Emergency Preparedness Guide from Floridahealth.gov here!
If there is a risk of flooding, figure out where the breaker box for your home is, and consider disabling power in advance. Going without power is uncomfortable, but major flooding combined with live power can become a serious threat to the safety of your home, your family, and possible rescue workers.
2) Secure Loose Objects Inside & Outside
Every loose object outside of your home is a potential projectile when the winds pick up, so try to avoid having too many pieces of loose furniture, children’s toys, grilling equipment, et cetera sitting around your home—or in exterior rooms with windows. If you do have these things out during hurricane season, make sure you have a plan for storing them quickly when the storm rolls in.
3) Secure Windows, Doors, & Other Openings
The better you can secure your windows, exterior doors, and any other openings into your home before a hurricane, the better. If you want to invest a bit more than 15 minutes, having impact windows and doors installed can create a major improvement in your hurricane safety home preparedness, minimizing the risk of damage to exterior rooms of your home.
In lieu of that, make sure they’re closed and locked at minimum. Ideally you can have them shuttered and sealed around the edges; refreshing the weather stripping on your front door can mean the difference between a flooded front room and passing the storm without incident.
4) Put Together an Emergency Kit
You don’t necessarily need to have a duffel bag with all of the necessities tucked away, but at the very least read up on hurricane emergency kit items and keep a checklist handy. When the hurricane gets close, you can go through the list and collect the items necessary.
Of course, its best if you can have as much of the list as possible stored in a go-bag, so it can double for evacuations if necessary; consider what your budget allows.
5) Prepare a Safe Room
Determining where you’re going to ride out the storm in advance can minimize panic and discomfort during a storm. If you know which room is safest during a storm—an interior room without windows, possible upstairs if there is a risk of flooding—then you can prepare it with items from your emergency kit, comfort items such as a television or portable electronics, etc.
Installing Impact Windows & Doors - the Most Important Step!
It’s impossible to do everything you ought to do for the hurricane safety home planning in a short amount of time, so try to plan ahead a bit. The best steps to protect your home require significant planning ahead and investment.
If you can, then take the time to have impact doors and windows installed, make sure your walls and roof are well-maintained, keep up with drainage and pump solutions if there’s a risk of flooding. A well-prepared home can be the single home left intact in a—possible literal—sea of damaged homes.
Contact Alco Windows & Doors for a friendly, informative partner to plan your impact windows and doors installation project.