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Preparing Your Home For This Hurricane Season

Home Owners are encouraged to prepare for hurricane season by assessing their home’s risk and developing emergency plans to protect against a potential storm. This emergency plan should consist of an assessment of a property’s hurricane exposure and risks, which could be done with the help of a building expert, and then the implementation of risk mitigation techniques such as storm shutters and impact-resistant glass.

1. Know Your Risk.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) map service center will show you the flood risk for your community, which helps determine the type of flood insurance coverage you will need since standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding.

2. Develop A Family Communications Plan.

Know how you will contact one another; how you will get back together, if separated; and what you will do in different situations. Having a plan can eliminate some of the stress and confusion.

3. Avoid Taping Glass Windows And Doors.

Tape does not prevent windows from breaking. Remember, houses do not explode due to air pressure differences. Damage happens when wind gets inside a home through a broken window, door, or damaged roof. Instead, protect areas where wind can enter. Windows and doors should be secured with approved storm shutters. Another option is to board up windows with plywood.

4. Clear Gutters And Drains.

Though you should regularly clean your gutters and downspouts, make sure to double check them before a storm to ensure there aren’t any items that will block flowing water. If not water could easily overflow into places like your roof or attic. Additionally, check that all drains are clear in your house to prevent basement or crawlspace flooding.

5. Insulate Water Heaters.

If you’re not prepared, hurricanes and storms can cause leaks in your house that will affect the consumption for your heating and air system. This, unfortunately, will result in higher utility bills over time. Insulating your hot water heater with an insulating blanket or insulation tubes, you can reduce heat lost through the sides of the water heater by 25 to 40 percent.

6. Invest In HVAC Unit Covers Or Rain Guards.

Living in areas that endure recurring storms, heavy rains, or intense winds can put your air conditioner at increased risk for flying debris to insert itself in your system. Protective covers and rain guards are available for sale directly from the manufacturer with the main purpose of protecting your HVAC unit from this very scenario.