How can you best prepare for hurricane season? Florida homeowners may want to take a tip from Florida business owners, who wisely prepare year-round. Why? Hurricane season —supposedly June through November— really can mean January through December. Consider implementing these 10 components to your hurricane preparedness checklist.
Plan for the worst weather you can imagine, then breathe a sigh of relief when it does not strike. A hurricane preparedness checklist is not all-encompassing, so start with the 10 items mentioned here and supplement your plan based on your family’s needs. Plan to fortify your central Florida home with these tips:
- Keep all your important documents in a safe location, such as in a waterproof, fireproof home safe.
- Ready your roof with regular inspections by your nearby residential roofer, including minor repairs, so your roof is always prepared to handle the worst weather.
- Listen regularly to weather forecasts and pay attention to hurricane watches and warnings; never ignore local authorities’ advice to brace for impact, shelter in place, or evacuate.
A good plan is only a start. Remember to review your hurricane preparedness checklist regularly. Discuss it routinely with family members, so it becomes second nature to them.
Modify the plan as children grow and your circumstances — new neighbors, different family friends, new schools, additional recreation equipment — change.
Keep your family coordinated and updated on hurricane preparedness:
- Make sure everyone has each other’s contact information, including school and work telephone numbers.
- Maintain a list of emergency contacts, including your helpful residential roofer, insurance company, first responders, neighbors, extended family members, and all of your medical providers.
Just as you regularly practice Exit Drills in the Home (EDITH) for fire, practice your hurricane preparedness plan with your entire family. Who will round up the pets? Who will call the roofer to report damage to your roof from the hurricane? Who will make sure the stove is off?
Also, consider what you will do if the entire family is not together when an emergency strikes. Can you provide reassurance to your children that neighbors and friends will provide shelter for them? Do you have a way to get everyone back home safely? Who takes over if a breadwinner is away on a business trip?
Protect your home. You may need to hunker down inside for several days, so ensure all parts of your home are in good repair:
- Keep gutters clean and clear of debris; replace any damaged or corroded gutter parts.
- Protect and reinforce your garage door; ensure it is in flawless operating condition.
- Inspect all windows and exterior doors for cracks or leaks; get any defective windows and doorways repaired right away.
Also think about preparing your home if you have to evacuate. Do you know where and how to shut down power to the house? What about the gas? Can you turn off water valves to prevent sewage backup? Obviously, you cannot take everything of value with you. Have a plan to organize and waterproof sensitive, valuable, or sentimental possessions.
Stay in touch with your residential roofer throughout the year to stay up to date on hurricane protections your roof could use.
Keep a collection of shelf-stable food and bottled water on hand, rotating old stock out and replacing it every three to four months with fresh provisions:
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends one gallon of water per day per person, with a three-day minimum. Keep it in a cool, dry place.
Consider shelf-stable foods you can eat at room temperature in case your power and gas lines go down. Remember to provide balanced nutrition, not just carbohydrates and sweets. Provide comfort foods that include plenty of nutritious calories.
The water supply will be needed not only for drinking but also for cleaning and personal hygiene. Toilets can flush even if the incoming water supply is shut off simply by filling the bowl, though that uses a lot of your limited water supply.
- Prepare your yard by keeping clutter to a minimum, cutting back dead and overhanging branches, and getting into a habit of storing and securing outdoor items such as patio umbrellas, pool furniture, and children’s toys.
Never attempt to climb onto your roof. Roofs are dangerously slippery, sloping surfaces. If you are concerned about debris, loose flashing, stray sports equipment, or other roof issues, contact your local, reliable roofer for help well before any hurricane.
Whether you enjoy a sparkling, sturdy metal roof or an attractive shingle roof, your roofer can provide many services to keep your roof clean, working properly, and shedding water. Is your home ready to handle hurricanes? Contact us today at Alan’s Roofing. We proudly serve the good people of central Florida, Orlando, Tampa, and surrounding areas with a complete range of roofing services, including hurricane preparedness.