Hot on the heels of Tropical Storm Alberto, Hurricane Bud confirms an early start to the 2012 hurricane season, which does not officially start until June 1. Effectively, we are already in a weather pattern similar to the middle of June.
As the hurricane season takes off, it’s important to stay informed. Stay up-to-date with AccuWeather.com’s Hurricane Center, and follow the storm in real-time with their interactive hurricane tracker.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) also offers updated weather information and a checklist for assembling a disaster supply kit, useful whether you will need to evacuate or stay safely tucked in your home. The NHS reminds us that a hurricane watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds…conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
This makes it all the more urgent to hurricane-proof your home as much as possible ahead of time, before a storm strikes. Here are storm-proofing guidelines from Joseph Schlenk, Fortified Home Expert, Deltec Homes, a builder of prefabricated homes with a long history of hurricane resistance.
Trees Trim out dead wood and limbs that could scrape or fall on the house.
Roof Install additional braces in the trusses. A qualified builder can install galvanized metal hurricane straps to secure the roof to the walls. Wait until after hurricane season to replace old roofs.
Gutters Make sure gutters are clean, functioning properly and water from downspouts does not pool near the house.
Pool Lower the water level by a foot or two. Stock up on chemicals to shock the pool after the storm.
Screens Secure or remove screen doors. Remove items that could be blown through screens.
Patio Remove furniture, flower pots, grills, firewood, etc. to a secure place. Patio furniture can be stored in the pool.
Doors Install beefier hinges to make outside doors stronger. Reinforce garage doors by bracing each panel, adding stronger supports and heavier hinges.
Windows Options include hurricane shutters, plywood covers or clear plastic window film. Shutters are effective but relatively expensive. Plywood covers are a good DIY option. Purchase, cut and label plywood covers ahead of time, and install before the wind strengthens. Adhesive window film helps prevent glass from shattering only if anchored in the window frame.
Valuables Move valuable rugs, furniture, pictures, books, etc. away from windows. Store where they are least likely to suffer water damage. Lock important papers and jewelry in the dishwasher.
Supplies Stock up on gas or charcoal for the grill, lights that are gas- or battery-powered and extra ice chests. If you plan on purchasing a generator, do so before the last-minute rush.
Insurance Go over your insurance coverage, including flood insurance, with your agent. Get recommendations from your agent or check online for disaster-relief contractors and have the names and contact numbers of a couple handy — just in case.
Deltec Homes is known for building hurricane force wind resistant round homes worldwide since 1968. Read Deltec homeowner hurricane survival stories here.