Hurricane season officially began June 1st, which means Florida will receive a hefty surge of rain, lightning, and storms. While Gainesville is much safer than coastal cities, it’s still very susceptible to any incoming hurricanes.
This means that your home needs to be prepared. A house is one of the biggest investments of your life, so ensuring that it’s protected from the natural elements should be a top priority. Even if there are no major storms predicted to hit Gainesville, it’s still wise to be prepared for anything. Here are a few ways you can ready your home for hurricane season 2019.
Heavy storms and heavy wind gusts often knock out power. Power lines get taken down, generators get fried, and surrounding homes are without power for potentially days at a time. A few ways you can prepare yourself is to purchase plenty of candles, flashlights, and extra batteries to keep your house illuminated. You should also protect your electronics by installing surge protectors. Be sure to keep an extra external phone battery charged up as well!
2. Lawn and Landscaping
Your yard is very exposed to the harsh natural elements, which means its likely to see some damage. One of the first steps you can take towards protecting your lawn is trimming the trees and shrubs. Ensuring your tree limbs are trimmed to reduce the amount of debris and prevent large branches from falling. Additionally, if you have a gravel driveway, some sources recommend switching to shredded bark. During heavy storms, gravel can be swept up, potentially damaging nearby homes and structures. Finally, don’t forget to take all your lawn ornaments inside!
3. Secure Porches
Porches and outdoor areas usually have either furniture, specialty plants, or other decorations. Chairs and potted plants that can blow away should be taken inside or tied down somewhere. If you have a patio sofa or other outdoor furniture, remember to take off the cushions and properly secure pieces so they don’t get swept away.
4. Secure Doors and Windows
Over time, Florida’s hot and humid weather can damage seals around windows and doors. Inspect all your doors and windows to make sure they’re safe and secure. Even if they’re intact, you might want to re-caulk your seals to give your windows a little extra strength against heavy winds and rain. If you’re still afraid of your doors blowing in, you can attach head and foot bolts.
5. Inventory Home and Supplies
During a hurricane, you need plenty of food, water, and other emergency supplies in case of long-term power outages and roadblocks. Make sure your pantry is always fully stocked with canned food and bottled water. You might also consider filling one of your bathtubs. This way if your water stops working, you’ll have plenty of water to refill your toilets, washing, and flushing.
In addition to taking inventory of your food, water, and medical supplies, you should also make a record of all your possessions for insurance purposes. Take photos of all your belongings, and be sure to capture your yard and vehicles too.
These are the basic things homeowners should remember during hurricane season. Hit your grocery store, stock up on supplies, and batton down the hatches. Consider reviewing your insurance policies, and make sure there’s no major pre-existing structural damage to your home.
Still looking for your dream home? Contact Thomas Group Realty at (352) 226-8228.