Is Your Home Ready for the 2024 Hurricane Season?

“A Hurricane? I hope it doesn’t come our way, I’m not ready!”

How many times has the storm caught you completely unprepared? Each year, we face the inevitable hurricane season commencing on June 1st and extending for 6 months, with storms consistently peaking in August and September. As with every hurricane season, early preparation is key, regardless of forecast. Knowing the essentials of preparing your home could be a lifesaver. Anticipating the arrival of a hurricane or any severe storm strikes fear and anxiety in the people in its path for a good reason. Natural disasters can significantly disrupt lives, creating physical and mental health problems as well as economic challenges such as property damage, loss of income due to business closures, and increased insurance premiums. Preparation, however, can minimize storm damage if you live in a hurricane-prone area.

Reinforce these five critical areas: roof, straps, windows, doors, and garage doors. Covering your windows with plywood is a cost-effective and proven way to protect them. Secure your rain gutters and clear the drains. Remember that water can likely enter your home through faulty spots in your roof, so a thorough inspection and patching of any defective shingles or tiles is essential. This proactive approach can instill confidence in your home’s resilience and prevent damage to the inside of your home, making you feel more secure in the face of a storm.

In some cases, a storm can also rip off the entire attic. If you have attic space, ensure that straps attach to your roof to avoid this catastrophe. Many companies can attach roof straps to your home for a small fee, providing professional assistance and reassuring you that you are not alone in this preparation process.

Also, remember that doors and windows are vulnerable because wind seepage can cause severe damage to your home. Therefore, to further secure the inside of your home, lock your doors and windows. You can also reseal each window if necessary. Look out for flooding and downed power lines that may require you to turn off your power. This is important to prevent electrical fires and other hazards, so become familiar with the circuit breakers in your electrical panel and be prepared to switch them off.

To prepare the inside of your home, follow these additional tips to help weather the storm:

  • Charge your cell phone before the storm hits.
  • Use long-lasting LED lanterns and flashlights.
  • Freeze ice blocks in plastic containers, which will keep the fridge colder for longer if you lose power. You can also drink that water later.
  • Clean and fill bathtubs with water to flush toilets and clean dishes.
  • For a good supply of fresh drinking water, fill Ziploc bags three-quarters full of water and stack them upright in your freezer.
  • Reseal each window if necessary. FEMA suggests turning your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and opening the doors only when necessary.
  • Wedge sliding glass doors with a brace or broom handle to prevent them from being lifted from their tracks by strong wind vibrations.
  • Discard, declutter, and organize your garage; this will allow you to identify and repair any vulnerable spots before hurricane season.
  • Temperature-controlled garages are ideal for storing paperwork, childhood belongings, family heirlooms, and antiques.
  • Have sandbags available in case of flooding.
  • Move furniture to higher ground.

For additional information, go to:

University of Florida EDEN Disaster Education Network:

Florida Extension Disaster Education Network | UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education (piecenter.com)

To find out if you live in an evacuation zone, go to https://Floridadisaster.org/know

What to include in your Emergency evacuation Kit: https://youtu.be/pVEXDyKzQDw

FDEM 2024 Hurricane Guide

FDEM Hurricane Guide 2024 (floridadisaster.org)

For Shelter information by County: https://www.floridadisaster.org/planprepare/shelters/

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Posted: June 5, 2024


Category: Disaster Preparation, HOME LANDSCAPES, UF/IFAS Extension, WORK & LIFE
Tags: Disaster Prep, Home Safety Tips, Hurricane Prep, Hurricane Preparedness


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