Florida is no stranger to storm season. Most residents have been through a storm or 2. Personally, my family ensued much destruction from Hurricane Andrew in August of 1992. It was the first named storm of that season and we never expected the damage it caused. Being a native Floridian, I knew it was just a matter of time before I saw a huge storm come through but nothing can prepare you for when devastation hits your neighborhood. The roof blew off our home and we had to run through the storm to seek shelter in a neighbor’s home. We rebuilt and survived that one thanks to a community coming together, intense news coverage and my water extraction machines!
Knowledge and preparedness can make the difference in the outcome of the storm on your home, business and family. Here’s some information from the NOAA.
What can I do to make my home/business more disaster resistant?
By Neal Dorst (Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Adminstration).
If you do not have shutters for windows and other openings in your building or reinforcement for larger doors and garage doors, then you should get some that comply with the standards in your area. If you have skylights or similar openings that are inaccessible or impossible to shutter then try replacing their coverings with shatter-resistant glass or film. Protecting the vulnerable spots in your building’s cladding is the first line of defense you have in protecting your property.
Replace any missing tiles or shingles on your roof. There are some products on the market which increase roof integrity by applying a film that holds the tiles or shingles together. Replace any broken windows or doors since these are more vulnerable to giving way under stress. Obviously, repair or replace damaged storm shutters since they too are more likely to fail.
If you have not had your property evaluated for compliance with current building code standards you may want to hire a company that specializes in this. They will be able to tell if your roof has proper hurricane ties on the joists, that the walls are secured to the foundation, and if your shutters are sufficient to protect your windows and doors. Correct any deficiencies they discover.
You might want to consider landscaping which minimizes debris or branches impacting your building. You may want to remove large trees near your home that might be brought down on it in high winds. Also choose plants that don’t break easily in the wind, creating wind-borne hazards for you and your neighbors.