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As of June 1st, hurricane season has officially begun in Florida and along the eastern seaboard. While these wild forces of nature are massively destructive and potentially deadly, there is one good thing to be said about them: you usually have a few days warning before they hit. During this time—and hopefully well before—preparations can be made to protect yourself and your home. So whether you decide to vamoose to areas calling for less wind and flooding or hunker down and weather the storm with the help of your carefully-crafted emergency kit, here are 8 ways to prepare your home for hurricane season.

1) Double Check Your Homeowner’s Insurance

Check with your insurance agency to make sure you have the coverage you need should the hurricane cause damage to your home. Flood damage is often the most tricky kind to receive compensation for, so make sure you fully understand your policy and fill in any gaps in your coverage.

2) Inspect Your Roof

We’ve all seen the aftermath of hurricanes where neighborhoods are dotted with roofs covered in bright blue tarps for months on end. To better your chances of avoiding this fate, inspect your roof for loose shingles/tiles or any other kind of damage, and make the appropriate fixes well before any hurricanes can form. For extra protection, you can purchase hurricane straps for your roof.

3) Trim Your Trees

Loose branches can quickly become projectiles when the winds pick up, so do yourself a favor and disarm your trees before they become the reason you need to make an insurance claim. Heavy boughs that hang over your roof should also be trimmed back so they don’t come crashing through at an inopportune time.

4) Clean Out Your Gutters

This may sound like nothing more than a menial weekend chore, but when the rain comes pouring down in tandem with howling winds, you’ll want your gutters to be clear of debris so they can do their job of diverting water away from your home and keeping it from splashing up under your roof covering.

5) Install Storm Shutters / Board Up Your Windows

Once you know for sure that a hurricane is coming to your area, it’s time to “batten down the hatches” and make sure your windows are secure. Installing storm shutters is ideal, but if they’re a bit out of your price range then boarding your windows with thick plywood is a sound backup plan. It’s a good idea to purchase plywood and cut it to size well before anything can brew in the ocean—that way you’ll only need to screw them in place once you know a hurricane is impending.

6) Brace Your Garage Door

If you have a garage, it can actually serve as the achilles heel to your otherwise well-fortified fortress. You can purchase a kit for bracing your garage door from the inside or even find DIY instructions if you are so inclined.

7) Secure Your Outdoor Items

Any loose items you have outside, like your grill, lawn chairs, trash cans, etc. can be blown away and potentially become airborne projectiles that will do damage to your house or your neighbor’s. Bring these items inside or strap them down securely to keep them from flying.

8) Use Sandbags for Flooding

While sandbags don’t offer a complete seal against water, they can be used to divert the flow away from your home. If you don’t have access to enough sandbags to encircle your entire house, focus on the doorways. Laying a plastic sheet between a doorway and the sandbags offers a better buffer between the water outside and the inside of your home.

Take advantage of the fact that hurricanes give you time to make preparations and a plan. And above all, be safe! Do whatever you think will best protect your family, and don’t forget the furry members of your household!

At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: The Value of the Notary Public to a Title Company

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