Readying Your Home and Business

Before the Storm During the StormAfter the Storm

You should take an opportunity to ready your home before the hurricane season. While some of these options can be expensive, there are also cost-effective measures. Consult your local home improvement store for ideas on protecting your home or business. 

Protecting Your Windows

  • Storm shutters provide the best protection, but are pricey and usually need to be installed by a professional
  • Make sure doors have several locking mechanisms, so they do not fly open; deadbolts are best
  • When boarding windows, use ½ inch or 5/8 inch and purchase ¼ inch machine screw anchors (you will need at least six (6) anchors per sheet of plywood)
  • Cut the plywood to fit each window and sliding glass window. Sink the anchors into the exterior walls around each window
  • Drill holes into the plywood, the holes should match the position of the anchors on the wall
  • Match the holes to the anchors and tighten the screws through the plywood and into the anchors. The wood should be flush against the wall and firmly in place

Protecting Your Doors

  • Protect glass doors or glass panes with large pieces of plywood as you would windows
  • Check all doors for missing or loose screws
  • Add a 1-inch deadbolt to a door to also makes it more wind resistant

Protecting Your Garage

  • Use 2'x4' boards anchored into the walls vertically and horizontally
  • Wind retrofit kits for garage doors includes braces and hardware; kits can cost $500.00 for a double garage door
  • A more expensive option is replacing your garage door with an impact-resistant model made of steel. These resistant doors can cost between $750.00 and $1,300.00. Ensure that all construction meets local building codes
  • NOTE: If you are a resident of The Villages, make sure to check your garage door as many homes built within the last few years will probably have these doors

Protecting Your Roof

  • Set aside 1 day a year to inspect your roof. Begin by checking the surface of your roof. Look for curled, loose, missing shingles or roof tiles
  • Inspect the roof from the attic as well. Look for points of light coming through the roof.
  • Examine rafters or trusses for protruding nail tips, which indicate that the plywood roof might not be properly secured
  • If you can, hire a roof inspector, these inspections typically cost approximately $175.00

Trimming Your Trees

  • Most trees do not need to be pruned each year
  • A tree with multiple trunks will become hazardous to people and your property as the tree grows larger. Always prune a tree so that the branches are 18-36 inches apart on the main trunk
  • In trees with a single trunk, be sure the main branches form an angle with the trunk of 40 degrees or more
  • Palm trees are adapted to wind storms and removing fronds have no benefit, it can actually harm the tree

Protecting Your Pool

  • Attach a safety pool cover. These covers are designed to hold during hurricane force winds. Make certain that your straps are tightened down
  • Remove your skimmer lids and any other loose items
  • Super-chlorinate your pool (aka shock it). This will prevent the pool water from becoming contaminated
  • Turn off your filter systems before the storm hits but, do not drain the system. Draining the system will cause the motor to burn up if the pump becomes clogged or the line voltage drops
  • Do not put your pool furniture into the pool. Storing it in the pool can cause damage
  • After the storm passes, do not drain the pool. Remove large debris by hand and use a pool rake or net to remove smaller debris. Do not use the vacuum system.
  • Clean the filter and run the system 24 hours a day. When the water has attained proper clarity, then reset the clock for a normal daily cycle
  • Consult with a professional pool maintenance company with further questions

Checking Your Insurance

  • Most homeowners policies cover damage caused by windstorms, hurricanes and hail, but insurance companies may exclude this coverage in some areas
  • Homeowners policies have special deductibles for hurricane damage that are separate from the general deductible
  • Water damage not associated with wind driven rain or broken pipes most likely will not be covered by homeowner's insurance. Flood insurance must be purchased separately  Visit the FLOODING page for more information. 
  • To speed up an insurance claim, you should videotape or photograph and record serial numbers of all your belongings before a hurricane