5 Tips for Storm-Proofing Your Home

5 Tips for Storm-Proofing Your Home

Storm-Proof HomeWhen it is sunny, there isn’t a place in the world that can beat Florida, but during a storm, the weather here is severe. Most of Florida averaged well over 50 inches of rain last year with quite a few areas averaging over 70 inches. That is Mother Nature’s way of telling you she will bring severe storms to Florida no matter what time of year it is.

Keeping Your Home Safe

Don’t be fooled by Florida’s “Sunshine State” motto — we average more than 100 days of the year with thunderstorms. No matter how much notice a meteorologist can give you, moving your home is not an option. You can protect your house against severe weather, keeping your family, your valuables, and your home safe.

Here are some ways you can safeguard your home from severe weather:

  • Window protection
  • Keeping your roof attached
  • Landscaping
  • Reinforcing your doors
  • Keeping your house high and dry

Protecting Your Windows

Your home’s most vulnerable and beautiful asset is your windows. Installing shutters may be an aesthetically pleasing option for you to consider that allows protection and keeps the elements outside where they belong. There is also impact-resistant glass available to you. If windows shatter, more than just property could be hurt or damaged.

Keeping Your Roof over Your Head

Severe wind and heavy rainfall will take years off of your roof shingles or just take your roof off. It is important to remember that you can add more bracing to your roof through the attic of your home for reinforcement. One option many Floridians have decided with is going with a metal roof. It is an incredibly low-maintenance option that has an expected service life of 40 years.

Lawn Maintenance Will Make a Difference

Keeping your lawn well-manicured will make a difference when severe weather strikes. Making sure all of your tree’s branches are far from your roof and power lines will eliminate severe hazards and costly damage. Hedging and bushes could also cause potential problems, so keep in mind that you may want any and all foliage away from windows, entry ways, and any other locations where they could cause damage or obstruct access.

Keeping Your Door on Its Hinges

Don’t let your door be the last thing you think of in severe weather. Check the weather stripping around your door to prevent leaks from heavy rain and strong winds. Make sure that your door’s hinges are securely attached to their frame and that the deadbolt works, as weather could potentially be strong enough to blow the door open. If your doors are older, you may want to consider reinforcing the frame with weather-treated wood.

If the Water Does Rise

Flooding is an expensive and real hazard all across Florida, but you do have options to keep your home dry. If you can’t afford to raise your home so that the bottom level is above the flood plane, you can have floodwalls and berms built to fend off rising water. You will also want to seal every part of your home tight with waterproofing composites and rubber sheeting to keep it dry.

You’re not alone if your home has taken a beating from severe weather. Contact Florida Catastrophe today and we will help you bounce back from disaster.

Do You Live Near the Beach? Plan Ahead for Risks

Beach Risks

For many Americans, living by the beach is the embodiment of the American dream. When people fantasize about living by the beach, they think of the tranquil sound of waves rhythmically lapping at the shore, gulls floating overhead, and a profound sense of peace. While the beach does bring with it a sense of peace and serenity, it is easy for romanticized notions to eclipse the considerations and dangers of living by the beach. In order to fully enjoy your tranquil oasis, it is important to be aware of possible dangers and how to minimize beach risks to you and your family.

Flooding

In states like Florida, severe storms and choppy seas are a regular occurrence. Anytime houses are built near the water, proper precautions must be taken to avoid flood damage. Sometimes this can include raising up the house which can sometimes reduce stability. In addition to being a risk to the actual house, flooding can also cut you and your family off from supplies so it is essential to always keep spare emergency supplies in a safe place. It can also be a good idea to have a boat or a raft to use in the event of the need to evacuate.

Some have suggested that rising sea levels will soon become a problem that seaside residents will have to begin dealing with. Depending on your region, tidal waves and tsunamis can also damage your home and cause problems for your family.

Lightning

Some cities in Florida are considered lightning strike capitals of the world. The violent thunderstorms that can occur during the summer months and in the rest of hurricane season can often cause injury and property damage. One of the biggest risks associated with lightning besides risk of injury is risk of fire. Storms are often very powerful near warm-water beaches and can generate violent lightning. Even though the home is surrounded by water, fires resulting from lightning strikes are a very real danger.

Hurricanes

The state of Florida is no stranger to hurricanes. Florida is often almost always hit by major hurricanes during the season. Hurricanes are usually stronger when coming off of the warm waters near the coast. This can make beachfront property seem much less attractive when considering the scale of damage done as the result of hurricanes like Katrina and Andrew. These storms can produce strong enough winds and rain to break windows, blow debris, and even erode the foundations of the house. It is important to take proper precautions to prepare for hurricanes and to be aware of evacuation routes.

If you live near the beach and are interested in options for protecting or restoring your home, don’t hesitate to call Florida Catastrophe. At Fla-Cat, we have all the experience and equipment needed to service any of your beach risks and disaster needs.

Lightning Safety Tips

Lightning safetyThose who live in Central Florida know that is the lightning capital of the United States. With potential thunderstorms every day during the rainy season, it is no wonder that Floridians must take extra precautions to protect themselves, their families, and their property. Safety begins with education and by following these tips, you can sharply reduce the risk of harm to you and your loved ones during any and all of Florida’s infamous lightning storms.

Protecting Yourself and Your Family Outdoors

First and foremost, it is imperative to know how to react to lightning when outdoors or indoors. The most important thing to do during a severe lightning storm is to seek shelter indoors. If you cannot go indoors, it is imperative to stay away from bodies of water, trees, and elevated landmasses. It is critical to remain lower than surrounding objects but do not ever lie flat on the ground.

Educating Children

Educating your children on how to behave during lightning storms is a powerful factor in keeping them safe. It is important to teach them that, if they hear thunder, lightning is probably close and they should seek shelter inside. Remind them that they should never seek shelter under a lone tree and swimming pools should never be used during a storm. Make sure that they understand that they need to stay away from metal objects and avoid the use of electronics. If you have a family pet, make sure that the children know to bring it indoors during a storm.

Protecting Yourself and Your Family Indoors

If you can find shelter indoors, stay away from windows and do not use any electronic devices that are plugged into the walls. It is also better to avoid plumbing such as showers and baths. Both electronics and plumbing have the ability to conduct electricity during a storm and could result in explosions and injuries.

Concrete floors and walls also have the potential to conduct electricity and should be avoided. Make sure pets are away from windows, preferably an interior room that will allow them to remain calm. It is typically a good idea to unplug electronic devices or to purchase a surge protector to avoid damaging the electronics or causing injury.

In general, lightning safety tips consist of the following:

  • When thunder is heard, proceed immediately indoors
  • If no shelter is available, get low to the ground without lying flat, and separate
  • Avoid high, isolated objects such as  trees and towers
  • Avoid bodies of water such as swimming pools and lakes
  • When indoors, stay away from doors, windows, plumbing, and electronics
  • Educate all members of the family on lightning safety
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