Luckily, we haven’t had too much reason to worry about hurricanes this summer in Central Florida. But it never hurts to be prepared! Here’s a quick refresher on how to protect your home should a summer storm make landfall nearby.
Smart landscaping. Take a look around the outside of your home and scan for possible risks. You might want to replace gravel or rocks in your landscaping with shredded bark or mulch for the summer, to limit the damage to your house, car, garage door, etc. in the case of strong winds.
In addition, you’ll want to keep tree branches trimmed and cut away weak branches/trees next to your house.
In the event of power loss, make sure you have a generator and gas handy before you catch word of a storm coming your way. You want to avoid as much of the last-minute chaos as you can! Also, don’t depend on fuel you have left over from last hurricane season. Stale fuel can cause starting problems for your generator, so empty the fuel tank and carburetor before refilling.
De-clutter debris. Bring what you can from the outside in—like trash cans, lawn furniture, small plants, toys, etc. This not only protects these items from blowing away or getting damaged, but protects you and your neighbors’ property.
Clear out rain gutters, too, to prevent dirty water backing up around your house.
Don’t drain your pool! It might seem counterintuitive, but your pool’s water acts as a sort of anchor for the pool’s foundation itself. Without its pressure, heavy rains from a hurricane could raise the water table and almost “push” your pool’s foundation awry. Your pool should have a good drainage system in place in the event of overflow.
Do, however, super chlorinate your pool and turn off all power to it during the storm.
Shutter time. You already knew this step! Keep your windows safe with plywood (USAA recommends 5/8 inch marine plywood) or hurricane shutters.