Fortify your castle
If you plan to ride out the storm in your home, make sure it is in good repair and up to local hurricane building code specifications. Many of these retrofits do not cost much or take as long to do as you may think. Have the proper plywood, steel or aluminum panels to board up the windows and doors. Remember, the garage door is the most vulnerable part of the home, so it must be able to withstand the winds.
In a high wind event anything can become a dangerous flying object. Take a day to make your landscaping more hurricane resistant. Activities include replacing landscaping rocks with mulch or trimming back tree limbs hanging over your roof.
Along with strong wind, hurricanes bring heavy rains. Your gutters are there to direct this rainfall away from your home and prevent flooding. This only works if your gutters are clear and in good shape. Take the day to clear out leaves or any other debris. While you’re up there make sure you don’t have any rusted out spots, holes, or openings.
Properly installed soffits keep water out of your house, and hurricanes will bring plenty. Properly installed soffits should stay in place in most high wind events, so take the day to make sure yours will stand up to a hurricane. Suitable caulking and screws will ensure your soffits are fit for hurricane season.
You can improve your roof’s resistance to uplift, without removing any of your roof covering! Proper application of the right caulk can increase the wind uplift resistance of your plywood roof sheathing by as much as three times! This one-day activity should be started in the early morning hours as attics can become quite warm in the afternoon hours.
If a hurricane is headed your way and you do not have pre-installed hurricane shutters, you are going to want to board up with plywood shutters. To make the process easier, measure all of the windows in your home you need to protect. You will then want to get the plywood cut and labeled to make installation easier if a storm is closing in.
The above items are just a few do it yourself one-hour, one-day and one-weekend activities suggested by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. A more detailed list and video tutorials can be found HERE.
New topics will be discussed each day through Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 15-21) on wbrz.com. All season long, check in with the WBRZ Weather Team on News 2, wbrz.com/weather, the WBRZ WX app., the WBRZ Cable Weather Channel and for the latest bulletins in the Capital City, please keep up with us on social media.