In preparation for the 2017 Florida storm season, there are many things you can do to help protect your home and valuables and minimize damage in case of a hurricane.
Protect your windows. Storm shutters are the best option, so make sure they are in working order; if you have new ones put up, ensure they are done according to Florida code for hurricane shutter installation. You can also install impact resistant hurricane glass that can resist up to 110 mile per hour winds.
Seal around doors and windows with a weather resistant outdoor caulk, and adjust the door threshold for a tight seal. Add new weather stripping if needed. Remove any mats inside or outside the entry doors and set other items up on a shelf.
Trim trees and shrubs as soon as you can so the municipality can remove everything before storms roll in. Pay particular attention to branches overhanging roofs, and consider eliminating damaged trees that list dangerously and may be too weak to withstand high winds. (Don’t pile loose debris on the curb after a hurricane watch or warning has been issued.)
Bring any loose items inside, including garbage and recycling bins; patio, lawn, or pool furniture; and grills, yard decorations, or potted plants. If you live in a condo, make sure balconies are clear and check with your building association for further instructions.
If power outages are expected, turn the refrigerator and freezer functions to the maximum cold setting. According to government food safety guidelines, cold items will remain cold for 4 hours at least if the door is left closed, and frozen items can stay frozen for up to 48 hours.
Move light furniture like kitchen chairs and side tables to upper floors in multi levels homes. If possible, elevate heavy pieces like couches on the ground floor to a raised position on waterproof materials. Pack small home décor items like accessories and larger items like lamps in plastic containers and stack off of the ground.
Lower the water six inches in any pool, add extra chlorine, and turn off electricity to the pool pump. If possible, cover the pool with an approved, secure pool cover.
Store trailers and boats inside a garage if possible or lash firmly to the ground or mooring. For beachfront owners, clear any debris that could be hurled inland.
Have the number for your insurance company stored in your phone in case of water damage. Always call your insurance company first. Olympus has a roof repair program and water damage remediation partners who are trusted and can help you recover if your home is damaged by a storm.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not form a part of, replace, change or amend any terms, conditions, provisions or language within your Olympus Insurance policy. We encourage you to read your entire policy.
Olympus Insurance is licensed by the state of Florida. Information found on this site is intended for Florida residents only.