How can I prepare for a hurricane?
  1. First, get important papers and special photos in order and secured in plastic. Identification is difficult and time-consuming to replace: so be sure to include social security cards, birth certificates, high school diplomas, titles or deeds to property. Photos of special occasions or loved ones cannot be replaced, so including these is important as well.

  2. Think ahead and take video or photos of your property before you leave. This will help later on with any insurance checklist claims for damage that may need to be filed.

  3. Along with overnight clothes, consider stocking your Hurricane Kit with the following: extra cash, generator, batteries, flash lights, battery operated radio/television, bottled water, toilet paper, non-perishable foods such as cereal or crackers, canned goods, a can opener, a small cooler, candles, prescription medicines and any over-the-counter remedies you use regularly; and if you have small children - diapers, baby wipes, formula, baby food.

  4. Count on the power being out for at least a day or two. Remember that ATM's will be non-operating, so have at least some hard cash in your Hurricane Kit (see no. 6, above) to see you through the storm.

  5. If you decide to tough out the storm, stay downwind in your home. This means if the wind is hitting the living room windows, go to the room opposite the living room.

  6. Plywood is a 'hot' commodity for those of who decide to stay. Boarding up windows that will take the brunt of the wind and rain is a wise decision. If board is not available, protect your windows from the wind by criss-crossing them with layers of duct or packing tape. This will be enough protection for light-to-medium winds.

  7. Finally, STAY INSIDE. However tempting it may be to videotape or take photos of the storm, be sure to shoot from indoors - where it's safe, and dry!
How to Prepare your roof for Hurricane

Suggestions and guidelines for Roof Preparation for Hurricane Season:

There are a few things that home owners can do to help secure their roofs and homes in the event of an upcoming storm:

  • Clear all leaves and debris from roof areas and from gutters and drainage systems located throughout the roof. Make sure all down spouts, header boxes and gutters are clear so rain water can flow through the them. This will help prevent the water from backing up and entering the building.

  • Trim all tree limbs and branches away from the roof areas.

  • Homeowners should walk around the perimeter of their home and survey the fascia boards (the boards that are located just below the metal trim of the roof) as well as the soffit boards, which are located below the roof overhang areas. Rotten wood in these areas may be a sign that the roof is leaking above the eaves and that the roof is in need of repair. Rotten wood left in at the eaves of the roof could be a potential problem during a high winded storm. If the sheathing and fascia boards located at the eave of the roof where the eave metal is attached is rotted, the fastening strength of the nails that hold the eave metal in place could be compromised by the rotted wood. This would enable the wind to potentially tear the eave metal from the building in these areas. Once the eaves are exposed, the winds uplift forces could shear the roofing membranes away from the building along with the roof decking as well. Making sure these roof areas are repaired will help secure the structure from possible wind damage at the eaves. Resealing the eave metals at the flat sections of the roof is another way to secure the roof line at the eaves.

  • Broken roof tiles should be removed and replaced with the same or similar type roof tiles.

  • Turbine tops should be removed and, turbine covers or caps should be installed in their place in order to prevent wind and rain from entering the building which may occur if the turbine top blows off.

  • Any missing or damaged shingles on your roof should be replaced with the same or similar type shingles. A suggestion may be to purchase a tarp and store it as needed in case your roof is damaged during a storm. The faster the roof can be covered the less damage the interior of the home will sustain.