It may not feel like it, but we are currently in the midst of Florida’s (Atlantic) Hurricane Season. At the onset of the season, the hurricane experts at the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University (USC) predicted a very active season, more so that previous years. Their report, published June 4, 2020 includes a prediction of 19 named tropical storms—well above the average 12.1. Of these 19 tropical storms, CSU predicts 9 will become a hurricane level storm; 4 of those major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also released their own predictions May 21, 2020. NOAA concurs that we will see an above average hurricane season but places their predictions at 13 to 19 names storms with 6-10 of them becoming a hurricane. They also predicted that three to six of the hurricanes will be a Category 3 or higher.
With such an above average forecast for the current and still to come hurricane season, it is more important than ever to prepare your home for these storms. Here are easy, affordable, and often forgotten must-do hurricane preparedness tasks.
- Use Surge Protectors
This may be common practice for certain areas of your home like the living room or office area where many electronics are plugged in. However, don’t forget other outlets that could and should be switched over to an outlet with a built-in surge protector or plugged into a power strip—like those supporting your major appliances.
- Protect Your AC
Your air conditioning unit can be at risk for damage when a storm or hurricane hits. Some things you can do to protect it include making sure it is also plugged into a source with a surge protector—or unplugging it just before the storm hits. Getting a manufactured-approved cover for it will also protect it against and debris or tree limbs that may strike it as a projectile in high winds.
- Buy Plywood
If you don’t have storm shutters for your windows or glass doors, plywood can be an effective yet affordable alternative to metal shutters. Plywood inventory tends to drop when a storm is days from making landfall, so be sure to grab some before they are gone.
- Yard Maintenance
Trimming back bushes and tree limbs will help keep your foliage strong and health—hopefully enough to withstand high winds. It will also reduce the potential projectiles that could be created. Cleaning up the yard of other debris or property (like decorative pieces) can also minimize the risk they pose if they were to be tossed around by hurricane winds.
- Review Your Insurance
It is extremely important to understand what is and is not covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy, especially during a hurricane season where claims often result. Save yourself the headache of having your claim denied by ensuring you have the right coverages and understand your policy limits. Contact the agents at Magruder today to review your policy with you and to see if there is a more beneficial policy available.