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  • How to Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season 2017

    Energy Air

    Hurricane season is officially here as of tomorrow and continues through November 30. Is your home ready for a potentially devastating storm? Although the Sunshine State has been pretty lucky in recent years — remaining relatively unscathed from any devastating tropical storms or hurricanes — this doesn’t mean we should risk being unprepared. After all, all it takes is one major hurricane to cause severe damage. Although preparing your home for hurricane season may feel like a daunting task, these five tips will help you get started.

    1. Secure your home

    In the past, homeowners were advised to board up the windows of their homes, but this method offers little protection. Instead, Eric Van De Steeg of Van De Steeg Roofing & Associates recommends securing your home in other ways with window shutters, roof chips and garage door braces. Functional, non-decorative window shutters can help protect windows from debris, while roof clips and garage door braces both work to keep your roof and garage door from blowing away during a storm. While these options aren’t exactly inexpensive, they are a great investment that can seriously protect your Florida home during a severe storm.

    For other great resources on protecting your home against hurricane damage, check out:
    Tips for Preventing Hurricane Damage to Your Roof
    Protecting Your Home from Hurricane Wind Damage
    6 Steps to Protect Your Home from Hurricanes

    2. Trim trees and secure loose items outdoors

    Trees are beautiful and add value to our homes, but during a tropical storm or hurricane, trees are basically your home’s worst nightmare. Before an approaching storm, take a day to trim the trees in your yard (or hire a professional). Similarly, be sure to secure any loose items outside of your home. From patio furniture to potted plants to bicycles to loose rain gutter and downspouts, anything of this nature can and will be blown about during a storm with high winds. Don’t forget about your air conditioning unit either. Be sure the condenser is secured the concrete slab outside of your home, and that there isn’t anything that could strike the unit during high winds.

    3. Take an inventory of your home

    Mother nature is unpredictable, and sometimes homeowners have to deal with a devastating loss. This reality is unfortunate, but by taking an inventory of your possessions, you will be able to rebuild and garner money for your losses quicker than if you forgo taking an inventory. If your home’s inventory is outdated (or nonexistent), spend a weekend photographing and documenting your valuables. These 10 photo tips for compiling your home inventory before hurricane season will help you get started.

    4. Invest in a generator

    Purchasing a portable generator or installing a generator for use during power outages can be a lifesaver for Florida homeowners. After all, we seldom realize just how much we rely on electricity until it’s gone. Not sure which generator is right for you? Check out this Emergency Generator Buyer’s Guide.

    5. Build a safe room

    An ICF Safe Room provides protection from winds as high as 250 mph. These safe rooms are created by building any room (such as the master bedroom closet) with ICF walls, pouring a concrete “lid” on top, and installing a steel door. Image courtesy of Build Block.

    A safe room, or an ICC 500 storm shelter, is designed for protection from high winds and flooding. Designed to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) criteria, safe rooms provide almost perfect protection in cases of extreme weather, including tropical storms and hurricanes.

    IFC Safe Rooms are built within your home (such as in the master closet) or as an addition to your home. If your safe room is being built within your home, a concrete lid is placed on top while a steel door is installed. Not only does an IFC Safe Room provide protection from winds up to 250 miles per hour, these rooms also double as a fire-resistant storage center for heirlooms of other family valuables.

    While this isn’t a realistic solution for all homeowners, it is a worthwhile consideration. And fortunately, whether you’re integrating a safe room into your new home design or retrofitting a safe room to your current house, both are relatively affordable and straightforward. Get more information on building a safe room for your home here.

    Prep Your AC System for Hurricane Season at Energy Air

    Don’t take your chances when it comes to hurricane season! By taking small steps to prepare your home for a tropical storm or hurricane can help protect your home and your loved ones. If you’re a resident of Central Florida and are concerned about getting your home prepared for the hurricane season, the professionals at Energy Air can help ensure your air conditioning system is ready to face an impending storm. Visit us online or give us a call to schedule an appointment.

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