Having summer in full swing normally means that many families go on vacations or enjoy visits in their homes from friends and family members from out of town or even overseas. Although preparing to receive guests – or to be guests elsewhere is important, it is far more important to ensure that you have implemented sufficient hurricane protection measures in and around your home. Here are a few ways to ensure that your home is hurricane-ready.
Trim Trees and Clean Gutters
Among the most common forms of damage to homes during hurricanes is that caused by falling tree branches. In many cases, the amount of damage caused is dependent on the size of the branches that fall. A large branch can easily break windows; pull guttering down and even crash through a roof. Gutters that are full of debris will not be able to divert heavy rain away from your house’s roof and siding. This can not only cause gutters to detach; it can result in excess moisture seeping into your home’s attic or even its basement. Branches should be trimmed well away from the house and all leaves, mud and other debris should be cleared from gutters a few times a year.
Ensure That Insurance is up to Date
Many property owners are under the impression that their home insurance policy automatically covers any damage that occurs – regardless of the cause. However, this is usually not the case, as specific flood or even hurricane damage cover may need to be added on to a policy to ensure that full coverage will be provided in the event of hurricane damage being caused. It is essential to peruse your home owner’s policy to see exactly what coverage is provided for hurricane damage (if any). If there is no coverage, it needs to be purchased before the first hurricane of the season occurs – many companies have a minimum of a 30 days waiting period before claims can be entertained.
Safeguard Personal Documents and Possessions
Important documents such as social security cards, credit cards, identity documents, birth certificates, title deeds for homes and vehicles, insurance policies and marriage licenses should all be kept in a safe but easily accessible place in case you have to evacuate your home at short notice. Although it is recommended that documents like these be kept in safety deposit boxes, this is not always possible. However, keeping them at home in a safe – preferably in waterproof packaging – will help ensure that they are protected from water damage. It is also advised that photos are taken of valuables, as this will help speed up the process in the event of insurance claims needing to be lodged.
Taking the necessary hurricane protection precautions well in advance will not only help ensure that as little damage as possible occurs; it will also provide home owners with peace of mind in knowing that they will be able to get sorted and back on their feet as soon as possible in the event of a hurricane destroying or damaging their properties.