Homeowner's Academy

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Expert Tips to Prepare Your Home Before a Storm Strikes

by BROOKE GOLD HASSON | May 21, 2015

PrepareHomeTipsOur affiliated Rapid Response Team, Florida's largest insurance restoration general contractor, is prepared to provide emergency repairs to our policyholders in the event that a major storm makes landfall in Florida. The Rapid Response Team’s restoration specialists help our policyholders get back to normal fast.

We asked the Rapid Response Team’s Kevin Walton, Jason Coben, Steve Berman, and Bryan Jeffords what Floridians can do to prepare their homes before a storm makes landfall in their area. Here are their expert insights:


During a major storm, you don’t want any “missiles” flying around your house. Put away all objects that are outside your house and not attached to the ground, like barbecue grills, trashcans, umbrellas, patio furniture and flag posts. 

Also, many Florida homeowners underestimate the risk of damage from outdoor flowerpots. Unfortunately, flowerpots can be picked up and tossed around by heavy winds, turning them into “flying missiles” too. That potted fern may seem innocent, but you will think differently when it is flung through the air at 100mph. 


Many homes in upscale Florida neighborhoods have entryway chandeliers. Unfortunately, the only thing usually holding it in place is an electrical cord and a skinny chain. To prevent your entryway chandelier from becoming a projectile:

  • Disconnect the chandelier, OR
  • Tie the chandelier to one of the concrete poles holding up the portico. In the event that the chandelier breaks loose, it will hit the ground, rather than through someone’s car window or the house across the street.


Trimming your trees reduces the likelihood of a tree falling down or catching wind, potentially causing additional damage to your home. Trees that are big and bushy, like black olive trees, can easily fall over and take out your roof or car.


If placed in your garage, carport or near your house, the genset may release carbon monoxide into your home. To prevent the risk of CO poisoning, place the genset away from your house where it gets a nice breeze. Also connect a chain from your genset to a nearby structure or tree to prevent it from being stolen.

Never place electrical cords near a mud puddle or water source. If you’re running an electrical cord from the genset to your house, make sure it has a clean path where it’s not going to get rained on. 


Personal safety is paramount in the event of a hurricane. More injuries occur after a hurricane from people trying to overdo things, such as installing storm shutters and chain sawing fallen tree branches, because they are not used to the increased level of physical excursion.

To prevent the risk of throwing out your back or landing in the ER for a severe injury, pace yourself, or consider hiring a company to do the “heavy lifting” for you.