We asked our affiliate, Rapid Response Team, Florida’s largest insurance restoration general contractor, how our policyholders could get better prepared for the Florida storm season.
PUT AWAY “MISSILES”
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, basketball hoops, children’s toys, patio furniture, and flag posts.
Also, many Florida homeowners underestimate the risk of damage from outdoor flower pots. 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 100 mph.
Trimming your trees before a hurricane will help keep any damage from flying tree limbs to a minimum for both you and your neighbors. It will also help keep clean-up to a minimum after any storm. Call a professional tree trimming service for help.
And, don’t forget to clear your rain gutters!
Many homes in 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.
TRIM YOUR TREES
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.
PREPARE YOUR GENERATOR
If placed in your garage, carport or near your house, the genset may release carbon monoxide into your home. To prevent the risk of CO2 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.