Hurricane Preparedness Week: Strengthen your home

Hurricane home protection

SARASOTA (WWSB) - Thursday is Day 4 of Hurricane Preparedness Week. Is your home ready for a major storm?

We know the damage a simple rock can do to a standard window, so imagine that rock hitting that window with the force of hurricane winds. That’s why the experts say making sure you have glass protection is the first step to strengthening your home.

“The waters are heating up and the weather patterns are definitely constantly changing, to where I think we’re going get more threats of hurricanes,” said Scott Hanson, Lowe’s exterior specialist.

The experts detail four main ways to strengthen your home for a hurricane.

The first is to make sure your windows and patio doors are protected.

Some use plywood, but the specialists said that doesn’t meet the wind codes for our area. As an alternative, they recommend panels.

“If you have a window of this height, as an example, you’ll basically stack these together and they’ll overlap each other to cover the width,” showed Hanson, using metal panels.

Another option is shutters. There are numerous different styles that the experts say will have a level of proven resistance to heavy winds and flying debris.

“The most popular for the best protection would be an accordion system because it’s stronger than a panel,” explained Hanson.

Of course, you can buy windows that are already storm proof with impact resistant glass, but be prepared to spend a pretty penny.

Next, check your roof.

“The under-lament has been a big part of the changes since you may have done your last roof," said Hanson. "Your insurance company recommends, in this area, that your upgrade your roof every 20 years.”

If you don’t have any gutters around your home, you might want to consider installing those too.

“The more water you can collect to shed away from your home and keep it away from your foundation, the safer your house will be," said Hanson.

The safer your house is, the safer you are if you do decide to shelter in place.

“Have those supplies in your home, so if you’re not in an evacuation area, you’re not going to flood, staying home is safe as long as you’ve taken those steps to make sure you can stay there,” said Ed McCrane, chief of the Sarasota County Emergency Operations Center.

The most vulnerable places of your home are the front and back, so you need to make sure your garage door is hurricane rated as well and if you are planning to stay home, don’t forget that generator.

For more information about how you can ensure you’re adequately prepared for a hurricane, click here.

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