As we enter Labor Day weekend, and we are busy making plans with family and friends let us also stay aware of Tropical Storm Hermine, and its potential impact. The system brings with it strong winds, potential for coastal flooding, heavy rain, high surf, and rip currents. With that being said there are things you can do to prepare your shore home for the high winds and water.
Your home’s roof is its main form of protection and easily has potential of being the largest opening in the house. If your roof is not secure wind and water could cause a large amount of damage. Inspect your roof for any shingles or tiles that may not be secured and make repairs before a potential storm is forecasted to arrive. If possible, use secure straps or clips to fasten your roof to your home’s structure.
Windows and Doors
The seals around your home’s windows and doors can get damaged over time, especially during the warmer months. Inspect the seals around your windows and doors and replace caulk or seals to prevent rain from getting in during a tropical storm. Cover your home’s window with hurricane shutters or plywood.
Loose items lying around your deck and yard, such as patio chairs, can quickly become missiles with strong winds. Any loose items that have the potential of being picked up and thrown around by strong winds should be removed and stored indoors. This includes items such as your grill, lawn furniture, garbage cans, lawn ornaments, downed limbs, and garden hoses.
Many times we see garage doors that are blown in during strong winds. They have the potential to blow upwards, and could damage a large part of your home. Strengthen your garage door by having a vertical brace installed along the garage door, and then reinforce it with wooden beams installed horizontally.
Inspect your gutters and remove any leaves and debris that may have accumulated. Long heavy periods of rain could cause damage if your gutter is clogged.
During the storm stay clear of windows and doors, and brace the doors if possible. Be prepared for any power outages by keeping your cell phones charged. Use your weather radio to be prepared or any changes in the weather condition that may warrant further action. If your shore home is at risk for flooding move all valuable papers to the upper level of your home in a waterproof container. Gather batteries, flashlights, and make sure you have a working radio that runs on battery power. Last but not least, have a fully stocked first aid kit.
Storm conditions can change very quickly. Stay aware of what is going on around you at all times. If water levels appear to be rising it is best to try to evacuate before the level is too high to do safely. If you do evacuate remember “Turn Around Don’t Drown” if you are not confident about the depth of the water on roadways. The National Weather Service reports: “Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters. People underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded. A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters.”
If you, or your friends and family have a home that is inland, be sure to check out our friends at The Silva Group with their helpful tips on how to prepare inland homes for severe storms.