Hurricane Season is Over – How to Prepare for 2023
The 2022 hurricane season is over, but Florida homeowners can’t let their guard down yet. Hurricane Ian’s devastation to South Florida underscored the importance of hurricane preparation in our area. Weather experts forecast the 2023 Hurricane Season will feature three significant hurricanes, six hurricanes, and 13 tropical storms.
The 2023 season begins June 1, and homeowners should prepare before the tropical activity begins. The best time for hurricane preparation isn’t a few days before the storm; it’s during the months before potential storms. As a premier provider of hurricane impact windows, Naples, Florida’s Wind Safe Shutters LLC, wants to share these tips for hurricane preparation.
Assess Your Home’s Vulnerability
Even a Category 1 hurricane’s wind can risk your home, so you'll have to take the time to consider improving its protection. How vulnerable is it to hurricane damage? Prepare for Hurricane Season by looking at your home’s exterior. Try trimming loose tree branches or limbs, as these are potential projectiles the wind could send crashing into your home. Examine your doors and openings for cracks, sealing them as needed. If your gutters or home features are loose, secure them before they become debris in hurricane winds.
Next, look at your windows. Consider their strength and whether they could stand up to a tree branch or debris at 100 mph. Most windows feature a 15 to 30-year lifespan; if your windows are nearing the end, maybe it’s time to replace them. With professionally-installed impact windows, Naples, FL, homeowners and other South Florida residents can fortify their homes against high winds.
Hurricane impact windows are engineered with tempered glass and are four times stronger than standard glass windows. Impact glass windows undergo rigorous testing for extreme wind resistance and can withstand the force of a 16-pound bowling bar dropped from ten feet high.
Get Up to Florida Building Code
While you examine your home’s vulnerable spots, take a moment to refresh yourself with the Florida building code, which requires hurricane protection for all homes built after 2001. Homeowners living in Miami-Dade County have special requirements as a “high-velocity hurricane zone.”
Even if your home features these protections, it might be time for a replacement. Pre-2001 homes may also need hurricane shutters and impact glass, so now is an excellent time to renew the strength of your home, primarily if you previously relied on plywood. Some home insurance providers offer discounts of up to 15% off your insurance when installing impact-resistant windows and doors.
Make a Hurricane Kit
Don’t make a hurricane kit at the last minute because you might forget something important. Gather your hurricane supplies in a central place where you can quickly access them. If and when disaster strikes, you need to be ready for a power outage. Pack up items like the following in your kit:
- Portable power pack
- Battery-powered weather radio
- Non Perishable snacks
- First-aid kit
- Cell phone chargers
Check with your county government for information about your evacuation zone and plan your evacuation route in case of a mandatory evacuation order. As we get closer to hurricane season, you can add bottled water, canned goods, and other supplies to your kit. If you have a pet, make a list of approved pet-friendly shelters and hotels in case of emergency.
Check Your Home Insurance Policy
The “downtime” before the hurricane season is a great time to check over your home insurance policy. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) advises homeowners to consider their home insurance, deductible, and any policy exclusions before potential hurricanes. Call your local insurance agent and go through your policy to ensure you can repair or replace your belongings in case of a severe hurricane or tropical storm.
Maintain Your Home’s Hurricane Shutters and Windows
You should clean your hurricane shutters twice a year; the months before the next hurricane season is a perfect time. Regular maintenance and cleaning of your hurricane shutters extend the life of your hurricane shutters. Use a light coat of soap and warm water, then scrub the shutters gently. Never use abrasive chemicals, cleaning solutions, or a pressure washer, as these can damage or scratch the shutters. Finish your maintenance with an approved spray lubricant.
If your home features hurricane windows, you can follow the same guidelines. Spray them lightly with a hose and not a pressure washer. Scrub gently to remove any built-up dirt, debris, or leaves. Use a squeegee or sponge for the excess water, then treat the windows with a non-abrasive glass cleaner. Spray the cleaner on a microfiber towel, then wipe the windows clean, taking care to remove streaks. It’s best to clean your windows on a day when there’s cloud cover to avoid the sun drying the window too quickly and leaving streaks.
Get Hurricane Shutters and Impact Windows in Naples, FL, and the Surrounding Areas
With an estimated $23 billion to $35 billion in wind losses alone, the aftermath of Hurricane Ian shows the importance of hurricane preparation. Don’t let your home go unprotected if the next Ian comes. Contact us today for quality installation of impact windows. Naples, Florida’s Wind Safe Shutters LLC, knows how to improve the safety of your home against hurricanes and tropical weather.