Summer is nearly here, causing many Americans to spend more time out in the sun. If you live along Florida’s Atlantic coast, then this warmer weather also signals the beginning of hurricane season. Between the possibilities of a strong storm season and the restrictive nature of COVID-19 lockdowns, now is the time to take steps to ensure that your family is prepared.
June is also Garage Door Safety Month, and our team is here to offer advice to help you improve the safety and security of your family when a hurricane makes landfall. As your trusted garage door company for repair and installation services in Stuart and the surrounding areas, Guaranteed Garage Repair is here to help. We offer hurricane garage door services to reinforce your existing system, as well as new garage doors to deliver lasting beauty and peace of mind.
Keep reading for a few preparedness tips to help you during hurricane season, and be sure to contact us if you’re in need of garage door repairs!
Create a Family Plan
Nobody plans on becoming separated from family members, but if strong surges and high winds begin to creep closer to your home, things can become pretty hectic. One way to eliminate some of the uncertainty of this scenario is to create a comprehensive plan for your family to follow in case of an emergency. This plan includes meeting points, communication measures, and emergency contacts.
Need help preparing for hurricane season? Several resources are available to guide you, including Ready.gov, the Department of Homeland Security’s official preparedness website.
Know Your Evacuation Route
Everyone in your family should also know their evacuation plan in the event of an emergency. Check in with your local American Red Cross to find the closest shelter to your home, and establish the fastest and safest route to get there. If you have pets, it’s important to check and ensure that animals are allowed.
Stay in the Know
It’ll prove challenging to be ready for trouble if you are uninformed! You can receive real-time updates via the National Weather Service, sign up for community alerts in your area, download the FEMA app for accurate information, and more. The goal is to stay informed in the event that you and your family need to evacuate, before things get worse.
Secure Your Home
Outdoor preparedness can do a lot to protect your home and possessions from high winds. Before a storm makes landfall, it is highly suggested to inspect the perimeter of your property and secure any items which may be hazardous, such as lawn furniture, bicycles, and propane tanks. We also recommend taking the time to check your gutters and drains to ensure maximum water flow once the heavy rain begins to pour!
Proper securement of your windows can help to defend your home from invasive wind and rain by keeping the windows safe from damage. It’s recommended to cut plywood pieces (⅝ of an inch thick) to fit each window. If you live in a brick or stucco home, installing the board inside the window frame with barrel bolts. If you live in a home with vinyl siding, be sure to cover your windows and overlap the outside edges by at least four inches to keep the windows safe. Boarding your home before a hurricane can help to prevent a lot of damage and headaches, so be sure to be prepared if strong winds are coming your way!
Protect Vital Documents and Possessions
After making efforts to secure your home from danger, take some time to protect your important documents and valuables from damage. If the worst case were to happen, you would need certain documents and identification cards to start the process of rebuilding. Many Florida residents place their most valuable assets in a safety deposit box at their bank, while others rely on water and fireproof safes at home. No matter your plan, be sure to schedule some time to ensure that your most treasured possessions are safe.
Check Up on Your Insurance Coverage
If it has been awhile since you’ve reviewed your insurance policy, now may be the right time to contact your agent to check your coverage. Updated flood maps and policy amendments are possible, and may impact your plan in the event of flooding and storm damage.
Shelter Safety and COVID-19
Strong storms may necessitate travel to a designated storm shelter to protect your family from high winds and flooding. Whether the order is given to stay at home or to evacuate to a shelter, it’s more important than ever to practice safe distancing and sanitation to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The CDC offers several guidelines to help keep your family safe, including:
- Packing of sanitizers — When you leave for a shelter, be sure to take soap, hand sanitizer, and other products to help disinfect surfaces you will regularly be in contact with.
- Proper hygiene — Wash your hands often, especially after touching common surfaces. Follow the proper guidelines to help wash germs away.
- Social distancing — Despite these challenges, it is recommended to avoid groups or large gatherings as much as possible. Strive to maintain six feet of space between you and others who are not a part of your immediate family.
- Face masks — To limit the spread of harmful agents, it is suggested for family members over two years of age to wear a face mask. This covering can be cloth or another approved material.
Inspect Your Garage Door
The garage is the biggest opening into the home, and can create serious concerns if your garage door were to buckle and fail. The pressure of strong winds coming into the garage from the inside is strong enough to damage walls, siding, and roofing structures, leaving your home at risk for further wind and flood damages. It’s essential to check your overhead door to ensure it is prepared for hurricane season, and Guaranteed Garage Repair is here to help!
Our team in Stuart provides garage door repair, installation, maintenance, and inspection services to help generate the best fit for homeowners across southern Florida. Contact us today to learn more, and be sure to schedule your appointment!