Hurricane Preparation Tips

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Florida has had more hurricanes than any other state in the U.S. These helpful tips will help make sure that your home and yard are as prepared as possible during this hurricane season.

Preparing Your Yard Before a Storm

Lawn furniture, equipment, yard tools and any other objects left outside can become projectiles during a major storm. Any items that must be stored outside should be moved away from entrances, exits and windows of your home. Move outdoor items into a shed or garage if possible before the storm.

Preventing Flooding and Water Damage

Flooding is one of the major ways that a storm can damage your home and endanger your family. You can prevent rain from accumulating in your gutters and causing water damage to the interior and exterior of your home. Clear any leaves or other debris out of your gutters and downspouts regularly, especially before a major storm. Make sure downspouts are pointed to divert water away.

Also, take these preventative measures:

  • Turn off the main water line

  • Use sandbags

  • If you have a multistory home, move furniture, electronics and other valuables to higher floors

Consider a Whole-House Surge Protector

High voltage from a nearby lightning strike can travel through phone, cable and internet wires or utility pole and into your home’s electrical panel. This can fry all of your major appliances and plugged-in devices.

A whole-house surge protector prevents this by blocking voltage spikes or shortening them to the ground. It’s a must-have in hurricane-prone Florida.

Protecting Your Windows and Doors

Covering your windows with storm shutters is a good way to make sure that debris or large hail do not crack the glass. A good alternative to storm shutters is plywood that can be temporarily nailed down over windows. Be sure that you use marine plywood that is at least a half-inch thick. Take measurements of your windows and doors ahead of time so that you can have the plywood pre-cut to the appropriate size.

Do not forget to inspect your garage door. This is the largest opening to your home, and the door can be blown into your home. You can add a vertical garage door brace to help keep it in place during strong wind gusts. Also, horizontal wooden beams can enhance stability.

Protecting Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system is especially vulnerable to storm damage. Here’s how to protect your heating and cooling system during an extreme weather event:

  • Turn off the breakers to your central air system

  • Turn off the gas supply to gas furnaces

  • Secure the outside unit with hurricane straps. Ensure all bolts are secure

  • Place a thick canvas cover over the unit to protect it from hail and wind-blown debris. (Do not turn on your central air system until you’ve removed the cover)

  • Trim back branches and brushes around the unit

  • After the storm has passed, ensure your central AC system is safe to operate by having an HVAC technician inspect it before turning it back on

If your property is prone to flooding, talk to an HVAC technician about installing it on an elevated platform to prevent water damage.

Contact ACS Home Services Today

Call ACS Home Services today at (813) 213-3537 for any of your electrical, heating or cooling needs. Our skilled and experienced team is prepared to help residents of Hillsborough County and the surrounding areas get their homes back to working order after any major storm. The team at ACS Home Services is also available for emergency service work.

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