How to Prepare for a Hurricane and Prevent Flooding in Your Home

If you live in the Jacksonville or Orlando areas, most likely you or someone you know was affected by Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Irma—two devastating storms in as many years. Fortunately, Floridians were spared in 2018.

But that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down and not be prepared for this upcoming hurricane season. Hurricane winds can destroy homes, as well the floods they cause. Flooding can be more destructive than hurricane winds and often leads to severe cases of mold, which can require professional mold removal services.

To help you get ready for this hurricane season, we’ve listed ways to prepare for the worst and protect your home from water damage.

Develop an Evacuation Plan

If a hurricane is approaching, the first thing you should do is immediately plan an evacuation route for you and your family. It’s best to have more than one route to your determined destination. Tell family and friends where you’re heading, and call ahead to make sure any shelters or hotels have room for everyone, including pets. Also, plan to fill your vehicle with gas in advance of your evacuation.

Stock up on Emergency Supplies

If you have ever been through a hurricane, you know that the littlest things can make the biggest impact, especially if you lose power. It’s best to keep emergency supplies on hand, and if a hurricane is approaching, don’t wait until the last minute to stock up, as stores may run out.

  • Extra batteries
  • Candles or lamps with fuel
  • Matches (keep these dry)
  • Materials and tools for emergency home repairs–such as heavy plastic sheeting, plywood, a hammer, etc.
  • Prescription drugs
  • A three-day supply of drinking water
  • Food that you don’t have to refrigerate or cook 
  • First aid supplies
  • A portable NOAA weather radio
  • A wrench and other basic tools
  • A flashlight

Consider Flood Coverage

If you don’t have adequate homeowners insurance, hurricanes can cost you a fortune. Most homeowners insurance only covers wind damage, not flooding. Consider purchasing additional flood coverage if you live in a zone that’s vulnerable to flooding. The FEMA Flood Zone Map is a good tool to check your area.

Make a Home Inventory List

It’s very difficult to remember of all your belongings (and their value) if they were destroyed in a natural disaster. Creating a home inventory list is a great way to make sure your insurance reimburses you for lost items. A home inventory list can also be used to determine if you qualify for disaster relief or tax breaks.

Use Sandbags

Traditional sandbags are still a good way to divert water away from your home. Counties often give away sandbags for free, or you can purchase them at your local hardware store. Stack them in front of entryways to help keep water at bay.

Make Sure Your Gutters are Clean

It’s not a fun task, but when you live in a state that’s vulnerable to extreme weather, such as Florida, it’s important to keep your gutters clean during hurricane season. Remember, hurricanes often strike during the fall, when dead leaves are clogging up gutters. Keeping them clean will allow rain water to flow away from your home.

Seal Outside Openings

It only takes the smallest opening for water to invade your home. And oftentimes, it’s places you’d never expect, such as vents, outdoor electrical outlets, garden hose bibs, and locations where cables or pipes run through the wall. Use a urethane-based caulk to plug up these areas and prevent water from getting inside.

If your home has been damaged by a natural disaster, contact the experts today at Elements Disaster Recovery. Specializing in everything from mold removal and prevention to fire and flood damage restoration, we’ll do everything we can to help you get back to normal sooner.