Hurricanes are dangerous in three ways: wind strength, water damage, and micro storms that happen in the midst of a hurricane. Most lawyers will suggest that once you hear of a hurricane coming your way get out. If you are too late to run and might get caught in the middle of the storm, then your best option would be to stay put in a safe house.
What is a Safe House?
As far as residents of areas prone to hurricanes, a safe house is any place with reinforced windows, roof, and doors. This can be your home which means it is possible to prepare your home so you are in the safest place to be in.
Start with hurricane windows or shutters. The difference between these two is hurricane windows replace your windows while hurricane shutters are installed to protect your existing windows. Both have their pros and cons. For instance, in some cities hurricane shutters must come down after the hurricane season because authorities believe them to be potential hazards in case of fire. On the other hand, window shutters are extremely effective in deterring theft and burglary especially during the times when you are away for a holiday.
If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you have to follow specific building codes such as wind load provisions, roof types, and the requirement to use missile-impact resistant glass. This is to prevent the start of molding which can happen within 24 hours of exposure. Homes with solar panels on their roofs are particularly vulnerable and should be given due attention even though there is no regulation on roof-mounted equipment for most states.
According to the federal government, every citizen is required to know about safety during hurricanes. They highly recommend the following:
- Permanent shutters
- Roof clips
- A safe room without windows
- Shutting down your main power and propane tank
In addition, they recommend staying low on the floor during the hurricane or evacuate especially if there is a request from the local authorities.
Two Kinds of Insurance
You should also consider flood and wind insurance. With flood insurance, you generally have to wait for 30 days after buying the policy to file a claim, which means a last minute sale right after a hurricane will not be of much help to you.
The main issue with insurance is the deductible. Insurance providers now charge a “hurricane deductible” for homes along coastlines and hurricane-prone areas. This deductible is computed based on the value of your property.
After the hurricane, be careful of the following:
- Stray animals who are hungry
- Electric lines that are hanging, alive, or exposed
- Dirty tap water
You should also try to document all the damages and losses after which you must make an effort to do some temporary emergency repairs. Help may take some time to come. However, if you have insurance, do not throw out the damaged items that are insured until after the insurance representative has investigated.