With the memory of the massive destruction wrought by Hurricane Andrew 18 years ago, the Institute for Business & Home Safety www.disastersafety.org urges residents to take the necessary precautions to minimize wind and water damage from potential hurricanes.
“It was 18 years ago today that Hurricane Andrew devastated Southeastern Florida, taking many lives and causing nearly $24 billion (2009 dollars) in damage. That was the first storm of the 1992 Hurricane Season, which should be a wake-up call for all of us that it only takes one storm to ravage our communities,” said Julie Rochman, president of IBHS.
“Don’t wait until a hurricane warning is issued in your area,” Rochman added. Act now to prepare your property so that your family, home and possessions are better protected when a storm hits.”
Here are some helpful measures residents should take:
Protect Windows and Doors
Keeping wind and water out is critical to home survival, and shutters are the most effective way to protect windows and doors from wind-blown debris. Shutters keep wind-driven rain from soaking the home’s interior, and reduce the chance wind pressure will build up inside, looking for a way out. While plywood can be used, it should be used only as a last minute alternative and it must be properly fastened.
Prepare Your Yard
Coming home after a storm to find lawn furniture embedded in siding or sticking out of a window is sure to ruin anyone’s day. Remove all outdoor furniture, lawn items, planters and other materials that could be picked up by high winds. Trim trees and shrubbery and remove weak branches on plants and trees.
Use a high quality silicone caulk around outside wall openings such as vents, outdoor electrical outlets, garden hose bibs and locations where cables or pipes go through the wall to prevent water penetration.
“Any time a hurricane is on its way, people in the potential path of that strong combination of wind and water should prepare themselves and their possessions to survive with minimal injury,” noted Rochman. The tips we are offering today are easy and essentially free, so there is no reason not to take these loss prevention actions.”
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photograph by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center