June 25, 2018

Hurricane season is upon us. Are you ready?

Hurricane season is upon us. Are you ready?

Although Gainesville is not a coastal city, one must not underestimate the destruction a hurricane may bring. The flooding left by last year’s storms left Gainesville paralyzed for days. What does this year have in store? How can you secure your valuables? As a long-time Gainesville resident, I have braved many storms, and have compiled a list of my top eight tips on how to hurricane-proof your newly purchased home.

  1. Stock up on non-perishables.

It is imperative that you go to your local grocery store and stock up on non-perishable food items – canned food, water (about five gallons per person in your home), and other dry foods that do not need much preparation. You should be able to self-sustain for about a week. Make sure to beat the rush of those who waited until the last minute!

  1. Fill your tanks with gasoline.

Beat the lines and fill your tanks before the demand for gasoline multiplies and the prices increase. Keep in mind that price gouging in the state of Florida is illegal under Florida Statute 501.160, which imposes a price ceiling on the market for essential goods, including gasoline. This disparity between demand and supply ends in a shortage, thus creating the long lines and outages.

  1. Power up.

Ensure that you have batteries, that power charging blocks are fully charged and that you have charging cables and adapters for every device. If worst comes to worst, a phone can be charged in your car.

  1. Do your housekeeping beforehand.

Run your dishwasher and do your laundry – you may not know when your next possibility to do so may present itself.

  1. Get prepared for flooding.

If you are in a flood zone, elevate anything electronic or prone to water damage off the ground.

  1. Communicate with your insurance company.

See what is covered and what is not in case of damage to the floors, roof and any possessions inside your home. Organize your paperwork and check for any viable warranties for your major household goods and appliances.

  1. Check for what’s above you.

If you have not done it lately, get your roof inspected. Replace loose or damaged shingles or tiles to avoid a bigger problem in the long run.

  1. Shutters, shutters, shutters.

Storm shutters are perhaps the most important line of defense against high winds and flying debris. Make sure, however, that you have a way out of your house in case of a fire, roof collapse or even flooding.

We have been lucky this past decade to not have witnessed great destruction in our state; many people may become complacent because of this. However, if you prepare yourself well, you may avoid the calamities that follow a severe storm.

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