Hurricane Frances will likely affect the state of Florida in a variety of ways. While some areas will see high wind, others might be deluged with rain, while still more could have a mix of both. The Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) offers the following tips to help those in her path better protect homes and businesses.
Protect windows. If you need to protect your windows, get plywood panels 5/8″ thick. They must be properly fastened, with ring shank nails for wood frame houses or permanent anchors and bolts in masonry. Check with your local home improvement store for installation advice.
Where plywood is scarce, a secondary option is oriented strand board or OSB. If you have to prioritize which windows to protect, cover larger ones first, like bay or picture windows. Sliding glass doors are often made of tempered glass, so worry about these last.
Limit flying debris. Clean your yard and remove anything that will become airborne missiles, including dead tree limbs. Bring lawn furniture and garbage cans inside. This will also help if you were not able to obtain materials to protect your windows.
Reinforce your garage door. Your garage door is your home’s largest single opening, next to your roof, making it vulnerable to high wind. Temporary center supports can be bought at home improvement centers or from the manufacturer and attached when severe weather threatens.
Batten down the hatches. If Hurricane Frances will be more of a rain event for you, be sure to close and lock all windows, doors, skylights and vents in your home to prevent water intrusion.
Seal off low openings. If you’re in a flood prone area or near roads that are expected to flood, seal off the base of doors with sand bags or plastic sheeting and tape.
Buy tarps. Because Frances is projected to move slowly across Florida, long periods of rain could be an issue. If the storm damages your roof, you’ll want to cover the area with water-resistant material, like a tarp or plastic sheeting when it is safe to do so.
For more information on protecting homes and businesses from disasters, visit the IBHS Web site. There are also recovery tips to help with the claims process once the storm passes, and rebuilding information to make new and existing structures disaster- resistant.
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