As every resident of Florida is well-aware, hurricanes are a serious concern that occur every year. That’s why Florida waterfront homes and hurricane season are critical to think about. Since they are an inevitable part of life in Florida, those who live in the area need to be prepared for their effects on homes and properties.
The winds can gust anywhere from 75mph (for a category 1) all the way up to 157+mph (for a category 5) during a hurricane, and it is very difficult for materials of any kind to withstand those types of gusts. Excessive rain can also result in dramatic flooding throughout the affected area. The combination of wind and rain can cause catastrophic damage to homes and properties, so it is vital that the homeowners do everything they can to be as prepared as possible for those drastic effects.
Why Make Preparations for Florida Waterfront Homes and Hurricane Season?
Your home is probably one of your most valuable assets, so it is essential that you protect your investment. It is also the place where you and your family find peace, tranquility, and happiness, so safeguarding the home should be of the utmost importance for every homeowner in Florida who may be affected by hurricane season.
Those individuals who live on the water are especially vulnerable to the effects of hurricanes. Whether it is an oceanfront home or a lakefront property, you may find that you are in a high-risk area and will need to have a thorough plan in place to ensure that the potential damage to your home and property from a hurricane does not result in a dire financial situation for your family. When you live on the waterfront, it means that your home and property actually abuts the water’s edge, so there is no barrier (such as other homes) between your property and the water itself.
If this is the case with your Florida waterfront home, be sure you are prepared for hurricane season. Below, our realtors at Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Florida Waterfront have listed the most important steps for homeowners to take when it comes to Florida waterfront homes and hurricane season.
Step 1: Assess Your Home’s Risks and Hazards During Hurricane Season
As with most dangers that need extensive preparation, the first step is to assess your home’s risks and hazards during hurricane season. As we have said, wind and water are the two biggest threats to safety when it comes to hurricanes. With mighty gusts of wind and torrential rain, the effects of the hurricane will most certainly wreak havoc on the most vulnerable areas of your home.
When it comes to the waterfront property, windows, shingles, gutters, and railings are all significantly vulnerable to the hurricane. Another major concern is the effects of time on your property. The many years following construction will cause wear and tear on your home, as expected, and this can leave areas of the home that you may not have expected to be vulnerable as well. This could include the foundation, walls, and roof.
To make sure that you and your family are safe during hurricane season, be sure you have an emergency plan in place. Take into consideration any areas that could be vulnerable and prepare for the worst. Be sure to practice this plan with your family to ensure that everyone knows what to do and where to go during an emergency.
Step 2: Prepare the Property
When you are ready to prepare your property, there are certain areas that are extra vulnerable. One such area is the windows. Windows can only withstand so much wind, and they will very easily break when flying debris crashes into them at such high speeds. To protect your windows and the interior of your home, install professional steel or aluminum window coverings that can withstand objects flung at them. If you cannot install the professional grade coverings, you should at least have plywood on hand to give some level of protection. Make sure to also reinforce doors should.
Related to the window issue, homeowners need to stay aware of the weather forecast and know when it is time to bring in your outdoor furniture and other items. Unless these items are stored away, they will likely become flying projectiles during the hurricane. Whether they strike your home or your neighbor’s, you do not want to be responsible for the damage that was inflicted because you failed to stow your outdoor furniture in a safer location.
While you are in the reinforcement mode, be sure to check your walls and roof for any signs of vulnerability. If your home is of a certain age and has already withstood several hurricanes, you may need to call in an expert to professionally evaluate your home’s stability. Even a newer home will still need to have some level of reinforcement for the walls and roof to ensure that they are not compromised and cause even more damage.
Step 3: Ensure to Safeguard Your Utilities
During a hurricane, you never know what utilities may face outage by the wind and rain. That is why experts all agree that residents should be preparing their homes’ utilities for the worst. Turn off your utilities, especially electricity, before the storm takes full effect. The last thing you want is to have an electrical fire on top of all of the effects of the hurricane itself.
Taking care of the utilities, especially the electrical system, will ensure that your home remains in good condition, you will not need the help of an electrician once the storm has passed, and you likely will not have to replace too many of your appliances. Hurricanes are already dangerous and could be costly for your family. Be sure you don’t add to that financial trouble by not properly preparing your Florida waterfront home.
Additionally, most homeowners make the investment into a generator because they are well-aware that the power is likely to go out and may not return for a significant period of time. If you own such a generator, it is vital that you take measures to keep the generator in good working order and have plenty of fuel sources on hand at all times.
Step 4: Develop an Evacuation Plan
Whether you have lived in Florida your entire life or have just moved there, it is important to look up official evacuation orders and plans to ensure you know what to do in case of an emergency. You should also have your very own evacuation plan just in case you are not able to follow the instructions of your local governing body. Be sure that you and your family practice this plan and can enact it at a moment’s notice.
You should also prepare for the aftermath of the storm itself. Coming back to your home and seeing the damage may be a shock at first, so you should keep in mind that the damage can be extensive but fixable. Every homeowner should be as prepared as possible so that they do not end up feeling great stress and anxiety when they survey the damage.
Step 5: Determine Your Insurance Coverage for Flooding and Hurricane Damage
In Florida, especially for waterfront homes, the insurance coverage requirements for these types of properties will usually include flood insurance and wind coverage. Very often, homeowners insurance doesn’t include cover hurricanes. It’s important to add this coverage if you are in a zone that is prone to flooding and high wind damage.
Before you make the investment in flood insurance coverage (which can be quite expensive), be sure you determine your risk level. If you are in a high-risk zone, you will need to get certain documentation in order to get a flood insurance quote from an insurer. It is also wise to ensure that you have all of your financial and personal paperwork in order and stowed away in a safe place before the start of hurricane season. It could become very important for your insurance coverage and payment for damage, so you don’t want anything to delay that coverage.
Step 6: Contact an Experienced Realtor to Learn the Best Ways to Prepare Your Waterfront Home for Hurricane Season
Whether you already own a waterfront home in Florida, are looking to buy one, or want to sell yours, our team of expert realtors at Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Florida Waterfront can help you. We have years of experience and vast knowledge when it comes to Florida waterfront homes and hurricane season preparation.
Whatever your real estate needs may be, our realtors can provide you the information and advice required to assist you with your waterfront home during hurricane season. Feel free to give us a call at 407-307-2617 or fill out the form below with the requested information to receive a detailed response from one of our skilled realtors. We look forward to hearing from you!