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    Real Estate
    Tuesday, July 16, 2024

    How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

    (Family Features) Among nature’s most powerful phenomena, hurricanes are destructive, rotating storms that form over warm water and move toward land.

    These dangerous storms are accompanied by high winds, heavy rain, a rise in water level, flooding and even tornadoes, which can cause damage to the coast and locations far inland. However, taking action to prepare ahead of time can help you protect your home and loved ones in the event of a natural disaster. Consider these tips to prepare for a hurricane.

    Pay Attention to Weather Forecasts

    In the event of inclement weather, ensure you have a way to be informed, such as smartphone alerts, watching the local news or listening to a weather radio. Be on the lookout for hurricane-specific alerts and make sure you understand the difference so you can react appropriately:

    • Hurricane watch: These alerts are usually announced about 36 hours before an anticipated storm, notifying people that hurricane conditions are possible.

    • Hurricane warning: A more serious alert; experts typically issue this warning of expected hurricane-force winds or dangerously high water or waves within 24 hours of a storm.

    Evaluate Community Risk

    If you live, work or plan to vacation near the coast or close to a waterway connected to the ocean, it is important to understand if you’re in an area prone to flooding, tropical storms or hurricanes. You may also research through the Federal Emergency Management Agency whether your property is in a flood-prone area or at high-risk for hurricane-force winds.

    Follow Evacuation Guidance

    If a hurricane is on the horizon, authorities may advise you to evacuate or shelter in place should driving conditions be unfavorable. Never ignore an order to evacuate; even well-built homes may not hold up to a hurricane. If you need to evacuate, grab your emergency supply kit (food, water, medicine, important documents and first aid and safety supplies) and follow the recommended route. Alternatively, if you receive orders to shelter in place, stay inside and away from windows with easy access to emergency supplies until the “all clear” is given by local authorities.

    Build a Home Using Resistant Materials

    For areas prone to natural disasters, constructing a home using resilient materials is paramount. For example, houses built with insulated concrete forms (ICFs) can be engineered to withstand natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes and wildfires. Superior at resisting high winds and protecting from the impact of flying debris, ICFs offer a tested, safer alternative to wood framing.

    Prepare Your Home

    If heavy rain and damaging winds are expected, these steps can help protect your property from damage:

    • Clean out drains, gutters and downspouts.

    • Secure or bring patio furniture and other items inside that may be blown away or damaged.

    • Consider elevating your heating system, water heater and electric panel above ground level.

    • Cover windows with storm shutters or exterior-grade or marine plywood.

    • Turn off gas and electricity at the main switch or valve, if instructed by authorities or the power company.

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