Know if you need to evacuate
It’s the time of year for Floridians to prepare for hurricane season. There is a lot to consider when it comes to preparing yourself and your home to withstand this natural disaster. In the Tampa Bay area, the first thing to understand is if and when you might need to evacuate. This is based on your location within the area and the strength of the storm. If you don’t know when or where to evacuate, review this map provided by Hillsborough County which outlines in detail Tampa evacuation zones and shelters.
Have a disaster supply kit
Whether you evacuate or not, you should still have a disaster supply kit at home. Plans to evacuate don’t always work out and storms increase in strength at that last minute which may leave you stranded at your house for several days without power or drinking water. The essential supplies in your emergency hurricane kit are:
- Two weeks supply of prescription medicines
- Seven day supply of non-perishable/special dietary foods
- Drinking Water/containers – 1 gal/per person/per day (minimum 7 days)
- Flashlights and batteries for each member of the family
- Portable radio and batteries
- First aid book and kit including bandages, antiseptic, tape, compresses, aspirin and aspirin-free pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medication, antacid, and important phone numbers
- Mosquito repellant & citronella candles
- Non-electric can opener
- Extra batteries for camera, flashlights, radio, portable TV & lamps, etc.
- Plastic trash bags
- Toilet paper, paper towels and pre-moistened towelettes
Prepare your home
You home requires some preparation before the storm. You can hire a Tampa-based handyman or do these tasks yourself.
- Anchor your roof. If you have an older roof that has gables, you’ll need to brace all gable-end framing with horizontal and vertical beams.
- Brace your entry and garage doors. The majority of wind damage occurs through the garage door. You want to bolt these doors shut. Also make sure your garage door is designed to handle hurricane force winds and flying debris. If it’s not, you need to replace it.
- Cover your windows. Make sure all doors and windows are properly caulked and have weather stripping. Cover all windows and glass with impact-resistant shutters or other approved window protection systems.
After the storm
Assessing the damage to your home after the storm can be a stressful situation. Try to remain calm and patient as there are several others trying to contact insurance companies to file claims and get back to their daily life before the storm. Be careful of any damage done to the roof like a fallen tree as this may settle and cause additional damage. Don’t put yourself in danger.
Also, don’t get ripped off. Make sure you work with a licensed trusted home improvement professional. We, at Andy OnCall Tampa, live right next door to you in the Tampa Bay area. We are licensed and insured and ready to help both prepare your home for hurricane season as well as make home repairs after the storm. Give us a call for a free estimate, (813)-961-2600.