Tampa, FL – August 24, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — With Hurricane Danielle churning out in the Atlantic, and the recollection of the massive destruction wrought by Hurricane Andrew on this date 18 years ago, the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) urges residents to take the necessary precautions to minimize wind and water damage from potential hurricanes.
“It was 18 years ago today that Hurricane Andrew devastated Southeastern Florida, taking many lives and causing nearly $24 billion (2009 dollars) in damage. That was the first storm of the 1992 Hurricane Season, which should be a wake-up call for all of us that it only takes one storm to ravage our communities,” said Julie Rochman, president & CEO, IBHS. “Hurricane Danielle may or may not make landfall in the U.S. Either way it serves as an excellent reminder that residents along the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard should take precautions now, before a hurricane arrives, to help reduce the amount of cleanup and repairs necessary after a storm passes.
“Historically, the majority of the most dangerous and damaging hurricanes occur between August and October,” Rochman added. “Don’t wait until a hurricane warning is issued in your area. Act now to prepare your property so that your family, home and possessions are better protected when a storm hits.”
Here are some helpful measures residents should take now, according to IBHS:
Protect windows and doors
Keeping wind and water out is critical to home survival, and shutters are the most effective way to protect windows and doors from wind-blown debris. Shutters keep wind-driven rain from soaking the home’s interior, and reduce the chance wind pressure will build up inside, looking for a way out. While plywood can be used, it should be used only as a last minute alternative and it must be properly fastened.
Prepare your yard
Coming home after a storm to find lawn furniture embedded in siding or sticking out of a window is sure to ruin anyone’s day. Remove all outdoor furniture, lawn items, planters and other materials that could be picked up by high winds. Trim trees and shrubbery and remove weak branches on plants and trees.
Use a high quality silicone caulk around outside wall openings such as vents, outdoor electrical outlets, garden hose bibs and locations where cables or pipes go through the wall to prevent water penetration.
“Any time a hurricane is on its way, people in the potential path of that strong combination of wind and water should prepare themselves and their possessions to survive with minimal injury,” noted Rochman. The tips we are offering today are easy and essentially free, so there is no reason not to take these loss prevention actions.”
Further IBHS guidance on storm preparation is available in its recently released publication, “Reducing Hurricane Risk: Residential” which provides homeowners with strategies on how to reduce their hurricane risk. The information is available electronically and in hard copy printed brochures in English and Spanish.
About the IBHS
IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific and educational organization supported by the property insurance industry. The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks to residential and commercial property by conducting research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparation practices.
Joseph King (813) 675-1045
jking (at) ibhs (dot) org