Clearwater, FL (PRWEB) September 7, 2006
With power returning to the Southeast after a blackout caused by Ernesto and Tropical Storm Florence picking up speed in the Atlantic, coastal residents are once again thinking about protecting their homes from wind and water.
Homeowners often scramble to board up windows and lay sandbags just hours before a storm hits. However, there are more elaborate and permanent measures, which offer better protection for home and property.
“Consider retrofitting your home against hurricane damage,” says Diana Fink, who has 35 years of experience in the insurance adjusting industry. “This can be an expensive project, but you can do it in stages and insurance companies may offer discounts to help offset the costs.”
Retrofitting means making permanent changes to an existing building, to protect it from hazards like flooding and wind.
“It’s important to strengthen your home so wind and debris don’t tear large openings in it,” says Diana Fink, who founded Central Insurance School almost 20 years ago.
Fink recommends protecting and reinforcing four critical areas of the home: roof, windows, doors and garage doors. These areas are vital because wind can suck a roof off during a storm. Broken items such as windows, doors, or garage doors can contribute greatly to the likelihood that this will happen.
Current codes require new homes to tie roofs tightly to walls. However, existing homes may not have been built with the same knowledge.
“The best time to start securing, or retrofitting, your home is when you’re making other renovations and repairs before hurricane season even begins,” says Fink.
In some cases, grants may be available to help homeowners pay for retrofitting. For example, the State of Florida set aside 242.5 million dollars, to provide homeowners with free home inspections and matching grants for specific improvements on qualified homes.
The monies provide up to $ 5,000 in matching grants to homeowners who need to upgrade roofs, decks, hurricane shutters and other items.
Still, the cheapest and easiest way to make a home hurricane resistant is to invest in extra hurricane straps and bracing while the home is being built.
Remember, when a hurricane watch is issued it may already be too late to take certain precautions.
To locate a public adjuster for a home-inspection, please contact Central Insurance School by phone at 800-571-2003 or online at http://www.centralinsuranceschool.com