Hurricanes can be both destructive and unpredictable, and you never know how a tropical storm may affect your home. With so many myths swirling around about preparing a house to withstand hurricane damage, it’s hard to know exactly how you should spend your time in an emergency situation. Let’s examine four of the most popular myths so you can better prepare if a hurricane is in the forecast in your area.
Myth #1: Coastal Neighborhoods Have The Strongest Building Codes
Building codes are mandated by states/locales, not your home’s proximity to the ocean. So, your home will have similar building codes to those that are a mile or two further inland. If extra strength is what you desire, you will have to take extra measures to fortify your home against wind and water damage.
Myth #2: Hurricane Evacuations Are Based On Wind Speed
The decision to alert homeowners of a hurricane evacuation depends on the threat of storm surge and inland flooding, which isn’t necessarily associated with the hurricane’s wind speed. Storm surge is the greatest threat to both property and life, so ground elevations and vulnerabilities are analyzed when considering evacuation zones.
Myth #3: Strengthening A Home Costs Thousands
Strengthening your home against hurricane damage cost significantly less than most people think. In fact, these fortifications can be added for around $1,000, which can save you a much larger sum in prevented damages. You can brace the garage door for around $150, install a water barrier on your roof for around $750 and install corrugated steel or plywood shutters on windows and glass doors for varying prices.
Myth #4: Taping Windows Protects Against Hurricane Damage
A lot of people spend time taping “X” marks across windows during hurricane preparation in an effort to reduce the risk of glass breaking. However, this technique does not work. It’s much more effective to put up temporary storm shutters, especially if your windows aren’t already constructed with impact-resistant materials.
Remember, flood insurance will need to be purchased in addition to home insurance to protect you against water damage. Your independent insurance agent can help you find the right coverage. Make sure you’re prepared for the unexpected.