Hurricane Storm Preparation
The Short List For Protecting Your Home This Hurricane Season
Last week saw the East Coast collectively waiting with bated breath to see where Hurricane Florence would make landfall. At the peak of panic, there were projections that the storm of the century could hit Charleston as a Category 4 hurricane with 140-mile-per-hour winds and a storm surge fit to make any property owner cringe.
Now that the storm has passed we can all breathe a sigh of relief that Charleston was spared this time around; however, we are all still in the thick of hurricane season and there is plenty brewing out in the Atlantic.
After seeing the devastation caused by Flo’s hit to our northern neighbors, hurricane season is no time to get complacent. At Charleston Island Rentals, we are firm believers that you are only as good as your Plan D, so we are big on thorough storm preparation for the properties, many of which have out-of-town-owners, in our care.
Here is the short list of questions we use to drive property storm prep plans for our clients. Disclaimer, these prompts focus exclusively on property preparation and do not account for evacuating your family and furchildren.
Do you have updated documentation for filing a claim? As a general rule, we walk the grounds and take video of the interior and exterior of a property. It is a 10-minute job that may make all the difference should you need to file a claim with your insurance company.
Do you have supplies for battening down the hatches? If not, you bet your britches we’re heading straight to the closest home and garden store for plywood and sandbags as any hint of a storm has these essentials among the first to fly off shelves (followed soon after by bread and milk...). Once you have these supplies, hold on to them as hurricane season is just a fact of life for these parts.
Do you have a storm prep system? Preparing a property for a storm can be efficient if you have a game plan. Many newer homes come complete with storm shutters or custom storm protection systems – if your home has the fixings for a storm system, be sure you know how to use it, or have someone at the ready to call and install it for you.
If you are going the more traditional route (plywood boards), tag each board with its associated window – that way the next time around you can quickly place each board where it needs to be.
Is everything off the porch? It’s not that the wind blows, it’s WHAT the wind blows. Secure all exterior furniture, potted plants, etc... on your front and back porches. Better yet, store as much of these potential projectiles as you can in the garage.
Can it be moved to higher ground? This point mainly applies to cars and boats that you may not be able to take with you in an evacuation. Check and see what your options are for safely stowing your vehicles, such as a parking garage or inland department store parking lot.
What would break your heart to replace? This is often one of the most challenging questions to answer, so we preface it by saying no material item is worth life or limb. However, there are some things that would be harder to replace than others, so make a quick list of what you would want removed or evacuated with you, such as photo albums or valuable artwork.
Although hurricane preparation may seem like a painful exercise, it is worth its weight in gold should Charleston face a severe storm. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you prepare your home for a storm through our Property Concierge services, let’s chat!