Is Your Myrtle Beach Home Hurricane-Ready?
The peak of hurricane season is upon us and activity in the Atlantic Ocean has been extremely active with some of the biggest storms we’ve ever seen. Thankfully, the Grand Strand was spared most of the wrath of Irma. But, hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 here, so we still may see more activity before this year’s hurricane season is over. The time to prepare your home for a hurricane is long before a storm is heading our way. Is your home ready for a hurricane? If not, the time to prepare is right now. Here are some tips to help you make sure your Myrtle Beach home is as prepared as possible for hurricane weather:
- Have hurricane shutters installed for every window of your home. If this is too costly, a back-up option is to get marine plywood at least 1/2 inch thick in pieces cut to fit each window. Pre-drill holes every 18 inches or so along the edge of each piece of plywood and pre-install anchors around the corresponding window for fast and easy installation in the event of a storm. Hint: Label each piece of plywood for which window it fits so you aren’t trying to match them up with a storm bearing down.
- Trim all trees and shrubbery near the home to prevent branches from damaging your home. Also remove dead branches or weak branches that could easily break off and become dangerous flying projectiles. Remove all of the trimmings from the property – don’t leave them piled up where hurricane winds can turn them into airborne hazards.
- Bring in all patio furniture, bird feeders, lawn decorations and other items in your yard that could be blown by the wind and become damaging debris. If you can’t bring something in, make sure it is tied down extremely well to a sturdy structure or object that is unlikely to be damaged in the storm.
- Install hurricane straps, if available in your area. Hurricane straps are designed to help secure the roof and walls to each other to strengthen resistance to wind.
- Install head bolts and foots bolts on doors for extra reinforcement to keep doors closed securely during high force winds.
- Unplug all unnecessary electric devices or appliances and put the necessary ones on high-grade surge protectors. If the power goes out, there may be a strong surge when it is restored that can damage your devices or appliances. Also, charge up all hand-held devices like cell phones, tablets, laptop computers, iPods, weather radios, hand-held games and also charge up extra rechargable batteries for any of these items. As an extra precaution, make sure you know where the main utility and power shut offs are for your home.
- If there will be vehicles at the home, store them in a garage, if possible. If garage space is not available, store vehicles on the lee side of the home (the side where your car will be most sheltered from winds by the building) and away from as many trees and shrubs as possible. Our coastal regions are also prone to flooding, and vehicles can be totaled in a flood.
- Use your cell phone to take video or photos of your home and possessions, in case you need documentation for insurance claims later. Upload the video footage or photos to Google Drive or other cloud-based storage and email it to a family member in a non-impacted area. This ensures you don’t use your documentation if your cell phone gets damaged.
- Ensure all important paperwork and documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, insurance policies, bank information and other difficult or impossible to replace documents are secured safely in water-safe packaging or containers. If you are not evacuating, store this container in a high-up yet storm-safe place. If you are evacuating, you’ll take this with you.
- Make sure you are familiar with all evacuation routes closest to your home, know where shelters will be set up, make arrangements for your furry and feathered family members in case they are not permitted at a shelter (NEVER leave pets behind at home if you evacuate) and follow instructions from local officials. If you are ordered to evacuate, please do so!
At Century 21 Broadhurst, our clients and their safety during a hurricane or major storm event is of the utmost importance to us. We’ve provided a list of things you can do to prepare your home for a hurricane – things you should do right now – because it is better to be prepared and not use those preparations than to need them and not have them. Lastly, please follow the orders of local authorities and don’t attempt to ride out a storm when an evacuation is ordered. The lives and safety of you and your family are too important to risk.