It has been one year since Hurricane Irma hit Florida, causing a devastating blow to homes and properties especially throughout south and southwest Florida. For many, Irma’s effects are still being felt. And it’s not just home and business owners that are dealing with the fallout; state and municipal agencies have also been all but crippled by massive property damage.
Many home and property owners are still waiting for the necessary financial assistance to begin the process of rebuilding or starting anew. Florida insurance companies were left stretched thin last hurricane season and ill-prepared to face the full effects of Irma. This has left home and property owners embroiled in a backlog of insurance claims that are either yet unresolved or in dispute.
Local governments are feeling the strain too. Debris removal and cleanup has cost counties and cities millions and many local governments are still waiting on being fully reimbursed for those expenses. Post-Irma fallout has hindered state agencies and economic growth in those areas as construction and other municipal projects are put on hold.
Reducing the Risk of Property Damage
While it may feel like you can never be fully prepared for a hurricane, there are action steps you can take to mitigate threats and reduce the risk of major property damage to your home or business.
Clear Surroundings of Potential Projectiles
When prepping your property for a hurricane, make sure you survey the area around your home or business. Secure or remove any loose objects that could turn into an airborne projectile during high winds. Make sure you check trees for weak branches or limbs that could pose immediate risk to the property.
You should have storm shutters or plywood to protect the exterior doors and windows from impact. Additionally, make sure to close all interior doors and windows, as wind pressure entering the home through an open door or window can be strong enough to pull off your roof.
Before a storm, check the integrity and condition of your roof. Look for signs of wear and make sure your sheathing is intact and well-connected. Check out these methods for strengthening and reinforcing your roof.