Hurricanes are an inevitable way of life here in Florida. While we can never completely prevent damage, there are many things we can do to help lessen the impact a storm has on our home.

From boarding up windows to replacing old locks before evacuating, here are some tips for securing your home if you need to evacuate for a hurricane in Tampa, Wesley Chapel, Brandon, and the surrounding areas.

Board Up All Windows

This house in Tampa, FL boarded up its windows to prepare for Hurricane Irma.

When you know you are going to need to evacuate for a hurricane, prepare your windows by boarding them up with half-inch thick plywood, insulation board, or polycarbonate panels. Cut each board so it will easily extend at least one inch beyond the framing on all sides of your window, and use window clips or corrosion-resistant screws to secure the boards. If you use screws, choose ones that are long enough to reach at least 2 inches into the framing and drill them every 12 to 16 inches apart to securely fasten the boards.

Brace All Doors, Including Garage Doors

During a hurricane, one of the first things to fall in a home is the garage door. In a rush to evacuate, many homeowners brace windows and house doors but often forget about the largest opening they have: their garage door. When your garage door gives way, it depressurizes your entire house, allowing the hurricane’s high winds to enter your home and tear it apart.

One of the best ways to secure your doors is to board up these areas with half-inch thick plywood and use sandbags or other heavy items to brace them against the wind. If you’re evacuating your home, make sure all your doors are securely shut and locked to add greater security and stability.

Clean Gutters & Move Outdoor Furniture Indoors

Keeping your home’s gutters and drains clear of debris is pivotal to ensuring your gutter can effectively drain rainwater and doesn’t back up or overflow. A clogged gutter can result in extra water flooding around your property, so be sure to completely clean it out before you evacuate.

Outdoor items can easily be turned into deadly projectiles during a hurricane. High winds will easily pick up and blow any outdoor furniture, pots, decorations, and other items you have in your yard. Before leaving your home make sure to secure these items indoors, and if you have any larger items such as playsets or trampolines, disassemble them and store them inside.

Replacing your old, weakened locks with newer, stronger ones, helps further brace your doors and windows against a hurricane’s deadly winds.

Check Locks & Replace Old or Weakened Ones

We recently replaced this lock for homeowners in Wesley Chapel, FL.

Even though you board and brace your doors, always make sure your locks are in good working condition and properly locked to help prevent the high winds from busting down your doors and windows. If your locks are old and you haven’t had them checked in many years, now would be a great time to have them replaced. Weak locks are easily broken and unable to stand up against hurricane-force winds. If your locks are weak and brittle, a hurricane will easily rip off your door and rampage through your home.

Get your locks checked and replaced before the next hurricane strikes!

Preparing to evacuate for a hurricane is a very stressful time, but we can help ease some of that stress by ensuring your home’s locks are prepared to brave the storm. If you haven’t had your locks checked or replaced in a very long time, call us today at (813) 545-5462 to secure your home before the storm hits.