June marked the official start to hurricane season for Floridians, and we believe it is an important time to discuss all matters of hurricane preparedness. Whether you have lived on the Gulf coast your entire life, or you are a northerner who recently purchased a Tampa home – every person is encouraged to prepare in advance for any potential hurricane or tropical storm.
We all know that a disaster kit including food, water, medications, supplies, batteries, and cash are crucial for your personal survival, but there are also other important steps to take for the protection of your home and property. FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration websites offer several actions to take for avoiding the high costs of hurricane damage. Here is our quick rundown of things Tampa area homeowners specifically can do to protect your property long before Steve Jerve or Denis Phillips puts our Tampa homes and Pinellas beaches in a “cone of uncertainty.”
- Do regular safety checks to ensure fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and flashlights are working properly in your home. Depending on your budget, you may also consider buying an emergency power generator for potential power outages.
- Anchor storage sheds, secure outdoor furniture, and put away hazard such as wind chimes, grills, swing sets or items that could become windborne objects. Also, ensure trees are properly trimmed by a professional tree service provider who can remove any limbs that could cause damage.
- Consider installing hurricane straps, storm shutters, and garage-door reinforcements to strengthen and protect the full exterior of your home. Our Tampa real estate team is always happy to refer customers to licensed contractors ready to discuss solutions for roofing, windows, and all areas of home maintenance in Central Florida.
- Above all, it is important to know your risks and have proper insurance for your designated flood zone. Florida homeowners should be familiar with the current system designating high-risk “A” and “V” zones and the moderate-to-low risk zones “B,” “C,” and “X” zones.
Additional information is available at the National Flood Insurance Program’s website at www.floodsmart.gov. Our customers and other homeowners around the Tampa area may also visit local county websites for public safety resources, flood maps, and zoning information defined by FEMA:
-Hillsborough County: http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/residents/public-safety/emergency-management/flood-information
-Pasco County: http://www.pascocountyfl.net/Index.aspx?NID=402
-Pinellas County: http://www.pinellascounty.org/flooding/maps.htm
With the right planning and diligent preparation, you will have peace of mind knowing that you, your family, and your home are ready to weather the storm.
Our real estate team specializes in helping Floridians buy, sell, and invest in properties across the Greater Tampa Bay Area. We also enjoy helping to connect our customers with other experts in home and family matters. Call Dick and Karla Nielsen at 813-294-5786 for expert advice on downsizing, investing, buying, or selling your home.