Hurricanes are a way of life for Florida residents. Prepare and protect your home for the long storm season that runs from spring until fall each year. Homeowners can take steps to secure the roof, foundation, windows and doors in Jacksonville and other Florida communities. Also, ensure your family knows the plan when a hurricane hits whether you shelter in place or leave your home.


Here are a few hurricane mitigation strategies to help you get ready for this year’s hurricane season.


Prepare a Storm Kit

One of the most important steps to prepare for a hurricane whether you own or rent is to have a storm kit. Before the storm hits, organize a kit of necessary supplies. A simple way to prepare your storm kit is to put everything in a handy plastic storage tub.


Include a flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable food, extra cash, a list of important contact numbers and copies of important documents. This is your kit to help you get out of town quickly. It will also help keep you supplied if you have to ride out a storm in your home.


Get Your Lawn in Shape

Branches and lawn debris often cause damage to homes during a hurricane. One way to help protect your home before a storm hits is by cleaning up your lawn. Prune trees and bushes, especially those touching your home’s siding or windows. Also, dispose of any loose yard waste or debris.


When a storm is forecasted, store or secure all lawn furniture, toys and tools. You want to minimize the amount of stuff that can easily fly into your home or a neighbor’s home.


Retrofit the Roof

A solid roof is key to protecting your home during a storm. If the roof goes, then everything inside your home is at risk. Repair or replace old or damaged roofs. Start by removing loose or damaged shingles and properly adhering new shingles in their place.


Inspect your home’s roof to ensure it’s properly connected. In hurricane prone areas, the roof rafters should be connected to the wall frame using metal connectors. This adds extra support to keep the roof in place.


A Solid Foundation

Just like with the roof, you want your foundation to hold up during a storm. Your house is only as strong as the foundation it’s sitting on. Because your home’s foundation isn’t exposed, you will likely need to hire a professional to inspect the state of your foundation.


Repair any cracks in the foundation for added strength. Also, if you live in a multistory home, confirm that each floor is connected using metal straps. The key is to have a structurally sound and supported home to hold up against extreme winds.


Protect Your Windows

Windows are one of the most vulnerable elements of your home during a storm. However, like with the roof, you want your windows to hold up so that water and other debris doesn’t enter your home during a storm.


American Window Products offers Astro Guard and Astro Flex hurricane fabrics to protect against storm damage. Other options to protect windows are simple but labor-intensive plywood and costly storm shutters. Storm shutters are one of the most effective tools to protect windows during a storm. Also, they’re permanently attached for easy access when a storm hits. Regardless of the option you choose, protect your windows from storm damage.


Reinforce Exterior Doors

Like with windows, exterior doors are key to keeping your home safe during a storm. Treat glass doors like windows. Cover the glass to keep it from breaking. For other exterior doors, get it right from the start. Install doors with three hinges for extra support and add a deadbolt. These features will help keep the wind from blowing the door open.


For older doors, repair any damage or loose hinges. Consider replacing cheap or worn doors. Fiberglass doors are durable and less costly than many other types of exterior doors. Contact American Window Products to replace doors in Jacksonville and other Florida communities.


Secure Garage Doors

Garage doors are especially susceptible to the extreme winds from storms. One way to protect your garage doors is by covering them with plywood. However, if you want better protection, upgrade your garage doors with impact resistant doors.


Single garage doors are more durable than a double garage door. The less surface for the wind to hit, the better. Especially if your garage is attached to your home, you want the doors to remain intact during a storm. Like with windows and doors, you want to minimize internal damage from water and debris.


Be Prepared!

Florida residents understand the risks of hurricane season. However, with advanced planning and preparation, you can implement added protection for you home. Here at American Window Products we understand hurricane season and want to help our customers keep your home safe.


We’ve provided windows and doors in Jacksonville, Florida for over thirty years. Contact us today to discuss how to protect your home’s windows and doors during storm season.