The names Teddy, Sally, and Laura don’t seem intimidating until you realize these are the names of three recent hurricanes. Don’t let their nice sounding names trip you up. Because these powerful, rotating storms can wreak havoc and leave a catastrophic path!
Hurricanes are characterized by heavy rain and winds of over 75 mph. Starting in the ocean, the spiral storms gain power from warm air and can cause serious damage if and when they reach land.
So, what can you do to prepare for a hurricane to minimize the amount of damage it does? And how do you manage the hurricane damage that does happen?
Before you even begin worrying about your property – make the arrangements to protect yourself! You should have a well-thought-out plan in place before the hurricane comes your way.
If you have to evacuate, you’ll need to bring things such as water, non-perishable foods, medication, and important documents. Have a hardcopy list of these items so that you don’t forget anything important if you’re in a rush.
If you are going to stay at home, make sure you stay far away from windows and doors, as they could break in strong winds. If the power cuts, remember to use flashlights instead of candles to decrease the risk of fire.
Protecting your Property
There are a number of steps you can take to protect your property from an approaching hurricane. Taking careful precautions in the time leading up to the hurricane can make a huge difference in the amount of damage you endure. PuroClean outlines tips for hurricane preparation here.
What Sort Of Damage Can Occur?
When talking about hurricanes, it’s normal to focus on the force of the wind. However, it’s the water that usually does the most damage. While torrential rain causes flash flooding, the hurricane’s storm surge can be particularly destructive. The water, along with the wind of a hurricane can cause all sorts of damage, both small and highly disastrous. Strong winds can tear off roofs and break windows and doors. Floods can damage your foundations, and numerous forms of water damage can take place throughout your home and property.
In coastal regions, with the storm surge, the sea level can rise and engulf houses before the hurricane passes. In the longer term, floods can cause dangerous and harmful mold to grow in your house.
Additionally, fires also can pose a threat if there has been damage to your gas or electric systems.
What To Do After A Hurricane?
Managing your actions
Once a hurricane has passed, and the authorities have signaled that you can go outside again, it’s time to take a look and carefully take note of the damages to your home and property. It’s crucially important, however, to be aware that the center of a storm may cause a pause in the intense weather, which will be followed by more storm conditions. Never leave until you receive confirmation the storm has passed and that it is safe to go outside again.
The storm may be over, but dangers may still be present. Fast-moving flood water could sweep you – or your car – away. So, avoid anything more than 6 inches deep. Furthermore, water may be electrically charged if a power line has been damaged nearby. Use common sense and extreme caution!
If you can safely get to your house, keep a sharp eye out for damaged gas canisters. If you can smell gas, it’s best to stay away until an expert can clear the area.
Assessing hurricane damage and planning your repairs
Once you have the green light to return to your property and/or to go outside, it’s time to find out the extent of your damage.
According to the National Hurricane Center, well-built framed homes can sustain mild to severe damage with the loss of some or even most of the roof structure along with damage or loss of exterior walls. Trees may be snapped or uprooted and power poles may be down causing immediate danger. Fallen trees and power poles can isolate residential areas. Power outages can last anywhere from days to months! It’s also not abnormal for the sites to be uninhabitable for a period of time, depending on the extent of the damage.
It’s important that you not attempt to assess the damage alone, especially if the damage is extensive.
PuroClean is certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and can work with you, the claims adjuster and/or your insurance agent. Furthermore, PuroClean has a North American network of over 260 offices backed by our quality assurance and training organization. PuroClean has an excellent reputation of providing a personalized approach to property damage emergencies that will save you time AND money.
It’s Now Time to Contact Your Local Property Damage Expert
If you believe your home needs cleaning and repair after a hurricane, reach out to your trusted local property damage experts. They’ll be able to assess the hurricane damage safely, advise you on the next steps, and be with you for the duration of your home and hurricane damage restoration project. PuroClean is available 24/7.