Whether you're new to a hurricane or tornado area or simply looking for a better way to stay prepared, stocking the right amount of materials while keeping a few experts in your contacts list is the key. Too many people scramble for spare parts and try to call busy phone lines after the storm hits when everyone else needs help, but you can do better with a few techniques in mind. Here are a few storm preparation and recovery tips to help you smooth out the disaster season in your area.
Stocking Up Before The Storm
Defensive materials, food, and drink. You need to be able to protect your investment and protect your people (or just yourself) as the storm arrives, and it's actually fairly easy and affordable if you start early enough.
Start by preparing your building. Windows, doors, and other openings need to be protected from wind-tossed projectiles, and you'll need to update the weatherproofing to stop water and other outdoor problems from getting inside easily.
Weatherproofing should be done first if it's necessary. This includes adding new weather strips to your windows and doors or adding sealant to any cracks. There are multiple types of sealing material, ranging from caulk that dries into a concrete-like consistency or silicon materials that are rubbery/spongy and can fill up porous damage well enough.
Boarding up windows and doors is a last-minute or budget option. If you have the funds, go for storm shutters and storm doors instead. These products are designed to withstand the impact of projectiles during a storm and can be opened and closed more easily than dealing with boards. You can still buy boards as backup materials, but they don't need to be your main option if there isn't a big storm in the news.
Avoid shingles if you live in a storm-prone area. Although they can be reinforced to be less of a problem, most basic shingle installations can be ripped up easily by even tropical depression winds. Ask for something heavier, such as stone shakes or tiles.
Metal roofing materials and other single or wide piece options are a great idea, but have them installed professionally. An amateur installation may leave some of the roof's edge exposed in a way that catches the wind and allows the roof to be torn away with the lowest tier of storm winds.
All of the previous steps are to reduce the amount of damage during a storm. There is no such thing as a perfect defense, but you can make recovery a lot easier by imagining the worst and having an answer while everything is still undamaged.
Keep a digital catalog of your building materials. This includes the brand, model number/serial number, color, and cost of everything from roofing materials, windows, doors, siding, bricks, and gutters. Email it to a friend or family member and/or store a physical copy somewhere safe to retrieve in case you don't have internet access at home, or if your only copy is lost in the storm.
Get to know construction and home improvement professionals before the storm. Learning their work ethic, rates, and service options before the storm is easier than trying to get information during a busy storm recovery season when everyone in the area needs help.
Contact a window installation professional like A & L Home Improvement to discuss installation and repair of windows and doors, and to get connected with other helpful professionals.