According to early forecasts, 2016 promises to be a more active hurricane season than last year, when the Atlantic saw 11 tropical storms, 4 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. In fact, the hurricane season may have already started earlier than expected with the formation of Hurricane Alex in the Eastern Atlantic in mid-January. The good news is that there is a lot you can do between now and the official start of hurricane season on June 1 to protect your home and the safety of your family.
First and most importantly, you’ll want to create a hurricane preparedness list, outlining all the key steps to prepare for a devastating storm. Mackie One, a full-service roofing and construction company that has been providing commercial and residential services to the greater New Orleans area since 1965, recommends that you start now to create a list of everything you’ll need if a major storm hits. Your list should include your IDs (including your driver’s license and social security card), important records, cash, a one-week supply of any medicine you take and a trip plan for where you’d go in case of an evacuation.
But that’s just the beginning of what you can do to prepare your home before a hurricane makes landfall. In the springtime, for example, you’ll want to do a thorough spring-cleaning of your home, including a review of your roofing, gutter and siding needs. At a minimum, Mackie One suggests having your home gutters cleaned out since these can become clogged during the winter with debris and leaves.
If you don’t clean out your home gutters thoroughly, there’s a chance that any excess water will overflow the gutters and seep into your home’s foundation. Even the sturdiest home foundations can be severely weakened with water buildup due to cracks that appear over time in the foundation. However, you can help to protect your foundation with gutter guards.
Based on their experience helping Southern Louisiana homeowners deal with the impact of severe weather conditions for more than six decades, the team at Mackie One also suggests checking out the current condition of your roof. While shingle roofs are known for being extremely durable, the fact remains that regular roof maintenance is key to protecting your roof investment over the long term.
In fact, Mackie One suggests making these roof inspections every few months, and especially before significant weather events. While many structural defects can be quickly repaired with roof cement, there are other defects that may require more extensive attention. In some cases, you might have to install an entirely new roofing system.
That’s why, given the forecast of an active hurricane season in 2016, you’ll want to make sure that your roof can handle the force of hurricane-strength winds. Otherwise, you may be facing expensive roof replacement costs later during the summer.
So, putting this all together, three basic steps – having an emergency preparedness list, doing some basic spring cleaning around the outside of the house before the onset of hurricane season, and checking your roof regularly for signs of deterioration – are all key to making it through what looks to be an active hurricane season. If even a fraction of the forecasted storms make landfall in Louisiana, these small steps of prevention now may pay off big later.