Storm Prep & Recovery
Tips for Preparing your Homes for Storm Season
Secure Exterior Openings - Doors, Windows & Garages
Doors & windows must be protected either by hurricane shutters or by an impact-resistant glazing such as laminated glass. Shuttering can be done with 5/8" plywood or metal storm panels. To save time before a hurricane, install the anchors or brackets now and store the shutters. Pre-cut plywood pieces should be mounted overlapping windows on all sides by 4" so that the shutters are attached to the frame underneath the exterior surface. Use anchors and wood screws to attached the anchors to dising or lag bolts for masonry. For double doors in which one door is active and the other is fixed, it's a good idea to reinforce the fixed door at the top and bottom. Some door manufacturers provide reinforcing kits. Additionally, check your doors for splits & cracks, and repair them immediately.
About 80% of residential hurricane damage starts with eind entry through garage doors, according tothe Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. Many garage doors are mafe of lightweight materials to save on costs, but this makes them more vulnerable to high winds. Look for a sticker on the inside of your garage door that gives you a pressure rating. If you don't see a sticker, chances are you'll need to reinforce your door. Homeowners can replace garage door systems with impace resistance garage doors, which may cost about $1,200, but could prove to be well worth the investment. A more cost-efficient option would be to use plywood or steel to reinforce existing garage doors, installing the bracings horizontally on each panel. It is also recommended that homeowners reinforce the track of the garage door with heavier guage metaol, and secure weka points by installing stronger supports and heavier hinges.
Storm-Proof the Roof
First, determine what type of roof you have. Homes with gabled roofs are more likely to suffer damage from high winds. A gabled roof can be strengthened by installing additional braces in the trusses and/or at the gable ends. A qualified builder can also install galvanized metal hurricane straps. For all home types, hurricane straps or clips must be installed by a roofing contractor when the roof is being replaced, since it requires access to the inside of the roof underneath the sheathing. These straps/clips should be placed where the roof truss adjoins the exterior wall.
When the trusses are exposed, check to make sure they are properly fastened - fasteners include nails and staples. If the fasteners have missed the truss, the roof is weakened. Homeowners may want to add nails if existing fasteners are scarce or if they have missed the top cord of the roof.
Check your Landscape & Lawn Decor
Every year, falling trees and tree limbs cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damages - and sometimes personal injuries or deaths. Homowners should regularly check for signs of damage or disease, including craxks in the trunk or major limbs, insect ifestations, trees that lean significantly, branches hanging over the house or near the roof, limbs in contact with power lines, or mushrooms growing from the bark, indicating decay.
Bring in outdoor furniture sush as garden decor, garbage cans, patio table, umbrella, chairs, grills, outdoor toys, potted plants, etc. These things can all becoming flying objects in a strom, and can cause additional injury or damage in high winds.
Porches & Fences
While putting up fencing, leave spaces at the bottom instead of driving every panel into the ground to allow air to go under the fance, rather than knocking it down. Porches have weak roofs. Make sure the roof is bolted to the exterior wall of the house, and that the porch is firmly attached to the house.
Turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep the doors cloased. Just prior to th estorm, turn off the utilities and all gas. Get candles, matches, flashlights, batteries, and a battery-operated radio. Store drinking water and water for flushing the toilet and taking baths. Fill the bathtub, pots, and clean pails with water and keep in a secure place.
When rebuilding your house there are several important things to look into before you hire a remodelor to do the work. First no check with the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors to make sure that the company you are looking at is in fact licensed. Second, make certain that your remodelor is up to date on their insurance. Call their insurance company and check that they are paid up through the time that they will be working on your house. Check our frequently asked questions page for further information.
How should you deal with mold in your home? We have gathered a list of resources for the safe removal of mold. Also, if the mold in your home requires professional removal, we can provide you with a list of our members who perform those services.
FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Program is a wealth of resources devoted to dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane, or other natural or man made disaster. Check here for available financial assistance, as well as a guide to rebuilding stronger and better.
The LSU AG Center’s Rebuilding Information Station is a valuable resource as is the UNO Center for Hazard Assessment, Response and Technology
The Louisiana Rebuilds Website is also a valuable resource. Check out the Rebuilding Station on their website as well.
The last date to apply for a Louisiana Road Home grant was in July of 2007, so this is no longer an option.