Home, pool and yard preparation checklists

Hurricane Irma Damage
Hurricane Irma ripped the roof of this Pines Trailer Park home in September 2017. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

Home preparation

  • Install shutters on all openings, including windows, doors, sliding glass doors, French doors, and garage doors.
  • If using plywood, purchase 5/8″ thick plywood well before a storm arrives, pre-measure, pre-drill and label each piece, or buy clips to attach plywood to window frames.
  • Install impact-resistant windows.
  • Caulk or install weather stripping around windows.
  • Install three door hinges on outside doors.
  • Install deadbolts that extend one inch into the door jamb on outside doors.
  • Repair loose or missing roof shingles.
  • Inspect soffits for adequate fasteners.
  • Replace loose or missing soffits.
  • Outside, seal openings from air conditioning refrigerant lines, water heater pressure relief lines, water pipes, cable and satellite TV wires, telephone wires, Internet wires and exhaust fan vents from bathroom, kitchen, clothes dryer.
  • Inside, seal around electrical boxes and circuit breaker panels, electrical outlets, exhaust fan vents.
  • Bring loose items inside, including garbage cans, lawn furniture, decorations, hoses, hanging plants, grills.
  • Turn off or disconnect electric, gas, water and sewer before evacuating.

Mobile home preparation

  • Inspect, repair or add tie-down straps and anchors according to Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles standards.
  • Make sure straps are properly aligned and not at an angle.
  • Check to be sure the proper number of tie-downs have been installed properly.
  • Verify that ground anchors and stabilizer plates have been installed properly.
  • Be sure support piers are in contact with the frame.
  • Replace straps or ground anchors that show signs of corrosion or damage.
  • Inspect and repair wood rot and termite damage in wall-to-floor connections, wall-to-roof connections, perimeter joists, and trusses.
  • Inspect fasteners if the home has a roof-over.
  • Close shutters.
  • Secure loose outdoor objects.
  • Turn off or disconnect electricity, gas, water, and sewer.
  • Establish a community evacuation plan for your mobile home park
  • Make a list of residents’ phone numbers, alternate addresses.
  • Assign each neighbor a partner to help them evacuate.

Swimming pool preparation

  • Lower the water level to reduce flooding potential.
  • Do not empty the pool, it could pop out of the ground.
  • Turn off electrical power to the pool.
  • Store filter pump motor indoors to keep it dry.
  • Store loose items indoors, not in the pool, to protect from chemicals.
  • Add extra chlorine to use pool water for washing and flushing.
  • Inspect and repair or replace pool screen hardware.
  • Remove two opposite pool screen panels to allow wind to blow through.

    Trees post-Irma
    Trees were down on Anna Maria Island after Hurricane Irma. – Cindy Lane | Sun

Yard preparation

  • Trim weak branches.
  • Hire licensed trimmers to trim near power lines.
  • Trim early enough before the storm to allow branches to be removed from property to keep them from becoming projectiles.

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