Hurricane Season is upon us again. It’s important that you have the proper protection plan ready for your home, especially if the weather takes a turn for the worse. It’s also wise to have a list of safety steps that you can use during a hurricane. In Southwest Florida, where hurricanes can do a lot of damage, you want to protect your home from damaging power surges. Here are a few things that you can do to protect your home during this year’s hurricane season.
Take photos of your appliances: Take photos of your appliances, so that it’s easy for you to submit claims to your homeowner’s insurance. Consider taking photos of any major appliances such as the air conditioning unit, electrical panel, washer, dryer, fridge, water heater, etc. Make sure that you take photos that are well-lit, showing all the angles of your appliances. Also, take pictures of the manufacturer label with the model and serial numbers, and if you have the original receipt, keep it with the photos that you’ll take.
Turn off all your individual gas lines: For the few homes in SWFL that have natural gas, remember to not turn off your gas supply. The gas supply should only be turned off by your utility company. Your gas lines run underground, so you don’t need to turn off gas service to your home. However, you can turn off the pilot and shut off individual gas lines to each appliance.
Unplug electric appliances: It’s best to unplug your electric appliances to protect them from any power surges during a hurricane. Even if you have a whole-home surge protector, it’s good to unplug major appliances such as washer, dryer, water heater (if it’s electric), range, TV, refrigerator, and freezer (make sure that you clean out the food in your refrigerator and freezer before you unplug it.)
Elevate appliance that will rust or corrode: If you have portable appliances such as TVs, microwaves, or toasters, you want to move these appliances to a place where they are going to be several feet off the ground in case your home does flood. If you have a two-story home, your appliances would be safer on the second floor.
Turn off your main circuit switch: Once you have left your home, be sure to turn off your home’s power through the main circuit switch. This will prevent any electric damage if your home floods. After the storm is over, what should you do? First, you want to survey the area to see what has been damaged, and we suggest at Best Home Services that you hire a professional technician to come out and check your electrical system and replace any electrical wiring that has been submerged during the storm. Also, if you don’t have a generator, we suggest that you purchase a home backup generator. When a hurricane hits, usually your power can take up to 2 weeks or more to be restored, which means that you won’t have any way to charge your phones to communicate, nor you will have the power to refrigerate or cook food. However, if you have a standby generator you can restore power when you need it.
If you don’t have a standby generator, and you want to purchase one, please give us a call at (239) 946-4426 .