I am new to the Melbourne area and would like to make sure my house is ready for storm season. What are some things I can do to my home to prepare for hurricane season?

Here is a brief list that the Institute for Business & Home safety (IBHS) outlined of the Top Five ways to better protect homes from damaging wind and rain during hurricane season:

1-Shutter all openings
One of the most important thing you can do to improve the chance your home will survive a hurricane is to protect all windows and doors. The range of products on the market today means it is relatively easy to find a product to fit your budget. Whatever you choose, make sure the product has the proper approvals for wind pressure and large-missile impact.

If you have shutters installed take the time to also discuss wind mitigation discounts with your local independent Hoffman & Associates insurance agent. They will be able to guide you on the requirements in applying for this discount.

2-Secure loose roof shingles
Keeping shingles attached is critical to protecting your house. If the edges are not well fastened, extend beyond the drip edge or if they come up without much effort they can lift off and create a peeling process or domino effect. Older loose tiles may become brittle and crack leaving your roof vulnerable as well.

3-Seal openings, cracks and holes
Water can invade homes in a number of ways, especially in a storm situation when it is being blown horizontally. The problem may also be compounded if theres a loss of power and you are unable to dry things out. Fill holes where wires, cables and pipes enter and exit the house and seal around electrical boxes and circuit breakers panels. Seal cracks around wall outlets, dryer vents, bathroom and kitchen vents, and wall lights.

4-Strenghten soffits (the material covering the underside of your roof overhang)
Keeping soffits in place can help keep water out of your house.

5-Survey surroundings and limit potential flying debris
Limiting possible sources of wind-borne debris before a storm will help protect your home and those around you. Limit yard objects. Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed. Cut weak branches.

NOTE: The answers to coverage questions are primarily based on ISO forms generally used in Florida by most companies. However, please keep in mind that all companies forms are NOT necessarily the same. Some companies may provide broader coverage and some may be more restrictive. IN ALL CASES, THE CONSUMER MUST REFER TO HIS OR HER OWN POLICY FOR SPECIFIC COVERAGE INFORMATION.

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