Each hurricane season challenges homeowners to examine the readiness of their homes. Hurricane preparedness solutions on the market range from rollshutters to accordion shutters, but for some these products can be outside the budget. Hurricanes can cause thousands of dollars in damage, and even if the popular solutions are out of reach, measures to prepare should still be explored. Here are three ways to prepare for a hurricane without breaking the bank:
Hurricane Fabric is an affordable hurricane solution that is lightweight, and it is so easy to install that it can be a DIY project. Opting to install the fabric on your own also helps to save money. The woven fabric is coated with geo-synthetic PVC material, strong enough to withstand incoming objects from heavy winds and rains. The fabric has a trampoline effect, where objects bounce off rather than penetrating and causing damage to your property. Whether installed on windows or doors, hurricane fabric is certainly the shield your home needs this hurricane season.
Barrel-Bolt Plywood Shutters
Plywood is often seen as a last minute fix for windows and doors, but when done correctly it can be effective. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that barrel-bolt plywood shutters withstood the impact of Hurricane Andrew in the United States in 1992.
Exterior grade plywood sheets are recommended to cover windows and doors, but they must be at least 7/16 inches thick. Although homeowners typically secure the sheets with nails, this actually leads to more property damage. The nails are held in place by compression, when the winds cause the plywood to vibrate, it is more likely to be ripped from the wall thus leaving holes around your property. Should you consider using plywood, here are some points to remember (ThePlywood.com):
- Check with building codes to ensure barrel-bolt shutters will be in compliance
- Take measurements before purchasing plywood, buying a little extra can make up for any errors in the building process
- 3-4 inch long heavy duty barrel bolts should be placed at intervals of every two feet as advised by the NOAA, the more bolts the better
- An electric drill is ideal for drilling into concrete block
- The plywood can be made water resistant using a wood treatment or paint thus extending it’s lifespan
Hurricane straps are known for tying the roof and walls of a building together for added security. They are made from galvanized steel and though it’s easier to install them during the construction process, they can still be done afterward. They vary from twist ties to multipurpose straps and have been proven to withstand severe weather events. Installation of hurricane straps requires consultation from a reputable carpenter or engineer on the best hurricane strap to work for your home to prepare for a hurricane.
Bonus Tip: Budget-Friendly Emergency Kit
After ensuring the exterior of your home is secure, start to consider a budget friendly emergency kit. Here are some ways to stock up and save:
- Buy in bulk: Canned foods, toilet paper, and other necessities would be cheaper when purchased in bulk. Purchasing ahead of the hurricane season also ensures that you have supplies before the last-minute rush
- Bottle your own water: This should be done in bleach purified, two-liter bottles that should be saved rather than thrown away. Find ways to save water that would otherwise have been wasted (like running cold water before a hot bath) to flush toilets and keep yourself clean.
- Consider off-brand products: branding can increase the cost of supplies like batteries and cleaning products. There is no harm in purchasing off-brand