Start preparing for hurricane season now

hurricaneHurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in 2017 were stark reminders of the need for preventive action before a storm.

“Now is the time to start making sure your home or business is hurricane-ready,” said Sam Rooks, Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. vice president of underwriting and policy services. “Preparing now can hopefully help you reduce property damage.”

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, of which VFBMIC is a founding member, offers resources at disastersafety.org/hurricane to help reduce the risk of hurricane damage to homes and other buildings.

If a severe storm is imminent, close all interior doors, in addition to all windows and exterior doors. High winds place homes under intense pressure. Wind entering the home through an open or broken window can create strong upward pressure on the roof. According to IBHS, closing interior doors helps compartmentalize the pressure inside a home into smaller areas, reducing the overall force on the roof and giving it a better chance of staying intact.

Limit possible sources of wind-borne debris by surveying a home’s surroundings before a storm. Protect all openings from high wind or flying debris damage. Failure of a large window or door can result in pressurization inside the home and potential property damage.

Strengthen the roof. Roof cover damage occurs in the majority of wind-related claims, and a compromised roof allows high winds and wind-driven rain to enter the home and create major damage.

Consider installing storm shutters to protect windows and doors. Most shutter systems need to be activated before a storm hits, so make sure the hardware is pre-installed and all shutter panels are labeled and ready for quick installation.

For more information visit vafb.com/insurance/information-center.

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