Preparing for a Hurricane
It’s that time of year again… We are getting into the heart of hurricane season here in Florida as we move into the month of September. As we publish this article, the threat of a major hurricane (Dorian) striking in just a couple of days is the reality for millions of Floridians.
We all know preparation is important. So when the threat of a storm exists, most of us quickly run through a checklist something like the following:
- Have an evacuation plan
- Make sure we have medication we need
- Make sure to fill up all the cars with gas
- Fill extra gas cans for generator
- Move the extra vehicle(s) into the garage or to safety
- Buy several days worth of water
- Buy several days worth of dry and canned foods
- Make sure to have plywood to board up if necessary
- Move the patio furniture and potted plants in doors
But what might we be forgetting?
Take a broad view of your home. Where is damage most likely to occur?
If you are in a low-lying area, your greatest threat may be flooding.
Of course wind poses a major threat, but if your home is well-built and up to code you are unlikely to suffer major wind damage directly to your structure. In fact, we board up our windows, not because we fear the wind may blow them to the point of breaking, but because we fear the wind could pick up some object that becomes a projectile which could shatter the window and allow rain and wind in. And only the very strongest of winds could threaten the integrity of the actual structure of your home such as walls and roof.
Therefore, the important preparation step that many homeowners fail to take is PROACTIVE TREE SERVICE such as tree trimming and tree maintenance.
That limb that seems to have grown weak over time may seem like a problem that can wait… until it is too late.
The tree that leans over your property may be able to last several more years… unless a strong storm hits.
Even trees that appear to be strong and healthy can become sources of MAJOR damage. Consider that tropical storms and hurricanes typically feature torrential rainfall. In late summer, we get a lot of rain anyway. This saturated ground is a recipe for disaster. When the soil becomes saturated with water, the ground is soggy. The root system which depends on the integrity of the soil to maintain its strength is thus weakened. So even a tree that could normally withstand high winds may fall from the ground up, it’s root system coming up out of the ground. And of course, anything in its path is in great danger.
Here’s a real life example from some of our friends in Panama City Beach, FL during Hurricane Michael.
They have a home that was built in 2007 and built to withstand winds of 150 MPH. They are not in a high-risk flood zone. They boarded their windows with plywood, took all the obvious steps to prevent projectiles by cleaning up the yard, and evacuated.
Even though their neighborhood in Panama City Beach didn’t suffer catastrophic damage as many neighborhoods to the East in Panama City suffered, a single pine tree from behind their property fence fell. It fell on the roof over the master bedroom. The limbs comprised the roof, protruded through the shingles, plywood, rafters and trusses and into the master bedroom closet. The tree exited by tearing a hole through the exterior wall and destroying 80% of all of their clothing, shoes and other items stored.
The hole from the roof creating a vacuum of suction which blew open the french doors, which were boarded up, on the back of the home in a completely different room. This allowed water into the home.
The result? 5 months spent moving from condo to condo while dealing with insurance, remediation, contractors, and getting the home repaired. Total cost was over $150,000 for repairs and additional living expenses. Not to mention the cost of uprooting their lives, schedules, their routine for school, work, commutes, etc for several months.
All from a single pine tree that appeared healthy and didn’t seem to pose any risk to the property.
The point of this story is not to suggest that tree service can prevent all issues such as our friends experienced. Things happen. However, if you could prevent a scenario like this, the cost of professional tree trimming, tree removal, and maintenance is obviously better than the alternative.
Yes, in order to be truly prepared, we must take care of needed tree service. Our professional tree service crew would be happy to come out and have a look at your property to help you assess and fix potential hazardous problems.
Investing in the maintenance of your trees is very important, and it’s an investment that will pay off by preventing costly damage, time spent out of your home while it is being repaired, or, worst of all, potential life-threatening injury for ourselves or those we love.
Our business becomes very busy before and after a storm as you can imagine, so if we are unable to make it to your property THIS time… let it be a lesson for NEXT time.
Give us a call today: (386) 688-5173 or fill out our service contact form.