Man boarding up windows.
Bracing for Irma in Florida | Photo Credit: ABC

Hurricane Irma: Preparation Tips

In the wake of Harvey, we know that you are likely concerned as Irma approaches. Here are some last-minute tips for preventing losses at your property, and what to do during and after the storm.

Hurricane Safety Tips & Resources

Before the Storm:

Your first priority – make sure you, your tenants and your families are safe. Follow the instructions given by state, local and tribal officials regarding evacuation or other emergency procedures.

If time allows – remind tenants to create a “go bag” containing a change of clothes, prescription medications, food and water, flashlights, a portable radio, batteries and cell phone chargers. They should also have an evacuation plan, emergency communication procedures and a rendezvous point in case their group gets separated. The Red Cross also provides tips for before the storm.

If it is still safe to be in the area, we would advise taking the following precautions:

  • Make sure rain gutters and exterior drains are free of debris to avoid potential water back-ups.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Move indoors any exterior furniture or art that could act as a dangerous projectile.
  • Cover all windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • If officials say it’s ok to “shelter in place,” advise tenants to close and lock all windows and doors, shutting any storm shutters. Garage doors should also be braced.
  • Be sure the battery backup for your sump pump is working to prevent drain backups.
  • A backup generator can be helpful in the event of extended power loss, but never operate a generator indoors. Be sure the exhaust is well-vented and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
  • If you have staged a property with valuable items, such as rugs or art, move them away from windows and to upper floors if possible.

During the Storm:

After the Storm:

It is strongly advised that you visit your affected property/properties as soon as safely possible in order to take photographs of the damages.  Please note that it is your obligation per the insurance policy to mitigate any further damage by taking all reasonable precautions to ensure the security of your property. Any mitigation expenses you incur for a covered loss will be considered part of your claim.  Such steps include water extraction, roof tarping and securing of the property.

Other Helpful Resources:

More Storm-Related Advice from Us

Here are some other informative articles addressing storms which we hope you might find helpful:

“Do You Know the Difference Between Flood, Water Damage and Sewer Back-Up?”

“Reduce Your Risk of Mold After a Flood”

“Are Your Tenants TRULY Prepared for a Power Outage?”

If you have any tips to share with investors about how you safely made it through a storm, please share your story in the comments below & and be safe out there everyone!


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