Over Half of Florida Residents Fail to Properly Prepare Home Ahead of Hurricane Season

18 May
2018 Hurricane Awareness Tour

2018 Hurricane Awareness Tour

As the National Weather Service kicks off Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 6–12), a new study found that over half of homeowners in Florida fail to take the recommended precautions to protect their homes against hurricane damage.

The survey asked Sunshine State residents how they prepare their home for hurricane season. Unfortunately, less than one in seven respondents said they had installed hurricane resistant doors and a mere 14.6 percent felt that roof protection was necessary.

Even worse was the fact that over half of all respondents admitted that they had done none of the recommended measures or were basically hoping for the best.

One bright spot in the results was the fact that over a third said they had stocked up on emergency supplies and a fifth claimed to have installed storm shutters.

The survey data was collected in April of 2018 through an online survey of roughly 1,000 homeowners in Florida. Homeowners were asked about 6 protective measures they could take before hurricane season, the results were less than impressive.

  • Emergency supplies – 30.9%
  • Storm shutters – 18.3%
  • Impact-resistant windows – 18.0%
  • Provision to secure outside objects – 16.4%
  • Roof protection – 14.6%
  • Impact-resistant doors – 13.2%
  • None of the above – 50.2%

As you can see, the majority of homeowners in Florida are doing absolutely nothing to prepare for the coming hurricane season.

Hurricanes can be very expensive

Homeowners who fail to prepare could find themselves with significant damage to their homes. According to the Office for Coastal Management, which calculates the costs of hurricanes, in 2017, Hurricane Harvey, Maria and Irma did $265 billion in damages.

Joe Halsall, who is the digital marketing manager at Origin Global (they conducted the survey) had this to say about the survey results in a press release, “Our findings show that, despite the severity of last year’s hurricane season and the susceptibility of Florida to the elements, a surprising number of residents have not protected their homes against damage which could potentially cost them thousands of dollars to repair.” 

Tips for Protecting Your Home

There are a few things you can do to help prevent damage to your home during hurricane season. As an added benefit, these tips will usually result in a discount on your insurance as well.

Storm Shutters: Storm shutters are fairly affordable and can help protect your windows and doors. They also help protect the inside of your home from water damage that can occur if your windows are broken out. In addition, most insurers often a significant discount for storm shutters.

Wind Resistant Roofing Materials: Replacing your roof with wind resistant material dramatically increases the odds that your roof will survive a major storm. While it can be an expensive upgrade it will result in a major discount on your insurance premium.

Garage Doors: Data from CNN Money shows that “80 percent of residential hurricane damage starts with wind entry through a garage door.” Replacing your garage doors with wind resistant ones can mean the difference between a slightly damaged home and a completely flooded one.

Flood Insurance: Remember that a standard homeowners policy doesn’t cover flood damage so it is necessary to carry separate flood insurance in order to be fully protected. While flood insurance can be somewhat pricey, especially if you live near the coast, it can be a financial lifesaver if your home is flooded.

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