Hurricane Preparedness: Brace the outside of your home

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 9:21am

Preparing your home ahead of a hurricane will not only help to protect yourself and your family, but also potentially reduce the amount of damages to your home, Na'Tassia Finley has more tips in our Take the High Ground hurricane preparedness report.

Home Depot Department Store Manager Donald Thomas, "Usually if you notice, the people that get into trouble are the people that are not prepared."

In this High Ground Report, how to brace the outside of your home. Most people think plywood when they think hurricane preps and they're right, but getting the right type and fitting it into your window is key.

Donald Thomas, "Measure your windows and precut it so it fits perfectly and what we recommend, we recommend using two to three inch screws drilled so that if wind gets behind it, it can't separate it."

Mr. Thomas says the bigger the window the thicker the plywood, is a very basic rule of thumb, but it's not just high winds. Of course water is a major factor when it comes to hurricane dangers.

From a couple of inches to several feet, water has a way of creeping into even the smallest cracks and openings in homes.

The store sells bags, but for sand you're on your own, in major flooding emergencies usually the city and county also offer sand bags for residents.

Donald Thomas, "If you want to protect all the perimeter around every entryway so water can't seep in. The front door, the back door and if you have sliding doors on your home, you definitely want to put at least, I'd say 16 inches tall, so I'd say basically double bag."

Thomas says it's also a good idea to place sandbags along your garage, but it's not just water you need to be aware of, wind too, with the garage being the biggest opening to your house.

Experts say its usually there that wind gets in blowing roofs off of homes. So how does one brace their garage door? Donald Thomas, "We carry a wind jam set to secure your door."

New homes, especially here usually have these already built in, but Thomas says older homes will need to have their garage doors upgraded before a bracing it will offer any protection, Donald Thomas, "You have to have a plan, you need a systematic plan. When  you prepare you're going to be secure."

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