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Metal hurricane shutters can be fitted to any window style.

Covid-19 and Hurricane Season Collide in 2020

As if months of a global pandemic wasn’t enough! Now it’s time to get ready for Fall 2020– the most prevalent part of Atlantic Hurricane Season. And to make matters worse, 2020 hurricane season is shaping up to be a big one. One of the realities of living in Myrtle Beach is the prevalence of hurricanes in the late summer and early fall. When it comes to hurricane prep, it’s always best to listen to the experts and municipal authorities. In Horry County, that means taking proper precautions and evacuating if it is called for. Thankfully, there is always an abundance of resources circulating on social media.

This year poses some additional challenges, namely, preparing for a possible evacuation under increased public health restrictions. Whether you stay or evacuate, it’s important to weigh risks and make an informed decision. Travel can be difficult and risky for the elderly, especially under current COVID transmission rates. But the threat of hurricane damage and long-term power outage may prove a greater risk. Thinking about these potential decisions before you are forced to make them can help you feel more confident and prepared for whatever may happen.

Whether you choose to stay or leave, follow the tips below to get ready for a hurricane. These tips will increase the protection of your home to better prevent wind and water damage.

Hurricane Prep for Your Home

Perhaps the only good thing about hurricanes (as opposed to other natural disasters) is that they provide plenty of warning. We typically know of a storm out in the Atlantic 1-2 weeks before it hits, so there are time to prepare. That said, home improvement stores often get busy in anticipation of a hurricane, so the earlier you start, the better. You may even find that the last-minute rush for prep supplies affects how stores handles crowds. In short, don’t wait. Gather items now as hurricanes heading toward Myrtle Beach has become an annual certainty in recent years. Here are things to do around the house in the lead up to a major storm:

Seal Windows and Doors: Use caulk or another sealant to fix leaks and gaps in windows and doors. Replace worn weather-stripping to ensure a tight fit in doorways. With an abundance of rain and wind, water will find a way in. This is a quick and inexpensive fix that can be done at any time.

Remove Yard Debris and Yard Furniture: Brush and small limbs can become projectiles during a hurricane. So can lawn chairs, small potted plans, and bird feeders. Clean up loose debris and yard furniture so high winds don’t throw it and damage your home.

Clean gutters of debris ahead of a hurricane for effective drainage.

Clean Out Gutters and Drainage Areas: If you have a lot of trees and debris near your gutters, take time to clean them out. You’ll want all your drainage to work effectively in moving water away from your home.

Patch Foundation Cracks: Most homes in our area are either on flat slab foundations or built on stilts. If your are on a foundation slab, walk the perimeter and look for cracks where water could get in and further damage your foundation. Fill and patch cracks with a concrete sealant or foundation repair compound.

Gather Important Insurance Documents: Prep lists always include gathering important documents, but don’t forget your homeowner’s insurance. In the chance that you evacuate, it may be helpful to start the process before you head home, so have policy numbers handy.

Get Hurricane Shutters or Plywood Up: This is one of the last things but one of the most important. If you don’t have hurricane shutters, don’t hesitate to screw plywood right into the window frame. This is the best protection for keeping water out and protecting your windows against hurricane force wind.

Hurricane prep ahead of a storm. Man boards windows with plywood.

Install Hurricane Straps for HVAC: Yes, hurricane winds can pick up and toss large HVAC units. If you have a beach house with an elevated HVAC unit, make sure your hurricane tie-downs are in place and working. For HVAC units on a slab or foam base, you can use ground anchors and nylon straps to add some extra protection. Clear debris from around your units as well.

Optional: Get Extra Protection. Adding a residential standby generator and a power surge protector are nice, but it is something you probably won’t be able to do in the week before a hurricane. However, with the likely chance of hurricanes in our region, it’s not a bad investment.

Custom Home Design for the Coast

At Odom Design, we like to design homes with severe weather in mind. We understand the value that smart drainage design and triple-sealed windows bring. Read more about how we approach coastal construction for added safety and security.

Our company specializes in homes that are as beautiful as they are functional. Give us a call if you are interested in building a custom home, or remodeling or upgrading an existing home. We can also handle post-hurricane rebuilding, improving design and durability for the future.