With the U.S. averaging 14 storms and hurricanes each year, home prep is a major concern for homeowners — especially in Florida. Severe storms present a risk to any home, but with a bit of preparation, you can help keep your home safe throughout hurricane season.
Follow these steps so that you’re prepared when hurricane winds start to blow your way.
Essential Hurricane Home Prep for Manufactured Homeowners
A major part of hurricane home prep for manufactured homes is planning an emergency strategy. Doing this before a storm comes can help you and your family avoid the last-minute panic that often comes with the unpredictability of a hurricane or storm. The following items are recommendations to help better prepare your manufactured home in the case of severe weather.
Keep Your Manufactured Home in Good Repair
Taking a proactive approach to manufactured home prep can minimize storm damage. Carefully inspect your home every year and make necessary repairs to save stress, time, and money.
Some of the most important things to do before a storm heads your way include:
- Clearly mark your address number on your mobile home in your community
- Understand HUD certifications and your wind zone, and understand when you need to evacuate
- Survey your anchoring system and all of your home’s tie-downs to prevent your home from shifting in the high winds. Be sure to replace or fix any parts that are not secure or are damaged. If you are unsure of what to look for, get your home inspected by a certified technician.
- Check other structures attached to or near your home that could cause damage in a storm, such as your home’s skirting, awnings, shutters, carports, sheds, etc.
- Store and secure loose items around your home such as outdoor furniture, grills, lawn equipment, decorations, and trash cans.
- Inspect your roof and siding for any loose shingles or siding as high winds can cause those items to become airborne, damaging your manufactured home or other homes in your community.
- Trim your landscaping, especially trees, of any broken or dead branches that could break free in the storm.
- Clear your gutters of debris. This will help minimize roof and water damage as the water will be able to freely flow off the roof without seeping into your roof or walls.
Gather Hurricane Home Prep Materials Ahead of Time
Hurricane prep for manufactured homes requires building materials that are often in short supply once a storm is forecasted. The best way to avoid price gouging and shortages is to make sure you have the needed supplies ahead of time.
Proper hurricane home prep will require:
- Protective window film
- Protective plastic sheeting
- Nails (for plywood application)
- Child safety locks for cupboards (helpful for keeping items such as plates, glasses, and canned goods from spilling out)
Having these materials handy will help ease some of the stress of hurricane prep for manufactured homeowners.
Create an Emergency Kit of Essentials for Your Manufactured Home
When it comes to hurricanes and tropical storms, time is critical. Having an emergency kit of essentials already put together can help you save both time and money. Once the storm hits there’s no telling how long it will take for life to get back to normal so being prepared is important.
Make sure your emergency kit has:
- A two-week supply of non-perishable foods and snacks
- One gallon of drinking water per day for each person in your home (make sure you have enough for two weeks)
- A flashlight with new batteries for each member of your family
- Extra cell phone charger or power bank
- Battery-powered portable radio
- First aid kit
- Coolers for food and ice
- Water purification tablets, plain chlorine, and iodine
- One change of clothing per person
- Manual can opener
- Utility knife
- Trash bags
- Personal hygiene items (soap, shampoo, deodorant)
- Important paperwork such as insurance policies, identification, medical records/prescriptions, deeds, titles, wills, etc. (best stored in waterproof folder)
These items are best stored in a duffle bag or tote that you can quickly grab. Your emergency kit will ensure that you have what you need in the event that you need to evacuate quickly or the storm damages your home.
Understand Your Manufactured Home Insurance
Manufactured home insurance is designed to give you peace of mind, even when your home faces disaster. It’s best to familiarize yourself and review your current manufactured home insurance policy regularly, especially since you may need coverage if your home is damaged in the storm. It’s important to note that many policies in Florida may not include flood damage, requiring additional coverage to be purchased.
To make filing a claim for personal property covered by your policy less stressful, it can be helpful to prepare ahead of time for an unfortunate event. It is recommended to use a camera and take inventory of your personal property as proof of ownership that you can show when filing a claim. Store this information in a safety deposit box, store digital copies in the cloud, and/or send hard copies to an out-of-town friend or relative for additional safekeeping.
Prepare an Evacuation Plan
When a hurricane is forecasted to be severe, the state may mandate evacuation. Before it gets to this point, prepare an evacuation plan to make sure you’re ready when the time comes. This includes arranging a host outside of the evacuation zone, having a list of local public shelters, and being aware of the various evacuation routes from your home. If you have pets, make sure you have arrangements put in place since most public shelters only allow service animals.
Jacobsen Homes Manufactured Homes Are Built To Last
The forces of nature are often unpredictable, so the best way to protect your investment is to prepare it. However, working with a builder that focuses on creating high-quality homes can give you the peace of mind you need to make your house a home.
As a HUD-certified manufactured home builder, Jacobsen Homes are built to last. If you are considering replacing your mobile home or are looking to purchase your first manufactured home, contact us for information on custom floor plans, upgrades, and features to create the home of your dreams.