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It’s never too early to start preparing for hurricanes
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It’s never too early to start preparing for hurricanes

RICHMOND—Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in 2017 were stark reminders of Mother Nature’s destructive force and the need for preventive action before a storm strikes.

“Now is the time to start making sure your home or business is hurricane-ready,” said Sam Rooks, Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. vice president of underwriting and policy services. “Preparing now can hopefully help you reduce property damage.”

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, of which VFBMIC is a founding member, offers resources to help reduce hurricane damage to homes and buildings.

IBHS recommends closing interior doors, in addition to all windows and exterior doors. High winds place homes under intense pressure, and wind entering a home through an open or broken window can create strong upward pressure on the roof. According to IBHS, closing interior doors helps compartmentalize the pressure inside a home into smaller areas to reduce the overall force on the roof structure. This gives the roof a better chance of staying intact.

The group also suggests limiting possible sources of wind-borne debris by surveying a home’s surroundings before a storm. Protect all openings from high wind or flying debris damage. Failure of a large window or door can result in pressurization inside the home and potential property damage.

Another precaution is to strengthen the roof. Roof damage occurs in the majority of wind-related claims, and a compromised roof allows high winds and wind-driven rain to enter a home and create major damage.

Consider installing shutters to protect existing windows and doors, IBHS suggests. Most shutter systems need to be activated before a storm hits, so make sure the hardware is pre-installed and all shutter panels are labeled and ready for quick installation.

For more information visit disastersafety.org/hurricane. Virginia Farm Bureau also offers online resources at vafb.com/membershipatwork/news-resources/Virginia-hurricane-preparedness-central.

Media: Contact Rooks at 804-290-1372 or Sara Owens, VFBF communications, at 804-290-1133.

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