When June approaches each year, it brings with it some of the most dreaded words surrounding our Florida lifestyle: hurricane season. You can and should take some steps to ensure that you are helping prepare your manufactured home — and your family — as best you can. Here are the ways you can proactively prepare for a hurricane.
Manufactured Homes and Hurricanes
Fortunately, today’s manufactured homes are built to standards allowing them to withstand hurricane conditions in the same way a traditionally built home would. In fact, the results of a 2014 IBHS test showed that manufactured homes actually fared better when it came to high wind performance than their site-built counterparts.
Manufactured homes are built in accordance with the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards. These standards state that manufactured homes in Florida’s Wind Zone II, which is most of the state, must be able to withstand 39 pounds of force per square foot and 100 mph of sustained winds. To confirm your manufactured home’s wind zone, check its posted HUD data plate.
When it comes to protecting your manufactured home as best you can from a hurricane, spending time before the storm doing some preparation can help minimize the damage your home may experience.
One of the first things you should do when you know a hurricane is headed your way is to review and verify your insurance information. It is important to know your policy’s limitations regarding coverage, windstorm and hail damage, hurricane deductibles, flood insurance, personal property, and additional living expenses allowances.
Next, get supplies together. A hurricane preparedness kit can include food, water, portable radios with batteries, and flashlights, while an evacuation kit can contain cash, clothing, important documents, and emergency supplies. Fill up your car with gas and refill any prescriptions you may run out of after the storm passes.
Once you have the outside inspected and secured, it is time to focus on the interior of your manufactured home. To get your home’s inside ready for the hurricane, concentrate on completing the following tasks.
- Take any photos of your possessions that insurance may require for post-storm claim processing and keep these with you if you evacuate.
- Tape over windows or any glass surface to reinforce them and prevent glass shards from flying during the storm.
- Your water main should be disengaged to prevent flooding caused by a plumbing break.
- Similarly, turn off fuel lines to prevent fires.
- Secure any fragile home items in boxes placed on the floor to prevent them from going airborne.
- Consider outfitting cabinets with child safety locks to keep doors closed and household items from damage.
Before you learn a hurricane is approaching, it is always a good idea to have your home inspected by a certified technician who can check for the following.
- Loose tie-downs
- Proper installation of straps, anchors, and stabilizer components
- Suitable condition of the roof
In addition, check the condition of awnings, skirting, shutters, or any exterior structures such as carports. If improperly attached, these create hazards during storm winds. Don’t forget about loose items such as furniture, mailboxes, or planters that can become flying debris during a heavy storm. Finally, make sure your home address number is visible on the outside of your manufactured home.
If possible, upgrading your manufactured home to include hurricane-resistant features can be a smart move before the storm season starts. These improvements include windows with greater impact resistance, reinforced roofing, or asphalt shingles.
Manufactured homes are installed with the correct anchors in place, but a tie-down system rated specifically for the wind conditions in your home’s area may be needed to prepare for a hurricane. Next, seal and reinforce any leaks at the wall joints of the ceiling and floor to prevent water penetration.
It is also a good idea to install storm shutters before the hurricane makes landfall, as well as to secure the wall sheathing by ensuring screws are holding the home’s siding firmly in place. Exterior windows should be reinforced with plywood, plastic sheathing, and nails, and any dead limbs and branches should be cleared from your property’s trees.
Withstand Life’s Storms With Prestige
When you purchase a Nobility Home through Prestige Home Center, you can have peace of mind knowing that it is built adhering to the strictest HUD and industry standards. When a hurricane comes your way, you can follow the steps outlined above to ensure your home is ready. But, if you need more information on how to prep your manufactured home for hurricane season, reach out to the Prestige team. We are happy to guide you throughout the life of your manufactured home ownership no matter what storms come your way.