When Hurricane Charlie hit on August 13th, (Friday) 2004, This is what I learned during the following 8 to 10 weeks.
As we sit, staring down the barrel of a cat 4 hurricane, we must consider if we are prepared, and what we could have done to be better prepared. Home construction is the first line of defense against hurricane damage. Elevation of the home, in relation to the surrounding area, impact resistant windows and doors, landscaping, the construction of the roof and the roofing materials used, all determine your homes resistance to high wind and tidal surge. In North Port, FL, most new homes are built 3 to 5 feet above the street level. This helps both in tidal surge protection and drainage. Impact windows prevent the penetration of objects into the home, and the wind and water that would follow. Landscaping can both hurt and protect the home. Certain plantings can aid in wind reduction, and certain plantings cannot withstand the wind and become projectiles or fall on top of the home. The building code in Florida, since Hurricane Andrew, requires that roof trusses are not just nailed in place, but also attached with metal strapping. Many new homes have a peel and stick waterproof membrane installed under the shingles or clay tile. This keeps the roof water proof in the event of lost roofing shingles or tile. In addition, using ¾ inch tongue and groove plywood sheathing, that is glue and screwed down, will increase you homes ability to withstand the high winds and protect your home and its contents. On a side note, a significant amount of home damage sustained by Hurricane Charlie, was due to poorly attached and loose clay roofing tile. If you walk on you tile roof and you hear and feel loose tiles, these will undoubtedly become projectiles during a hurricane.

John Savage CM
Agent for Stevens Vanlines
(941)727-1459 Phone
(941)758-0623 Fax