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Consultants stress significance of making ready your own home now for hurricane season

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Getting your home ready now for hurricane season can save you lots of time and money down the line, so you’re not scrambling to secure your property days before a storm.

ABC Action News spoke to home inspection experts about the most important things you can start checking today.

“The main things we look at is the roof, the gutters, the windows, the siding,” said Justin Morris, Chief Operating Officer at The Rhino Home Services.

Check your roof to make sure you don’t have any loose shingles, and give the siding around your home a once over—looking to see that everything is secure.

When it comes to your windows, check that there are no cracks and that they’re sealed properly.

Look at your gutters and unclog them if you see anything in them.

“When your gutters are overfilled and water starts to drain into your foundation, you can notice things like erosion,” said Morris.

Take inventory of the trees on your property. Do any of them need to be trimmed or tied down? Do you notice any loose branches? If so, it could be worth having a tree company come out.

“No one wants a tree to fall on their home whatsoever,” said Morris.

Check for drainage issues around your home. If you have a French Drain, make sure it’s properly pushing water from your home.

If you have a pool with an enclosure, look to see that nothing is loose.

These are just a few of the things you can do to start preparing your home because we know how devastating hurricanes can be.

Mark Luther, who is the Director of the Ocean Monitoring and Predication Lab at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science, spoke to ABC Action News about potential hurricane impacts.

“Every storm is unique, every season is different,” said Luther.

He believes our area could see potentially devastating damage from a major hurricane.

“If we got a much closer landfalling hurricane, say an Ian-type hurricane that came in, it would just be a total disaster. It would be 12-15 feet of water in most of the low-lying areas around the bay. From downtown Tampa to downtown St. Pete to the beaches,” said Luther.

“That’s what usually does the most damage is that storm surge. So once you pile all that water up into the coastal areas either along the beaches or the farther you go up the bay, the more the water has no place to go. Then you put waves generated by the winds on top of that, and that’s what typically does the most damage,” he added.

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