Photo: NASA / Unsplash
Mother Nature has a way of reminding us who is in charge. The Atlantic hurricane season arrives each year on June 1, and meteorologists are predicting another year of intense and unpredictable tropical storms.
If your cabin is in an area impacted by hurricanes or tropical storms
, right now is the time to ready your buildings and property. Some simple and inexpensive projects can help you save you thousands of dollars and unspeakable heartache. Given that most cabin owners will also have a home to attend to when a hurricane is bearing down, perhaps it’s even more important to make sure the cabin is as ready as possible.
Here’s how to prepare your cabin for hurricane season:
Buy your plywood window coverings now.
Supply chain issues arising from the pandemic have made the cost of building materials skyrocket. It’s only going to become more difficult and expensive to find what you need when a storm is bearing down. Make sure the plywood complies with state inspection standards. Precut your plywood to your windows, number the boards accordingly, and have your wood screws ready.
Clean gutters and drains.
Tropical storms are rainmakers. Clogged gutters and downspouts
give rainwater nowhere to run but into your basement or attic. Even worse, pooling water can soften the soil under and around your foundation, and in extreme situations can cause a structural failure.
Get a battery back-up for your sump pump.
The pump is useless if there’s no electricity, and hurricanes are famous for taking down entire power grids. Depending on the type of back-up battery you choose, you can expect a 36-72-hour charge, which is going to get you through the worst of a storm.
Remove potential missiles.
Lawn furniture should be safely stored, dead trees or branches removed, and outbuildings carefully secured every time you leave the cabin. If you know a storm is coming, you’ll want to remove hanging baskets and birdfeeders and move the woodpile. Items too big for storage can be tied down. Have your ropes ready.
Invest in some surge protectors.
Power flow rushes are a common problem during big storms. Consider a model that can be adapted to an electrical panel, which will protect your big-ticket items such as air conditioning or heating units. Power strips can be used with appliances and electronics for a less-expensive approach, but make sure you purchase strips that are designed specifically for power surges.
Cover the air conditioner.
High winds can do amazing things, stuffing your air conditioner unit full of debris. Make sure to get a manufacturer-approved cover so you don’t void the warranty. Plastic traps moisture in, and is therefore not recommended.
Do an insurance check-up.
Make sure you include an additional flood policy that will cover not just regional floods, but also a flooded basement due to failed gutter systems. Flood insurance usually comes with a 30-day waiting period before it goes into effect, so don’t wait. Spend a few hours documenting your property with simple photos or video on your cell phone. If you file a claim, any documentation you have will only work in your favor.
Do your planning and preparedness in blue skies so that Mother Nature doesn’t do more than batter your favorite place.