Here's how to prepare your home for a hurricane

News 6 speaks to two experts about windows, doors, roof, generator safety

ORLANDO, Fla. – June 1 is the start of the 2017 hurricane season and News 6 wants to make sure you are prepared.

News 6 anchor and meteorologist Julie Broughton spoke to two experts -- Tat Granata, from Florida Home Improvement Associates, and Joe Strada, from Strada Electric -- and took a home tour to find out what areas of your home could be vulnerable if a hurricane approaches and how to keep yourself safe.

"This family has no protection from the hurricane right now," Granata told Broughton.

That's something you want to find out right now before the season gets started rather than when a storm is headed our way.

"We heard from a lot of people saying, 'I need my windows tomorrow.' And that's not going to be the case. These need to be custom made and ordered," Granata said regarding people who were asking just before Hurricane Matthew last year.

Granata suggests getting an expert to inspect your windows, doors and roof to see if your home is storm ready or not.

Flying debris is something that cannot be avoided, Granata said.

However, homeowners with newer homes may have little hurricane protection, or it may only be on the front of the house for curb appeal.

One home they viewed could be extra vulnerable because it's near a corner.

"We could (be) more susceptible to a cyclone effect -- positive and negative pressures pushing and pulling on the glass," Granata said.

Granata said that the key to keeping your roof intact is having windows with good structural support.

"Generally, we find when families lose their roof, the hurricane got into the home and then it blew the roof off or a section of the roof off," he said.

Once the outside of your home is secured, it is time to protect the inside of your home. A lightning strike even five miles away can mean disaster.

"It'll just blow it up. So you'll hear popping. You'll hear smoking. They're all susceptible to high voltage and power," Strada said.

Strada said the best bet is a surge protector. The box is installed outside at the meter.

"It will actually suppress it inside the protector itself," he said.

What about a generator if your power goes out? Strada said the best time to purchase one is now so you're prepared if you do lose power.

Strada said you'll need to install a load center.

"So if you're without power and you want your refrigerator to run, we'll have a circuit to make sure your refrigerator runs."

Last year, there were five Hurricane Matthew-related deaths in Florida, according to The Associated Press.

One of those was a 9-year-old boy, from Daytona Beach, who officials believe died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator inside the home.

Strada told News 6 there are some important things to remember when it comes to generator safety.

1. Always keep the generator at least 20 feet from any open window or door.
2. Make sure you keep a clear, three-foot radius around the generator.
3. Never use a generator inside.

Taking these steps should better prepare you for whatever weather comes your way.

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