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Home Survey and Decisions

Hurricane risk often comes down to where you live

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Your neighborhood and surroundings affect your vulnerability to hurricane damage

There is an old saying in the real estate business that any home buying decision should be determined by three factors: location, location and location. Along that line, the hurricane threat to you as a homeowner often boils down to “location." 

How does location affect my risk for hurricane damage?

  • If your house is next to a large open field, at the edge of a golf course or within 1500 feet of open water, your home will get the full force of the wind—and probably more damage.
  • If your house is taller than the trees and most other nearby buildings, you’ll have a higher risk of damage.
  • The location of your home in regards to your neighbors’ also plays a role, too.
    • Neighboring buildings with flat roofs that have stones or gravel on them are a major source of windborne debris.  Stones or gravel can easily break windows.
    • If your neighbors have tile roofs, you will also be at greater risk of damage from windborne debris.
    • Mobile homes, outbuildings, barns, fences, screen enclosures, etc. can hurl objects and tear openings into your house, letting in rain and wind.

How can I develop a risk assessment on my home?

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Take a look at your house and surroundings and note the risk factors

You or someone helping you should make a check list, using information on this website as a guide.  You’ll need to take a walk around your home and do a detailed inspection inside your home. Some questions will be easy to answer, others will require more effort, including taking measurements. These sites will help you with this process:

  • Risk Factors Outside Your Home.  Click on this site to view a checklist for surveying the risks of your home’s location.
  • Understanding the Risks.  Click on this site to get an overview of the risks and the retrofits that typically make sense.
  • Cost Effective Retrofits.  Click here for a discussion of retrofits and their cost-benefit ratio.
  • Incentives.  Click here to get an overview of the kinds of incentives that are available.
  • Checklists. This is a listing of the home inspection checklists you will see in the Retrofit Guide.

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