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Homeowners Insurance

Planning Ahead for a Storm-Ready Florida Home

Get the essential tips you and your family need to create a robust disaster plan to get your Florida home ready for hurricane season and beyond. When you live in Florida, it’s never too early to have a rock-solid disaster plan.


As Floridians, we may not have to deal with extreme cold, ice storms, or snowstorms over the winter months – but we do face year-round threats to life and property, including:



Even hurricanes, the extreme weather event most often associated with Florida, have been known to occur outside their designated June 1 – November 30 hurricane season.


Early preparations can help. It’s why Florida holds its Severe Weather Awareness Week in February. Note for editor: the SWAW page still says 2023, but according to this NOAA page, it will be updated in February 2024.


5 Ways to Disaster-Proof Your Home Now


Now’s the time to identify your priorities for the year, including which home improvement projects to tackle as part of your 2024 disaster plan. The following are excellent options to help you, your family, and your home and property weather any type of coming storm.


1. Reinforce Roof, Doors & Windows


Did you know certain characteristics of your roof can strengthen your home against high winds and qualify you for a discount on your homeowners insurance premium? Roof shape, the type of roof covering (shingles, clay tiles, metal panels, etc.), plus how well the roof is attached to your home are all extremely important. Scheduling a wind mitigation inspection is a good place to start so you can determine what’s good or not so good about your roof. If you own a townhouse or single family home, it’s not too late to request a free inspection from My Safe Florida Home. But hurry! As of November 2023, they’re continuing to accept/approve these requests, based on available inspection funding.


And, if you haven’t already done so, it’s time to invest in hurricane shutters, storm panels, or hurricane-resistant glass for all windows and doors. Reinforcing your windows and doors to prevent wind from entering the home is one of the most important disaster plan precautions you can take. Does your home have a garage? You may want to start pricing hurricane-rated garage doors now. As the largest opening in your home, it’s also one of the most vulnerable parts of your home in a storm. Remember to tell your insurance agent about these improvements, as it can help reduce the cost of your insurance premium.


2. Choose Your Safe Room Now


It’s easier than you think to convert an interior, lower-level room in your home into a safe room you can use – no construction necessary! The following WKMG News 6 video illustrates how to prepare even a tiny bathroom with everything you’ll need in the event you and your family have to hunker down during a storm.


Designate your ideal safe room now. And make a list of everything you’ll need to make it more comfortable, such as:


3. Landscaping & Water Drainage Matter


Pay attention to the property and landscaping surrounding your home. Keep trees and shrubs properly pruned and trimmed. This can help prevent high winds from uprooting trees with shallow roots or dense canopies – allowing them to crash onto your roof or nearby power lines. Given Florida’s tropical weather all year long, this is a year-round homeowner responsibility. You may also want to replace problematic trees with Florida-friendly plants.


To help prevent water from pooling around your home, now is a great time to begin researching possible drainage solutions, including:


  • Upgrade your gutters
  • Plant flood-tolerant trees (e.g., cypress, red maple, pond apple) and absorptive plants
  • Create a rain garden
  • Dig a channel, add a culvert, or use a berm to help divert water away from your home


4. Are You Prepared for a Power Outage?


Power outages are common when the winds are howling outside. You’ve probably noticed, but it doesn’t take a hurricane to knock out your electricity and phone service – and all the electronic devices you rely on each day.


Make sure your home is stocked with alternative light sources for every member of the household. This could include flashlights, headlamps, glow sticks, and battery-operated lanterns. (You could make your own lantern by placing a flashlight up against a clear jug/bottle filled with water; the water helps to diffuse the light.)


Other things you can do now are to make sure you have surge protectors for all electronics in the home, and don’t leave power cords and surge protector strips on the floor. Keep your cellphone chargers fully charged and ready to use. Are you considering a portable generator? Now’s the time to invest in a portable solar or battery-operated generator – the safest options available. 


5. Review Your Homeowners Policy


It’s important to periodically review your homeownerscondo, or renters insurance policy. Things to check for include your deductible amounts; you could always reduce your deductibles, which will increase your premium (or vice versa).


What about your coverage limits? Are all your most precious belongings covered under Coverage C Personal Property section of your policy? If not, you may want to ask us about increasing your personal property coverage and even insuring particular items for their appraised value.


Do you carry flood insurance? Now is the time to consider adding it. Once a watch or warning is issued for a named storm in Florida, you won’t be able to make changes to your policy. Make sure you’re covered now – so you’ll be covered in an emergency.


And don’t forget to also ask us about all available discounts or credits available to you. You may qualify for such savings by strengthening your roof, doors and windows; installing a monitored home security system; or being 55 or older (for some insurance companies). It doesn’t hurt to ask – and could save you money.


Resources for Your Storm-Ready Preparations


Explore the following government resources for more information about how to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your property in Florida:



Protect Your Florida Home With an Effective Disaster Plan


It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry. In Florida, this means having a disaster plan for hurricanes, tropical storms – and all the other severe weather events common in the state. Do what you can now, so it’s less you’ll have to worry about come hurricane season.


At The Windward Insurance Agency, we deeply understand the unique risks of being a Florida homeowner, condo owner, and renter. We can’t wait to help you get the insurance solutions you’ve been looking for. Get started with an online quote now or give us a call at (866) 231-2433