Hurricanes have been predicted to be bad this year. The irony in it to me is that the prediction came in December from “experts” in Colorado. I’ve yet to know of an weather expert who could accurately predict the weather a week in advance, how can people from a part of the country that doesn’t even have hurricanes predict them six months before hurricane season even begins?
I guess ours is not to reason why – ours is just to prepare. I think the best thing any homeowner can do is look at getting ready for hurricane season as part of a home improvement project.
Let’s talk plywood. We live in what is best termed a historical or older home. Because of age of the home, it has windows which aren’t all the same size. We were really fortunate when we bought this house that it came with plywood already cut to fit each window and that the plywood was marked with directions such as “Kitchen Right”. This made our first hurricane experience in our home, which was Hurricane Ivan, a much easier to deal with experience than it could have been had we been one of those poor people standing in line for plywood.
My husband was careful when he took the plywood down, and we have used much of the same plywood for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Some wasteful people tend to just throw the plywood away after the storm is over. But then, maybe it wasn’t that they wanted to be wasteful – maybe they just weren’t prepared. But more on that in a minute.
Now, how does this all this translate into a home improvement project? First, if you’re a newbie to living in hurricane territory, you need to know that plywood, and not tape, is what you need for your windows. Tape is a joke. You’re going to be doing A LOT of home improvement projects if you put tape on your windows instead of plywood.
Second, by buying your plywood now, instead of later, you’ve saved yourself valuable time should a hurricane occur. Those of us who live in Hurricane Central know that time is the most precious commodity there is when a Level III or greater storm is bearing down on us.
Third, and this is where the real home improvement part of this comes in, building a place to store your plywood now, before a hurricane occurs. Let me tell you, you won’t have the time after the hurricane happens. There will be too much cleanup to be building a storage place for your plywood.
This is what I was talking about when I referred to the people who were wasteful, throwing away their plywood after a hurricane, or maybe just not prepared. If you live on the Gulf Coast or a Florida coast, or the southern East Coast, you’re going to be subject to hurricanes. You might as well face it and figure out where you’re going to store your plywood.
My husband came up with a great plywood storage idea for us. It won’t work for every house, unfortunately. Our house is up on three foot piers. My husband worked up a system of hooks where the plywood is tucked up under the house. We don’t even see the plywood except when we need it.
While you’re evaluating where you can store your plywood, before you need it, you need to go ahead and cut the plywood to fit the windows because, of course, it will be cut to fit the windows once it is used. And, since you’re doing all this, you might as well mark each piece with directions for what window it belongs to.
Of course, if you want to get REALLY fancy, you can paint the plywood with pretty flowers, smiley faces, and happy instructions like “BE SAFE!” Who knows? In the case of a big enough storm you just might make the weather channel.
All levity aside, the best home improvement project is being prepared. Perhaps this sounds like something Benjamin Franklin would say, but I think Ole Ben was someone who really knew what he was talking about, don’t you?