We moved into a new house about 2 months ago (more about that later) and right after that we had a little hurricane, named Irma, come through. I’ve lived in Florida my entire life and have been though tons of hurricanes. I’ve never been too worried about any of them before. We live in central Florida and are pretty far in from the coast, so usually by the time they reach us they have died down to pretty much just tropical storms. Irma however was different, for the first time I was really stressed out about her heading our way. Especially when right before they said she would be a direct hit to us. She was now projected to come straight up the center of Florida.
Last year, when hurricane Matthew came though no one batted an eye, people barely prepared and then the storm barely did any damage. After the storm left everyone proclaimed that the weather people “have no idea what they’re talking about.” I was actually surprised everyone was taking it so seriously after how they acted after Matthew. I went to get water a week before Irma was scheduled to hit us and there was nothing! I went to 5 stores and not a drop of water left. I think that because of what happened in Houston with Harvey, it really got everyone worked up. On top of that just looking at the maps were scary, I mean, did you see that size of this storm it literally covered the entire state of Florida.
We boarded up our windows which is no easy task when you don’t already have the boards. We had to find boards which took a few days of stalking the home improvement stores. Then we had to cut them down and figure out how to get them up. The previous owners of our home decided to put shutters on EVERY window, even the ones in the back. We either had to drill through them or take them down. We took most of them down. We discovered when taking down the ones on the front window that when the house had been repainted, instead of taking down the shutter they painted around the shutters. That left the house looking a little interesting, but in the face of a hurricane who cares, right?
Boarding up the windows definitely made me feel safer during the worst of the storm. There is a downfall to boarding though, you hear all these crazy noises outside, but you can’t see what’s happening. We lucked out that after it all passed and we went out the next morning to investigate we didn’t have any major damage. Lots and lots of limbs and branches everywhere and two fence panels fell down. The clean up took us about a week and we probably used 75 trash bags to pick everything up.
We went for a walk around the neighborhood and most everyone made it though without any major damage. There was one tree that fell on a BMW in the front of the neighborhood. Two houses had large branches hit the roof and cause damage and two houses that will have to replace their pool screens. I was very nervous that something would fall through our pool screen and we would have to fix it. I’ve heard that it’s expensive to repair the screens, we had a few small rips that we taped up with guerrilla tape (classy, right?), we haven’t looked into fixing them yet, so I don’t know what the cost of new screens will be.
After cleaning up the yard we tried to put the shutters back up, but they were old and the screws were not gripping back into the concrete of the house. We gave up trying and decided we we would just get new ones. Well, like often happens that didn’t happen as quick as we thought it would because everything has to fit in the budget. I’m surprised that ouf H.O.A. didn’t send us a letter, but we’re in the back of the neighborhood and I don’t think too many of them venture back this far, so we lucked out. This is what it looked like for a couple week before we put the new ones up. If the paint underneath wasn’t a different color it probably wouldn’t have been so noticeable.
We finally got the new ones, but before we put them up we had to fill the holes left by the last shutters. There should have theoretically only been 4 holes per a shutter. That was not the case here, I have no idea what happened when the old ones were put up but there was at least 8 holds on each side. I’m so glad we decided to get new ones though, they look so much better! For some reason the old ones had been painted a weird non coordinating shade of green. Eventually I want to paint the outside of the house because even though green is my favorite color I would have not picked it for a house color.
With this last piece of storm clean up completed I can finally say we made it thought this storm! Now that we finished all the clean up that followed, we can now focus on everything else we want to do around the house. We’re settled in and ready to go! Look for lots more to come from “around the house”!
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