5 Tips to Prepare for Tropical Storm Eta

As all eyes are turned towards Eta, a powerful tropical storm already causing damage in the Caribbean and threatening our state, we pray that family and friends already affected are safe. As we look towards the future and try to predict the storm's path we can take some steps today to help protect ourselves from damage. Here are 5 things you can do today to proactively protect your home..

  • Look Up at Your Tree Canopies -  Remove any dead limbs that are within reach and any growth close to windows or your roof. It may be late in the game to call our Gainesville Tree Service team out in advance of this particuliar storm, but if you have a chainsaw or even a hand saw, you may be able to remove and dispose of some lower tree limbs yourself to avoid unnecessary damage to your roof, vehicle, or landscape. If it's too big of a job for DIY, get it on the schedule before the next storm. We are happy to help!
  • Check your Gutters & Drainage system - Most Gainesville homes have some type of rain runoff control system - gutters, downspout extensions, french drains, or drainage system. These are meant to keep water from building up around the foundation of your home, and manage the onslaught of runoff we can have in Florida, so make sure your gutters and downspouts are clean and that extensions are directing water away from your foundation. If you have a French drain, take a moment to make sure that it's cleaned out and that the catch basins are free of mulch, leaves, and debris to allow maximum water flow. We have had a very wet year already, so if you are already aware of drainage problems in your yard, take extra precautions to keep water out of your home. If you have a Gainesville drainage project planned, make sure to call us so we can get it taken care of before the next storm! 
  • Stormproof your Irrigation- Many clients find out too late that their irrigation system is one of the most likely places to be affected by lightning. If you have a pump that services the irrigation system, we recommend that you unplug it as well as unplugging your sprinkler controller/timer. One of the most common calls that we get after a storm is an irrigation timer that is no longer functioning after being struck by lightning. That rain sensor can sometimes act as a lightning rod begging to be hit. Unplug your timer during the storm to prevent this from happening. 
  • Unplug Fountains- Before a storm, fountains should be turned off and secured, electrical cords should be unplugged, rolled up and secured. Any body of water is a draw for lightning, and will commonly fry pumps, lighting, or any other electrical devoce nearby if not protected properly.
  • Secure Loose Items- Remove loose items that can be moved by heavy winds, creating potential hazards. Garden furniture, small grills, pots, and yard tools that may be laying around can become dangers in high winds. Move these items into a garage or secure structure before the storm arrives. My 3x5 Gator flag and pole on my front porch that I forgot and left out one year caused hundreds of dollars in wood repair because it was something I left out that was able to catch wind.
We will continue to monitor this storm closely and ask that you take all needed precautions in your Gainesville yard to keep your home and neighbors safe. It's always better to err on the side of caution and be over-prepared. If we can be of service after the storm passes, please call or text our office at (352) 378-5296 or e-mail info@themasterslawncare.com. Thanks and stay safe!