With consumer awareness of dangerous weather heightened in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, contractors would do well to serve as resources to their customers. "If you can provide consumers with information that will help them before, during and after a storm, you'll be seen as a valued person by homeowners," says Bill Lazor, senior product manager for Simonton windows. "By positioning yourself as a caring professional, you're sure to win their confidence and business."
Lazor suggests that builders and remodelers customize and print the following list of tips to help potential clients and the public make wise decisions about protecting their homes.
1. Make a home disaster kit. Buy a watertight container and put the following items in it:
2. If you're remodeling or building, research storm-enhanced building products and upgrade the building products in your home to secure it against future storms. Investigate building products that offer protection from storms, such as impact-resistant hurricane windows. Using these enhanced products may even lower your insurance rates because you’re going above and beyond to create a storm-safe home. An example of such products is an impact-resistant window featuring tempered and laminated glass, which has a thick plastic interlayer like a car windshield.
3. Build a "safe room" reinforced to withstand severe weather. Consult Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room inside Your Home, published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Visit www.fema.gov for more information.
4. Make a video recording of your home and its contents. Go slowly through each room, documenting the construction of the house and interior objects. When finished, make several copies. Store one in a safety deposit box, another with a family member outside your area and one at your home.
Being safe requires paying attention and using the right equipment.
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