Home Improvement

10 Safety Tips for Weathering a Hurricane

You can never be too prepared for a strong storm, especially storms mirroring the likes of Hurricanes Matthew, Andrew, Katrina, and Sandy. These hurricanes caused massive damage to coastal states, and continued to wreak havoc inland. Strong winds coupled with heavy rains felled trees, flooded entire neighborhoods, and caused massive landslides.

Yet, so many of us tend to ignore storm warnings and may prepare halfheartedly or not at all. This puts not just ourselves in danger, but also our loved ones. As natives of Jamaica – the lucky island that Matthew only skirted past this year – we’ve had our fair share of dealings with hurricanes, and have weathered them all safely.

So here are five tips to help you prepare yourself, your family, and your home for the next big storm.

1. Weather it Out in a Group

Even a Category 1 hurricane can feel like a Hurricane Sandy, if you choose to weather it alone. Couples and groups are also more likely to think and act calmly and rationally, since two heads (or more) are better than one.

The old saying that there is safety in numbers applies here, too. While it doesn’t give anyone an edge over a determined storm, it does help people to feel more secure, thus reducing panic.

2. Prepare for an Outage

Everyone knows that heavy wind can bring down power lines. If there are no heavy winds associated with a storm in your area, this can no longer seem like a concern. But do you know what else can fell trees? Landslides – often caused by heavy rainfall – and lightning. This makes a power outage possible in any storm.

Prepare for an outage by stocking up on flashlights, batteries, and candles. If you have a back-up generator for your home, ensure it has enough gas to keep it going until the lights are back on. Remember to educate children on how to stay safe while using candles and lanterns, to reduce the risk of fire.

If lines are down outside, stay indoors, or at the very least, avoid puddles and streams of water. Water carries electricity, and one well-placed line could mean electrocution.

3. Stock up on the Right Food

The amazing thing about a gas stove is that even in the case of a power outage, you can still enjoy a hot meal. The same goes for a grill, so if you have one, be sure to keep it inside during the storm.

Even if these are options, remember to stock up on water. You should also buy dry and canned foods with long shelf lives, and no need for refrigeration. Be sure to eat the perishable items first, and to save the actual hurricane food items for last. Some people may also choose to cook all their perishable items and refreeze them before the hurricane.

4. Fill the Bathtubs

Unfortunately, some homes only have showers, but if you have bathtubs, be sure to fill them up. Water mains often break or burst during storms, and can lead to dry taps for days or weeks. Full bathtubs can provide water for bathing, and flushing toilets. Keep plastic tubs and buckets on hand to make this easier.

Be sure to give the bathtubs a good clean before filling them up. Try to use natural solutions, like vinegar, and to rinse thoroughly. If you intend to use the water for drinking or cooking, then remember to boil it first.

5. Bar Windows & Doors

Very few Georgia homes have hurricane shutters. However, if you have them and you live in or near the path of a storm, be sure to put them up. They will make your home dark. But better a dark home, than a flooded and wind-tossed one, when the windows break.

Home owners can also create make-shift shutters by nailing pieces of wood or even sheet-rock over the windows. If this isn’t an option, then at least tape the windows well, so should the glass break, the shattering is minimal. If there is glass on doors leading to the outside, these should be covered up as well.

 5. Trim Trees

Trees are great for the environment, and even your home. They provide shelter for animals, and shade during the summer months to keep the house nice and cool. However, during a storm, trees become dangerous. Try to trim trees that are near or hanging over the house.

One felled tree, or branch, could mean thousands of dollars worth of roof damage, and may tear walls down with it. If possible, cut the tree down altogether and replant a smaller one away from the house.

6. Park Indoors

One of the worst non-living casualties in any storm is cars. They become destroyed by flying debris, and floodwaters. Some may even get swept away in a sea of other cars. So if you have a garage, park inside.

A lot of people tend to use the garage for storage and park in the driveway, but when a storm’s on the way, it might be time to clear out all that junk and park what’s likely one of your most expensive assets inside. Be sure to use a garage door brace to help secure it against the storm.

7. Protect Valuable Documents

Cars aren’t the only valuables in the house. There are also valuable documents like passports, birth certificates, SSN cards, drivers licenses, and contracts. Place these in waterproof bags and store them in heavy containers or furniture that might not be easily blown away, like a chest of drawers, a wooden chest, or between a box spring and a mattress.

If you don’t have access to waterproof bags, then use zip lock bags and keep them as high off the floor as possible.

8. Secure the Roof

In Jamaica, a common practice for home owners with flat roofs was to place large concrete blocks on the roofs to help weigh it down. Many Jamaicans will tell you this has worked for them countless times. In America, roof clips serve the same purpose in a more systematic way.

This goes without saying, but roof leaks should also be fixed. What produces only a trickle in the attic on any other day, could flood a room or two during a hurricane, and weaken the roof’s overall structural integrity.

9. Get Insurance

Waiting until a bad hurricane is creeping up the coast is a bad time to get insurance. Some companies may hike up the cost knowing that people are desperate and willing to pay higher amounts. But for homes in the direct path of a hurricane, better expensive insurance than none at all.

Family members should also prepare with life and health insurance, in case of injury or death.

10. Evacuate

No one likes to leave their home and possessions behind during a storm, but better to lose the house, than you and your family with it. If there is a need to evacuate, government officials usually issue a warning and designate safe storm shelters residents can occupy to weather the storm. Do not wait until the last minute to heed the warnings, as roads may become dangerous and impassable.

Some people may also choose to skip town, until the storm passes. While it’s definitely not easy to enjoy yourself knowing family, friends, and personal property may be in danger, this might be a great time for a road-trip and some well-needed travel and vacation time.

With nearly two months left of the hurricane season that brought us Hurricane Matthew, it’s important to pay close attention to storm warnings. Better to be too prepared, than under-prepared. Stay safe!

Home Improvement

5 Thoughts We’ve all Had of Our Upstairs Neighbors

Tired of creaky boards overhead in your home, and noise transfer from room to room and floor to floor? This isn’t just an apartment problem. In fact, it can mean it’s time for renovation and repairs.

We renovate homes in the greater Atlanta area, and especially around Lithonia. Give us a call. You’ll be happy you did. In the meantime…

Home Improvement

7 Cheap Home Improvements to Increase your Property Value

Check out these seven affordable ways to increase the value of your home. Some of these are simple DIY tricks, but if you’re looking for more professional results, then call in the experts.

I.S. Enterprise Construction serves the Atlanta, Lithonia, and all surrounding areas in Georgia.

Mortgages 101

home_improvementWhether you’re looking to sell today, tomorrow, or in five years, an increased property value will benefit you as a homeowner and seller.  It doesn’t take a huge budget to increase the value of your home. Below are 7 simple, cheap things you can do to make your property worth more.
1. Pull out those paint cans
A freshly painted room looks fantastic to everyone.  A gallon of paint (depending on the brand) will only set you back $30-$40 bucks, so get out your tarps and tape and get to work!
2. Plant low maintenance shrubs and easy landscaping features
This will help save you, the owner, time and increase the curb appeal of your property to potential buyers.
3. Remove the popcorn ceilings
Popcorn ceilings date a home.  As long as you aren’t dealing with asbestos you can get a solution from your local hardware store that…

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Home Improvement

Choosing a Fence Builder

Great advice on how to find professionals to fence your yard.


When buying/selling or just investing back into your property, the fence is normally on the bottom of the list, but it is always important to ensure that you don’t just go with the cheapest price, even when it is somethig simple like a wooden fence.

Lines, structure even material is important, as you can see from the picture above a perfectly string lined fence even when as simple as a timber fence can look great, one of the features that most fence builders will ignore is the base, the base is key to the presentation of the fence, in this pictue it may be easily ignored, but this builder has ensured that any gaps are taken care of, perfectly cut sleepers along the base tidies it all up.


So how do you find a good fence builder and avoid the dangers of basing a decision on price –…

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Home Improvement

Storage Secrets

Check out this storage secret.

Clarke Kent Plumbing


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Home Improvement

IKEA Hack for gas meter using Billy bookcase

Check out this tip for hiding your gas meter.

What you didn't know

Ikea Hackit

PROBLEM: Hide an ugly wall gas meter standingin our previously converted garage/now sitting room

SOLUTION: IKEA hack solution using a BILLY bookcase with 2 kitchen cupboard doors attached to the bookcase.

During our renovations we were quoted about £3500 to move the gas meter to a cupboardon the other side of the wall. Since this would have been a rather costly exercise we decided to think of solutions on how to make the gas meter a less unsightly feature in thesitting room. We came up with manydifferent floating wall cabinet ideas that we even tried out in the interior design software to get an idea of how it would look. (If you missed my post on the interior design software we used for our kitchen renovations then check it out here.) The other concern though was interfering with possible electrical cables located in the wall from drilling.

I then…

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Home Improvement

Bathroom Beautification!

Project Ugly House

Though I took a 10 month blog break, our house updates have been going nonstop! We have done so much to this place, but one of the biggest projects since my last post has been the remodel of our guest bathroom and master vanity area. Fortunately and unfortunately, the bathrooms were not thatbad when we bought this place. Fortunately, because we didn’t have it in the budget to remodel them right away, and unfortunately because they were okay enough to live with, but ugly enough to make me sad every time I went into one of them.

Since we spend the most time in the guest bathroom bathing kids, we decided to tear into that one first. Before we proceed, let me remind you how semi-ugly the bathroom was.

I know, it’s not thatbad, but the pictures hide the really bad parts. The “white” shower tile and tub…

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Home Improvement

First Night

This DIY-er realized that sometimes, when it comes to bigger projects in home renovation, hiring professional workers is the way to go!

Stitchez DIY

So I know it’s been months since I’ve [seemingly] made any progress, or done anything at all with the new place and the move as a whole. Admittedly, things did get delayed, but I have been progressing all winter, spring and now summer.

Most of it was massive detox, destruct, destash, destroy and depart.


I didn’t think most of it was very interesting, not an exciting story to share, but I did “DIY”

Now for the floors, I did end up redoing them, Professionally. It was the right thing to do, and now was the the only time it could have been done. and WOW what a difference eh??


And lastly now, I finally spent my first night in my new room. Remember it started out a pale, sage color with a shabby bed and decor? Here’s a messy, slept in bed in “Bedroom #1”

imageStill a long way to…

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Residential Project #2

Check out the paint-job we did on this beautiful house.

Often times, when painters come into your home, your beautiful furniture, hardwood floors, fans, and electrical sockets become splashed with paint. Not with us. We take all the proper measures to ensure everything is covered and that not one ounce of paint ends up where it wasn’t meant to be.



Interested in similar renovations for your own home? Or know someone else who is? Give us a call at 678-983-5516 or send us an email at is2072@yahoo.com. 


Residential Project #1

This is one of the residential properties we worked on recently. It was a beautiful home to begin with, but the owners needed some renovations done and called us in to handle business. Check out the work we did in the photos below.


Installed Hardwood Floors


Built a Brand New Staircase


Updated Bathroom



Interested in similar renovations for your own home? Or know someone else who is? Give us a call at 678-983-5516 or send us an email at is2072@yahoo.com.