How to Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane

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Hurricane season is about to come to an end however anyone living in a high risk area should always know what needs to be done to ensure their homes are properly prepared in case the worst happens.  On average, there are five hurricanes a year that will hit US coastline.  Winds can gust at 100+ miles per hour and water surges can reach 20 feet or higher.

Anyone who has been in a hurricane knows that they are no joking matter.  No two hurricanes are the same which means the best way to prepare is to always prepare for the worst.  I have always been a believer in the saying, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.” Here are some suggestions to make sure you prepare your home for a hurricane so that it can withstand the effects.

Update your insurance policies

First and foremost you need to make sure your insurance policies are up to date and provide you with enough protection if a hurricane were to hit.  Most homeowners insurance policies do not include flood insurance so you will need to make sure you add it.

Make an itemize list for insurance reasons

Make a detailed list of all your personal belongings.  This needs to include everything of value that can be reported to your insurance company in a claim.  This is not going to be the most fun task to complete, but it’s impossible to remember all of your possessions after a disaster strikes.

Make a list of items to be brought indoors

You need to also make a list of anything that is located outside of your home that is not secured to the ground.  This could be flower pots, garden hoses, lawn furniture, etc.  These are the items that you will need to make sure gets moved indoors.  Items that are not secured can because severe injury risks for others if they get swept up in strong winds.

Trim your trees and shrubs

Trim all your shrubbery and trees. By thinning out the branches it will help wind pass through the tree causing less stress and cutting down the chances that it could be uprooted.

Secure your roof

Get up on the roof and make sure all of your shingles are secure.  You can easily do this with roofing cement.  This is to help prevent rain water and wind from getting into your home.

Secure your doors and windows

Doors and window need to be safe and secured.  All of your exterior doors need to have three sturdy hinges and also have a one inch deadbolt.  Your windows should be secured with anything from plywood to hurricane shutters.  This will help protect yourself and others from flying broken glass.

Plan your evacuation

Always have a plan of evacuation and rehearse the plan with everyone in the home. The American Red Cross in your local area will offer information on the safest evacuation routes and the location of any nearby emergency shelters.  Have a bag with sleeping bags or blankets prepared in the event it is necessary for you to evacuate.

Pack an emergency kit

Have a first aid kit, a battery operated radio, emergency water, three days worth of  food for the entire family, a manual can opener and stock of flashlights with batteries packed in a bag.

Final thoughts

Being prepared can mean the difference of your life and the lives of your loved ones. The cost to prepare your home for a hurricane and effort involved are minimal compared to the damage that can result.  High winds and heavy rain waters can result in more than damage to the home, when a home is not properly prepared it can be fatal.  Be safe and take the above “How to Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane” tips into consideration.

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