Learning how to prepare your house for a hurricane can save you from facing serious issues during and after the storm.
Undoubtedly, preparation is the key to survival during hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Whether this is your first battle against a hurricane or you have spent your whole life in a high-risk area, knowing about the hurricane preparedness list is crucial.
You need to be proactive, determine your risk, have a plan intact, know how to take care of your pets, and take steps to protect windows from possible damage.
How to Prepare Your House for a Hurricane?
NASA predicts that hurricanes deliver heavier downpours and more dangerous storm surges as global temperatures and sea levels rise.
As with tornadoes and wildfires, learning how to prepare for a hurricane is crucial.
Even if you do not live in a designated hurricane zone, you should take precautions against storms because they can hit anywhere.
No matter where you are located, these storm preparation strategies will help you feel more at ease when the next disaster strikes.
Fact: Katrina was not one of the strongest on record in terms of wind speed, but the storm surge of 25 feet or more caused enormous damage and loss of life.
Determine Your Risk
It is important to factor in the potential dangers associated with your location before making any definite plans.
Statistics show that the five states most susceptible to hurricanes are:
- North Carolina
However, the East and Gulf Coasts of the United States are open game.
Although Miami is most at risk, several storms, including Ida, Sandy, and others, have made landfall in the upper Atlantic states.
Even those who do not reside in coastal areas need to be ready.
Thunderstorms and tornadoes can occur, and heavy rainfall can cause flooding hundreds of miles inland.
An Important Consideration
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has made it possible for anybody to view the locations where storms have made landfall since records began.
Your search parameters can include latitude/longitude, storm name, and year.
Understand Your Insurance
Do not shy away from asking questions and learning the details of your house insurance policy until you are in a bind.
Homeowners’ insurance policies are notoriously complex, and the coverage they do or do not provide might be surprising.
Most plans will cover hurricane wind damage but not flood damage.
Waiting until a storm is imminent is too late, as many underwriters in Gulf states refuse to provide policies after an event.
It is in your best interest to read and comprehend your policy right away.
An Important Consideration
You should have enough insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding your home and replacing your belongings.
Get in touch with your insurance agent early in the hurricane season to discuss your storm preparedness plans and determine whether you require any additional coverage.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
No matter where you live, having a home emergency pack is important, but if you are thinking about hurricane preparation, it is vital.
You can either buy a prefabricated kit or put together your own.
Many websites detail the essentials for survival, such as food and water that will not spoil for at least three days, a torch, a first-aid kit, a radio, and more.
Bring along some spare batteries just in case.
Taking all necessary medications with you in the event of an evacuation is essential.
Fact: It is a good idea to withdraw some cash and store it in a watertight container, along with copies of essential paperwork like insurance policies.
Have a Plan for Your Pets
Pets cannot survive a hurricane or its aftermath on their own. Therefore, you need to prepare in advance to keep your pets safe during the storm.
Create a pet emergency kit when preparing a kit for yourself.
You should always have things like food, drink, medicine, kitty litter, and toys available in case of an emergency.
If you and your pet ever become separated, you may find a comprehensive list of items, like spare collars, ID tags, and photos, online.
Moreover, you need to ensure that the shelters or backup hotels you have planned on using in the event of an evacuation allow pets.
Check the Roof
Roof leaks and significant damage from high winds are both possible results of missing clay tiles or shingles.
Therefore, you should inspect the roof before a hurricane.
Ideally, you should look for shingles near the roof edge and ensure they are not brittle or loose. Replace any shingles or tiles that are damaged or missing.
If you want to keep your roof from blowing off during a hurricane or other powerful windstorm, FEMA recommends using impact-resistant materials and strapping the roof to the structure.
Fact: Be wary of hurricane scams in the aftermath of a disaster, and remember that government programs offer free disaster assistance and roof assessments to homes.
Secure Outdoor Structures
Make sure you have securely anchored your tool sheds or carports to protect them from heavy winds.
You should consider bringing furniture inside for protection.
This is especially true if you have:
- Patio furniture
- Barbecue grills
- Potted plants
Remember, if you do not secure them, they could become flying debris during the storm, causing you or your neighbors serious harm.
How to Prepare Your House Windows for a Hurricane?
The arrival of hurricane season means that residents have to secure their homes against rain, flooding, and flying objects.
How can you know if your windows are ready for hurricane season?
Here are some quick and easy things you can do today to keep your home safer and your windows intact:
Inspect the Seals
This is one of the first things you should do to prepare your windows and house for hurricane season.
Make sure no air or water is leaking through the windows and doors by checking their seals.
Keep in mind that seals naturally decline in strength over time, especially as the temperature rises.
In the event of a storm, you may save a lot of money in repairs by resealing your doors and windows.
Avoid the Tape
There is a common misconception that preparing your windows for hurricane season by taping them in a “X” form will be effective.
However, this is not the case.
Taping windows shut can reduce the likelihood of glass shards flying through the air. But this is not always the right thing to do.
Even after applying tape to your windows, the glass may still shatter, though the shards could be larger.
When thrown around during a storm, these huge fragments might do more damage than smaller ones.
Keep Windows Closed
Some people also think it is smart to leave their windows slightly ajar during a hurricane.
The misconception that doing so helps reduce stress and protects against injury is widespread.
However, the opposite is true, which is why you should always begin by double-checking the seals around your house.
After the intruders have broken in, the pressure within your home will rise rapidly.
Having poorly sealed windows, doors, and other holes can cause much more severe damage to your roof, walls, and other parts of your home.
Protect Windows from Projectiles
After a storm, the last thing you want to see is your pristine bay window shattered.
Eliminating potential projectiles is the first step in preparing your windows to avoid this.
Take your patio furniture inside, trim your trees, and remove any debris from the yard.
Reduce the number of potential projectiles in your yard so that nothing can fly about and damage your home or your neighbors’ homes.
Use Storm Shutters
If you want to protect your windows from a hurricane, installing storm shutters is one option to consider.
When a storm is on the horizon, all you have to do is pull the storm shutters across the windows.
Fact: Storm shutters are an easy fix, but they are somewhat costly, and the aesthetic value of these additions to your home may be questionable to some.
Learning how to prepare your house for a hurricane is important, not just for you but for your family and your pets as well.
You must always keep yourself informed about any storm warnings and react in time.
Besides having your emergency kit ready, you should also take steps to protect your windows and outdoor furniture.
And also remember that no matter what you do, your property may still sustain some damage.
That is why it is important to confirm that your homeowners insurance offers coverage to avoid any issues.