Approaching another hurricane season can be daunting. Uncertainty about how many storms may develop, the intensity of the storms and whether they will head toward your area can cause anxiety in many people. One of the best things to do is to make sure your home is prepared and ready to go should a hurricane approach. Whether it is a tropical storm or a category 4 or 5 hurricane, your home needs protection. Here are a few tips for getting ahead of the game.
Secure Your House Doors
High winds can easily rip through doors or take them off their hinges. Install bolts at the top and bottom of your doors to make them as secure as possible. This will give you extra protection from hurricane force winds. It’s also a good idea to apply caulk around the doors to prevent rain from getting inside your home and causing moisture damage.
Storm-Proof Your Windows
Consider having storm shutters installed on your windows, or board up using plywood. If you do it yourself, make sure to use reinforced plywood to cover things like sliding glass doors or large glass windows. Your window coverings made of plywood should be at least 5/8 inch thick. Caulking the cracks around your windows will prevent moisture damage in your home from heavy rains getting inside.
Strap Down Your Roof
You can reduce roof damage by purchasing hurricane straps or clips to fasten your roof to the frame of your house. If you’re unsure where to start or need help, visit your local hardware store and talk with an expert.
Secure Outdoor Structures
Make a plan for what you will do with things like patio furniture, sheds, grills, canopies, and how you will secure decks or porches.
Safety-Proof Your Yard & Landscaping
Trim your trees and bushes to make them steadier and less prone to winds. Cut off loose and overgrown branches to keep the plants strong. Tie down your smaller trees and shrubs. This will help to prevent them from becoming uprooted in high winds. Move potted landscaping into a garage or other area of the home. Ensure that there is nothing on your porches or decks that may get blown away or blown through your windows.
Assess Your Insurance Coverage
Before a storm has been spotted, make it a priority to call or visit your insurance agent and discuss whether your coverage is adequate for your needs. You may need flood insurance, or a separate wind policy, depending on whether or not your home policy covers these damages. Be sure you know exactly what your policy does and does not cover – make sure to read the fine print and ask the right questions. You want to be confident that your coverage is sufficient. Your insurance agent is there to help you protect your home and your family. Just don’t wait too late, as most insurance companies will not issue policies when a storm is headed your way.