Hurricane Florence was responsible for 22 direct deaths in the U.S., and the estimated dollar value of the damage incurred ranges from $2 billion to $5 billion. Hurricane Michael, on the other hand, was responsible for 16 deaths, plus an estimated loss,ranging from $6 billion to $8 billion. That is why before settling in an area, it is vital that you find out the likelihood of a hurricane occurring near your home so that you can prepare adequately. It’s important to understand that hurricanes are not limited to the coastal regions, their impact can reach hundreds of miles inland. Thus, regardless of your location, it is safer to prepare yourself for the onset of any disaster.
Here are some ways on how to prepare your home for a hurricane.
1. Preparing an Evacuation Plan
If you live in a hurricane prone area, you should always have an evacuation plan in your house that’s easily accessible and understood by everyone in the household. The plan should include your entire family plus any pets. Given the unpredictability of hurricanes, it is not wise to wait until the last minute to create an escape plan. A thorough evacuation plan involves determining the best escape route, communicating with shelters early in advance, and ensuring that cars are full of gas.
2. Preparing an Emergency Kit
If your home is located in an area that gets frequent hurricanes, you should always have one or two emergency kits on hand. You can purchase a pre-made emergency kit, or you can create and personalize your own. The kit should comprise of enough water to last for three days, non-perishable food, and any necessary medication. We also advise including a radio, a flashlight, and some extra batteries in your kit.
3. Learn About Your Homeowner Insurance
Having your home destroyed by hurricane is bad enough, and not having insurance only makes the devastation worse. It is imperative that you get the right insurance to protect your home. This protection is especially important if you live in a hurricane prone area. Not only do you need coverage, but you should ensure that the coverage you get is adequate to meet the costs for any repairs, rebuilding, and if necessary, replacement of your belongings. Most homeowner insurance policies cover the cost of temporary repairs and additional living expenses (ALE). If yours does not cover damage by floods, you should consider applying for flood insurance and separate policies against damages from wind and wind-blown water. Determining the coverage that is right for you is an intimidating task, if you need assistance doing so you should consult an insurance professional.
4. Inspect Your Roof
Your roof serves as your first line of defense against mother nature, therefore you should always ensure that your roof is in pristine condition. Conduct regular inspections of your roof to identify any existing leaks or shingles that are loose or missing. Upon inspection, make sure you remedy the problem before disaster strikes to prevent any further damages. You can purchase hurricane straps or roof clips that will aid in keeping your roof attached to the structure when faced with a disaster.
5. You Can Use Sand Bags for Flooding
Whenever there is a hurricane, severe flooding is sure to follow. It is extremely difficult to safeguard yourself from these rising waters. When the rain begins to pour, all you can do is wait it out. Sandbags can be used to help divert the flood waters away from your home. However, they must be placed carefully around your property to reap the benefits.
6. Cleaning Your Gutter
While cleaning your gutters might not be an enjoyable task, it is essential that you ensure your gutters are spotlessly clean. The maintenance of your gutters is vital, especially for those in hurricane-prone areas. Water must be able to flow correctly and drain away from your house, which you can ensure happens by keeping the gutters clean. You can do the cleaning yourself or hire professional roof cleaners to clean them for you. When doing so, if you identify any damage to your gutters, you need to repair or replace them immediately.
7. Secure Your Outdoor Items
When preparing for a hurricane, it is easy to forget to tend to the items outside of you house in the yard or on the porch. Prior to a hurricane, you should always be sure to bring all outdoor furniture into your home. If left outside, these items can become projectiles in high winds and easily cause damage to your property.
8. Look out for Vulnerable Trees
As a measure of protecting your home, you should get rid of any dead trees, large branches, or leaning trees that surround your home. In preparation for a hurricane, you can hire a professional that can remove these items carefully without causing any damages. However, if there is not enough time for that, you can take care of the branches that you can easily reach.
9. Secure the Windows
The strong winds brought in by hurricanes can cause property damage and even shatter windows. It is not uncommon for people to use tape to cover the windows, assuming it offers protection. While the tape may help prevent the glasses from breaking into small pieces, the tape cannot help in the face of a hurricane. It is recommended that you invest and install permanent storm shutters that can help protect your windows. If you don’t have permanent storm shutters, you can reinforce your windows with plywood.
10. Purchasing A Generator
During a hurricane, blackouts are a common occurrence. Numerous lines supplying power to homes are cut-off, making it difficult to access electricity. You should consider getting a generator for your house to allow you to run the essentials. Generators are not cheap, but they are a worthy investment that can come in handy during and after a hurricane.
How to Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane
Nobody ever wants to deal with a natural disaster, be it a hurricane, an earthquake, or floods. It is best to be prepared rather than to be caught off guard. When preparing your home for hurricanes, you want to save not only your life but also your property. There are various steps you can take to protect your home from hurricanes. The first and most important is knowing the risk factors of your community. Is it an area that floods? Has the area experienced hurricanes in the past? By first knowing the history of the region, you can then make the necessary preparations depending on the information you have.
Contact us today for more information on how to prepare your home for a hurricane.