When the weather is extreme and brings the risk of a hurricane or other severe weather, it’s important to make sure your home can be your safe haven. If you haven’t yet made a checklist of what to do to prepare, then check out the list below. With this, you’ll know how to handle a severe weather emergency by having what you need well in advance. While there’s no way to completely hurricane-proof your home, it’s smart to do what you can to minimize the risk of both damage and injury.
1. Walk the Exterior
Preparing for a storm should begin by walking around the exterior of your home to identify any areas that may leave it vulnerable to damage. This can include trees that are likely to fall over, debris in your yard, and doors that don’t shut tight. Periodically walk around to make sure everything is closed and cleaned up to minimize the risk of damage when the weather begins picking up.
2. Invest in Outdoor Protection
If your home is missing shingles, then replace them as soon as possible to minimize the risk of a leak. Additionally, you may want to utilize hurricane straps on the roof to help prevent additional damage when the winds are at their strongest. If your doors and windows aren’t specially made to resist impact from debris, then you may want to consider covering them with shutters.
3. Walk the Interior
If a hurricane is imminent, then it’s a good idea to anchor furniture that sits against the wall to the studs inside the wall so they are less likely to fall during a storm. If you have appliances plugged in, then they should be connected to a surge protector that will prevent the circuits from being fried if there is an energy issue during the storm. Any areas where the gutters look weak should be repaired so they are secure against the home.
4. Secure Your Gutters
When loads of water rush through your gutters and they are already filled with debris, it can weigh them down and cause them to fall. To help prevent this, clean out your gutters periodically and especially before a storm is coming. It’s important to also check to make sure the downspouts are clean and are faced away from your house so water isn’t hitting the foundation directly.
5. Create a Safety Area
Inside your home should be a safe area where you can go during extreme weather. In most homes, this will be a basement or any other room that doesn’t have windows inside of it. This room should be equipped with essentials, such as a flashlight, medical supplies, water, and non-refrigerated food. It’s important to also have blankets, pillows, and a radio that can be used to communicate in the event you cannot call out.
6. Buy Hurricane Insurance
When you live in an area that experiences frequent hurricanes (or the risk of them), then it’s a good idea to talk with your insurance agent about hurricane insurance. This can protect you from the high cost of repairs or even a complete loss in the event your home is damaged in the storm. The premium for this will vary, so it’s crucial to get quotes based on the size of your home and the level of protection that’s right for you.
7. Create an Emergency Plan
An emergency plan is one of the most important things you can have for any type of disaster that might occur around your home. Talk to your family, create a plan that everyone understands, and practice it. Even practicing one time can ensure everyone is safe when something happens and they otherwise may not know what to do.
8. Upgrade Your Garage Door
When was the last time you replaced your garage door? A serious storm could cause immense damage to your garage door and home. If it’s not time to replace this door, then have it maintained by a licensed professional. Have them check to make sure it can withstand extreme wind and weather conditions in the near future.
What’s Your Storm Proof Solution?
If you haven’t yet prepared for a hurricane or other inclement weather, this guide should give you a good starting point. Fortunately, it’s not hard to put a plan in place and have what you need in the event of a hurricane. However, it’s important to do this before storm season so you are fully prepared and ready for anything Mother Nature might throw at you.
Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for Manfred Law