The hurricane season is between June and November and most affects residents along the East Coast or Gulf Coast of the United States. Because they are powerful storms, rain and wind from hurricanes can reach states that don’t border the coasts.
Meteorologists are unable to predict the exact path of a hurricane. It is crucial to plan ahead for hurricane season to protect your home from major damage. If a hurricane is heading your way, having a plan in place to protect your family and your home can help you save valuable time.
Prepare your home for a hurricane
Preparing your home for hurricane season involves many steps. You can reduce your chance of being damaged by a hurricane by knowing what you should do before it hits. These steps will help you prepare for hurricane season.
Reexamine your insurance policy
Before you file a claim, take the time to review your homeowners insurance policy. Exclusions are common in policies. You may need to buy endorsements or separate policies to get certain coverages. It is a good idea to call your agent or your insurance company before hurricane season. You can request quotes if you feel you require additional coverage.
Secure your roof and seal it
Hurricanes can cause roof damage because roofs are often exposed to the fierce wind and rain. You may notice that your roof has lost shingles or damaged decking after a hurricane. Your roof may be sagging or you might discover that there are leaks in your home.
Water can cause roof damage, increasing the chance of a roof bursting or leaking. Have your roof checked before hurricane season begins. To protect your roof from high winds, you may need to install hurricane straps or truss tie downs. You might also consider:
- Replace any missing or loose braces by checking the gable bracing.
- Seal cracks and any other areas at risk of leakage.
- To reduce the chance of shingles blowing away in gale-force winds and exposing your roof for water damage, replace, nail, or caulk them.
It is worth taking the time to prepare your roof in advance of hurricane season.
Protect your windows and doors
High winds can cause more damage to doors and windows than to other parts of the home. Flying projectiles such as patio furniture and broken tree branches are a common cause of damage.
Storm shutters can be installed before hurricane season starts to reduce storm damage to windows and doors. Storm shutters may not be within your budget. Instead, you can attach plywood sheets to your windows and doors to protect them from storm damage.
Take furniture and outdoor structures with you or secure them indoors.
High winds can cause them to be lost. Make sure that structures like carports or tool sheds are well-anchored. Potted plants, patio furniture, and barbecue grills should all be brought in or secured elsewhere. They could be projectiles in a storm and cause damage to your home or others’ homes.
Make sure you have an emergency kit
There are different considerations after a hurricane than when it happened. You might lose your electricity or water for several days. In six states, Hurricane Michael caused 1.7million electricity outages in October 2018. Some areas were without power for more than a week.
An emergency kit is a useful tool to help you prepare for the aftermath of a storm, as well as for prolonged periods without power or running water. You should have:
- Spare batteries
- A fully charged phone and a backup battery
- Use pliers or a wrench to turn utilities off, such as the gas line.
- A fire extinguisher
- Matches and lighters in waterproof bags
- Protective bag for important documents
- Cash (in the event that ATM machines fail or banks are closed)
- First aid supplies, such as bandages, aspirin and antibiotic ointment, are essential.
- Prescription medication
- Mosquito repellent
- Water and non-perishable food
- Pet food
Also, plan how you will cook in the event of power outages or prepare meals that don’t require cooking. Make sure you have a hurricane preparedness kit and store it in a dry, safe place.
Plan your evacuation
You may be asked by the authorities to evacuate your home in case of a hurricane. It is important to have an evacuation plan. It might contain information about where you are going, what you will do, how you will get there, and how you can ensure your family is safe.
Make sure you’re prepared to evacuate if there is a hurricane warning in your area. It’s better to have a plan than not to need it. Include your pets in your evacuation plan. If your home is unsafe for you, it is likely that your pet’s house is not safe for them.
Flood insurance is worth looking into
Standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover flooding. Flood insurance is a smart option if you live in a flood zone. The average cost for flood insurance varies by state. It can range from $595 to $1,569 annually.
Flood insurance costs can vary between states. You may be charged more if you live in an area with high flood risk. You may also pay less if your home has flood-mitigation measures or is higher than the average.
Safety tips for hurricanes
Do a thorough inspection of your home before hurricane season begins. You might want to inspect your home for gaps, holes and openings. You may tighten screws or replace damaged braces and brackets. You want your home in the best possible shape. A licensed contractor can help you if you don’t feel like you have the time or energy to do a thorough review of your home’s hurricane readiness.
Here are some final tips for preparation:
- Tape windows and glass doors should not be taped. According to NOAA, placing tape X on glass surfaces won’t prevent them from shattering. It is also a wasteful of time.
- You should plan to evacuate your mobile home. Even if your home is older and can withstand stronger winds, the majority of officials recommend that you evacuate.
- High-rise pressure changes are possible. Be aware that the wind pressure will increase with increasing height if you live in high-rise buildings.
- Trim your trees. You should trim your trees so that they don’t hit your home. Also, do it before a storm so that the trimmings are removed before the storm hits. They could be projectiles during a major storm.
- In case of power outages, you might consider investing in a generator. A generator can prolong the life of frozen and refrigerated foods and allow you to charge your devices. It also allows you to use a fan or an air conditioner to provide comfort.
It is important to give yourself enough time to prepare for hurricane season. It is important to take steps to protect your home and create a plan for your family in case of an emergency. You can make it through hurricane season by knowing the steps to protect your home and having the right items to help you navigate the storms safely.