Hurricanes are a powerful force and can be a major threat to your home, if you’re not prepared.
Some measures to protect you and your possessions are very simple and inexpensive to do. Wind speeds in a hurricane can reach 200 mph, hurl debris at your home, and cause devastating damage if you’re not ready.
Here are 7 simple hurricane home preparation tips to protect you from the wrath of hurricanes.
Check Your Roof
Most people don’t think about their roof, unless there are problems. Either hire a roof inspector or check it yourself. Inspect the edges carefully. This is where your roof is most susceptible to the upward forces of high winds. Strap it down with hurricane straps and ensure your gutters and downspouts are clear of debris.
Hurricane damage is often from internal pressurization. This is where the wind enters your home and then explodes outwards through whatever weak spots you have in your home. High winds can also drive moisture inside the house, causing damage to your possessions and the structure. Be sure to seal around doors and windows.
Protect your windows with storm shutters. You can buy ready-made steel, aluminum, or polycarbonate plastic shutters, or make your own from thick, exterior grade plywood.
Check Other Structures
Check your garden shed, carport, decks, gazebo and other exterior structures for stability. Don’t forget about things like your grill, patio furniture, and lawn decorations. Hurricane force winds could easily make items like these airborne.
Plan For The Worst
No one likes the thought of a hurricane, but ignoring the possibility increases your chances of injury, damage, and even death. You need to prepare an emergency plan that outlines what you’ll do if a hurricane strikes. You can download FEMAs form here and complete it for each family member, including what to do if you have pets or someone is disabled. The plan also includes establishing a meeting place away from your home if you cannot stay in the area.
Hurricane Katrina is a perfect example of what can happen. Residents went without power and water for weeks and most people were totally unprepared. Once their homes were uninhabitable, they had no resources to rely on either. The National Guard had supplies to feed 15,000 people for three days in the Superdome. Over 30,000 appeared on the first day, because almost the entire area was uninhabitable.
Hopefully nothing that disastrous happens here, but you should have at least a basic emergency kit on hand to supply you with necessities like water, food, communications, first aid, and hygiene items. You can download FEMAs supplies list here.
Do you know what the risks are after a storm? Do you know whether you should stay in your home or leave after the storm? Most people do not. Take the time to review the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s disaster preparedness information. Also read the FEMA guidelines so you know how much time you need if you do have to leave your home.
If you follow these 7 preparation tips, you’ll increase the likelihood of weathering the storm and avoiding damage or injury.