Proper preparation for a hurricane takes some work, especially when it comes to the exterior of your home. Since hurricanes come quickly, there is minimal time for preparation once they are predicted. Many things must be done ahead of time before there is even talk of storm season. Be prepared and protect your home using the following list to keep you, your home, and family as safe as possible.
When preparing for a hurricane or any large storm, high-speed winds can easily tear shingles away from your roof, causing damage to everything underneath. Secure old, damaged, or loose shingles by removing loose nails and applying roof cement to the shingle before reattaching it. Nail the shingle into place to keep it secure. Fill in any cracks you may find with the roofing cement and a trowel or plastic spatula. If your shingles are broken or in need of repair, contact a professional roofer for an inspection.
Storm shutters are a smart investment if you live near the coast where hurricanes occur. They can be pricey, but they protect your windows during a hurricane, which means they protect the belongings and people inside. If you do not wish to purchase storm shutters, get plywood planks cut to fit your windows in the case of a hurricane. These pieces of wood can be placed in your windows to protect them, the same way closing your storm shutters would. Use them to board up your windows.
Store Patio Furniture and Equipment
Flying debris can be a threat to you and your neighbors. Some of the first things to go flying across the neighborhood when winds pick up are your patio umbrella or chairs. These items can easily crash into windows and cars, destroying whatever they hit. If you have any patio furniture, store it inside before the storm comes. Make sure to securely store barbeques, bicycles, and any outdoor equipment. Anything that is not secured to the ground or cement is fair game to blow away in a hurricane.
Trim Trees and Bushes
Old trees, loose branches, and other plant debris can cause large problems during a hurricane when they become airborne. Plants that are not maintained are not secure, which means they can easily break loose during a storm and cause damage. Ensure that your trees are alive and healthy, and that they don’t have any dead branches that could fall on your house or surrounding structures. For extra safety, verify the same for your bushes, shrubbery, and other plants to make sure they are secure and won’t go flying when the wind picks up.
Check Your Landscaping
Living in an area that experiences hurricanes means it’s important to be aware of your home design and landscaping. If your yard is landscaped with gravel or small rocks, for example, those rocks could be tossed by the wind during a hurricane, which can smash windows, dent metal, and do all sorts of damage. This kind of damage could be prevented by simply landscaping with wood chips or grass instead.
Store sandbags where they will be easily accessible during a storm. While they are heavy and large, they offer the ultimate protection from water that might otherwise push its way into your house. Stack sandbags to build a sort of wall to divert large amounts of water away from your home, especially doors. Set them up to reroute water away from your home using drainage areas, hills, and creek beds.