Hurricane season is here, which means you need to be prepared for the worst even if your home isn’t in an area that hurricanes traditionally hit. Homes located along major coasts — particularly the Atlantic Ocean — are susceptible to damage from hurricanes, even if they haven’t been affected previously.
As hurricanes begin to form and make their way toward the continental United States, there are major preparations you can take around your home to keep both your home and your family safe from harm.
Board Up Windows
Boarding up windows with ⅝-inch-thick plywood is one of the most important things you can do to protect your home from an impending storm. Boarded windows help protect your home from storm-related impacts that result from intense winds, massive amounts of precipitation and flying objects. This can help you save money on things like broken windows and interior damages. If you’re in a region that regularly experiences intense storms, it’s smart to invest in hurricane shutters. These are permanent fixtures that serve the same purpose as plywood boards.
Nail Down Loose Boards And Shingles
If there are any pesky boards, shingles or pieces of siding that have loosed on your house, it’s best to address them before a storm moves in. One loose board might not seem like a lot, but if that one board comes loose it can create space for wind and water to get underneath and cause further damage, and further lost boards and shingles. To address these, apply roofing sealant beneath the loose shingle or board, as well as over the nail that you secure it with. This will help minimize the chances of these objects coming loose.
Bring In Patio Furniture
Patio furniture can quickly become extremely dangerous with the addition of high winds. It can be thrown into homes and vehicles and endanger safety if picked up by the wind. Not only that, but it can also be heavily damaged, whether its designed for all types of weather or not. It’s best to be safe and move any pieces of outdoor furniture indoors.
Clear Away Dead Tree Limbs and Branches
Much like any outdoor furniture you may have outside your home, dead branches and limbs can quickly become high-speed projectiles that can endanger your home. How to avoid this threat? If you know a storm is approaching cut down any loose or dead limbs that likely would not stay attached to the tree or bush if winds picked up. Transport them to a space where they won’t pose a danger to your home. This can save on damage-related costs and protect you and your family during a storm.
Keep Refrigeration Units Cold
It’s important to be aware of power outages that often result from intense storms, especially hurricanes and tropical storms. In the hours leading up to the storm, adjust your refrigerators and freezers to the coldest possible setting to keep food and water preserved for the longest amount of time possible. Additionally, limit the number of times you open and close these units, as every time they are opened cold air escapes.
Stock Up On Supplies
Any supplies that might aid you in the event of a power outage should be purchased well before any storm approaches your region. Nonperishable foods, water, flashlights, blankets, clothes, first-aid kits, generators and fuel should all be on hand ahead of time so you’re ready for the worst when the storm comes.
Have A Plan
Different situations require different plans — from how your family will communicate during a major storm to what evacuation routes — if any — your family will utilize. No matter what the scenario, it’s important to be prepared and avoid ad-libbing as dangerous weather events approach.
Fill Up Your Bathtubs
This won’t apply to all homeowners, but if you get your bathing and drinking water from a well you should fill up your bathtubs prior to storms that may cause a loss of power. This will give you clean water to wash and flush toilets with even when the power goes out — an important thing not to forget among all the other considerations before a storm.
Preparation is key to keeping your home protected from storms and extreme weather. From keeping the exterior of your home safe to keeping everyone inside your home secure, storms deserve your utmost attention as you get ready for the large impact it could pose to your home.