According to the Congressional Budget Office, approximately 1.2 million Americans live in an area that is susceptible to significant hurricane damage. If you live in Florida, you are probably included in those 1.2 million people.
Hurricanes are stressful events, but with some preparation, you can minimize the risk to both yourself and your home. Keep reading for hurricane preparation tips to help protect your home from the storm.
Have an Evacuation Plan
Before you even begin preparing your home for a hurricane, you should have an evacuation plan. Hurricanes can show up with little notice, and you don’t want to be pressured to figure out a plan on the spot.
To come up with an evacuation plan, talk to friends and family to see if you and your family can stay with them in case of an emergency. If that is not an option, look for a couple of shelters that could house your family. Don’t forget your pets!
Once you have identified a place to stay, come up with at least two routes to get to the destination. Make sure that your car has gas at all times and is ready to hit the road with little notice.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
One of the most important parts of preparing for a hurricane is to have an emergency kit. You can choose to either make your own kit or purchase a kit.
Here are some items you should include if you make your own:
- Water: One gallon per person for each day
- Non-perishable food: Minimum of a 3-day supply
- First-aid supplies
You also should make copies of all important documents, such as passports and birth certificates, in case they are lost or destroyed in the storm.
Have the Right Insurance Plan
Did you know that most insurance plans do not cover damage from hurricanes? If you live in a Florida home, you must choose the right insurance before a hurricane arrives.
If you do decide that you need to modify your homeowner’s insurance, make sure you do it at least 30 days before a hurricane arrives to guarantee that your home is covered.
Fill Your Gas Cans
Hurricanes are one of the biggest contributors to mass power outages. One of the best ways to ensure that your power stays on during a hurricane is by investing in a power generator.
You can use a power generator to keep the food in your fridge fresh, run the air conditioning, and charge your cell phone in case you need to call for help.
If you plan to rely on a generator for power, make sure to fill your gas cans as soon as there are signs of an incoming hurricane. A natural disaster can cause a gas shortage, so it is better to fill up sooner rather than later.
Check Your Roof
If you know that a hurricane is approaching, take some time to check your roof before it arrives. Your roof will need to be able to hold up to heavy rain and extreme winds, so it needs to be in good shape.
When checking your roof, look for warped or broken shingles. If you can, get them fixed before the storm arrives. You also should go into your attic and make sure that no light is shining through.
Secure Your Outdoor Furniture
While this tip may sound obvious, you need to secure your outdoor furniture before the hurricane or tropical storm arrives. Hurricane winds will pick up your furniture or break it.
Even small items like a folding chair can break a window if it gets caught by the wind. Be sure to bring everything inside or secure it to the ground. Don’t forget about grills and dog houses.
If you have a swimming pool, remember to bring in any lose items and do not cover the pool.
Did you know that placing sandbags in front of your doors can help prevent floodwater from entering? Sandbags push water in the direction away from your home. While they aren’t perfect, they may save your home from flooding.
Install Storm Shutters
Another way to protect your home from hurricanes and tropical storms is by installing storm shutters. Unfortunately, hurricanes can blow out windows which can lead to flooding and injury.
If you have the extra money, metal storm shutters are the best way to go. They do take some extra time to install, so you also can use plywood if you are short on time.
Clean the Gutters
Cleaning the gutters is a chore that most people don’t enjoy, but it is necessary to do before a hurricane. During a hurricane, your gutters will be full of water, leaves, and debris from the storm.
If you don’t clean them before the storm, there will be a buildup of debris and water might not drain. All of the water must drain from your house as smoothly as possible to prevent flooding or roof leaking.
Have Trees Inspected
If you live in an area that is prone to having hurricanes, you should have the trees on your property inspected. Trees that are weak or that are hanging over your house can cause serious damage during a hurricane or tropical storm.
If you have your trees inspected, you can remove any that are dangerous to keep around. This could save your home and prevent injuries.
Are You Ready to Use These Hurricane Preparation Tips?
While hurricanes can be stressful situations, these hurricane preparation tips can help you prepare for the storm. Be sure to always be prepared before a hurricane strikes, make sure your house is in great shape, and be safe.
If you enjoyed reading this article on how to prepare for a hurricane and you want your next home to be ready to face tropical storms, contact us to talk about how we can build your next home to withstand hurricanes.