Hurricanes are just a fact of life on the East Coast. And there is always the chance that the next hurricane will be the worst yet, no matter how many seasons a home has withstood. Although there is no stopping the storm, there is plenty of preparation that can be done ahead of time. After years of living through hurricanes, some of these are tips we learned the hard way. Thankfully, you can learn from our experience. This list offers ten ways to help your home get through the storm as unscathed as possible.
If you are looking for even more ways to stay safe during a hurricane, check out this article. When it comes to hurricane preparedness, it’s best to think like a Boy Scout: Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.
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Follow these home prep tips in case of a hurricane:
1. Know where there are low points near your home.
This is where the water will pool first. You can also go to https://flood.nc.gov/ncflood/riskToolsFull.html to see how the flood risk at your property’s location.
2. Buy sandbags.
There are different sandbags that you can buy. One of our favorite brands is FloodSax. FloodSax can be re-used if they encounter fresh water and can be stored flat which is a great space saver. Better yet, they can absorb up to 5+ gallons of water each. But all sandbags work the same way by creating an additional barrier to prevent water from getting into your home.
3. Look over your insurance policy.
Specifically, if you have flood insurance you should familiarize yourself with what you might expect should your property sustain damage. If where your home is located has a high risk of flooding and you don’t have flood insurance, then it might be worth looking into a plan.
4. Take inventory
Document what you have and email it to yourself. Also, take time stamp photos of your property to better document any damage.
5. Protect windows, doors, roof
- Windows: Plywood is the standard, but prior to a storm is among the first items to disappear from stores. Storms shutters, impact windows, and storm screens are effective in keeping your windows from shattering and less labor intensive than hammering in planks. Steel and aluminum storm shutters are the strongest but also more expensive. Check your window’s seals, too, for any cracks and wear.
- Doors: Impact doors are specifically designed to withstand the brunt of a storm. They are also available on garage doors. The garage is often overlooked but the same precautions for exterior doors should be taken with the garage. Vertical garage doors are better suited to withstand a storm than other designs.
- Roof: The most reported damage to insurance companies after a hurricane is roof damage. Your roof’s well-being will make or break your home’s chance of remaining livable afterwards. Check the roof for any loose tiles or missing shingles, run roof straps that are graded for a storm, and reinforce gable ends. Make sure everything is sealed as much as possible against potential water damage!
6. Clean gutters.
Clean gutters and downspouts of any debris before the storm so they can do their best to divert the water landing on the roof. Also, take the time to make sure gutters and downspouts are sturdily attached.
7. Trim back trees.
Trim back trees that overhang or sit near buildings. If any of them look dead, you should remove them before the hurricane can do it for you.
8. Clear the yard of lawn furniture and other items.
Clear the yard of lawn furniture and other items. Another option is to tie them down tight. A good rule of thumb is that if you can pick it up, so can a hurricane. Don’t let your patio furniture become potentially dangerous projectiles.
9. Move furniture upstairs and away from windows.
Move furniture upstairs and away from windows. You can also plastic-wrap furniture as an extra precaution.
10. Wear protective gloves & boots.
When cleaning up afterwards, make sure that you are wearing gloves and not going near electrical equipment that is wet or if you are in water. And be a good neighbor by trying to be as accountable as possible for any debris that originated from your property.
Wind and water are the biggest threats to your home during a hurricane. Once they get inside, so will mold and overall disarray. Taking the measures to prevent the elements from causing damage to your home’s interior and structural integrity are well worth the expenditure considering hurricane season lasts six months of the year. Should you need to rebuild or are looking at buying property on the East Coast, Fortified Homes comply with specific construction standards that are proven effective in preventing natural disaster damage.