How to Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane
People often ask how to prepare your home for a hurricane. Ever so frequently, it seems, hurricanes are on the news. The (often) terrible consequences affect us all in some way, whether or not we’ve ever directly been in their path. The terrifying storms that occur out of the blue causing unimaginable destruction to thousands, hurricanes are something we ought to have constant vigilance for. There’s no predicting when they’ll show up often until days before it hits. So we need to be ready.
To help you and/or your family get set for the forceful winds, here are a few tips to prepare your home for the episode.
Do Hurricanes Frequent You?
If you live by coastal areas in New Jersey, Long Island, and even southern Connecticut, you’ve likely experienced the impact hurricanes can have. Sandy and others have left devastating destruction in their paths.
Should You Be Concerned about Floods?
Floods usually happen only in areas that are relatively closer to the coastal lines. When you’re way in the inland, chances of floods are low. If you are, however, anywhere close to the beaches, taking the necessary precautions against floods would prove to be immensely helpful.
Get the House Ready
• Hurricane shutters: Installing hurricane-grade windows is one of the best ways to safeguard your surroundings from shards of glass. Plywood coverings are an inexpensive alternative. But you should have the plywood on hand before a potential hurricane is announced.
• The right type of roof: Newer roofs are designed to withstand strong storm winds. But you can also retrofit your present roof gables, hurricane straps and braces.
• Gutters along the house: Make sure to keep the gutters all around the house clear of leaves, twigs and debris. Heavy rains tend to add to the dirt in the gutters that will backup water, and this excessive water and debris will end up damaging your house.
Around the House and Property
• Trees that may hurt: Dead branches and weak, dried-up trees could easily fly out and hit the structures on your property. Cut these up before there’s any chance of that happening to you. Have your trees pruned.
• Shift stuff indoors: Move loose items like pots, sculptures, ladders, lights, etc. that can be carried away by the winds indoors. This will protect the items and remove them s flying debris during high winds.
• Anchor smaller structures: The structures around your house that are fixed to the ground — and are too big to be shifted to another place — should be anchored to the ground. This includes swing sets, storage sheds, etc.
Be Prepared to Face It
• Find the best spot: Find the part of your house that seems to be least affected by a hurricane, like the basement, or an inner family room where the family can gather during the worst of the hurricanes wrath.
• Stock up with essentials: There’s no saying how many days you’ll have to stay indoors and how many days later any of the stores may reopen. Stock up on food, water, medicines and other essentials BEFORE a storm announcement. If you wait until a storm announcement, you’ll be scrambling with everyone else who waited too long and products maybe gone from the shelves.
• Torches and backups: Hurricane storms spell blackouts! A generator would help; however, at least have a supply of torches, candles, matches, flashlights (and extra batteries) on hand.
• Make a checklist: To-do and to-have lists are what you will turn to before the hurricane hits. So make checklists now of everything that needs to be done, in order of priority so you’re well-prepared.
Preparation is key. You can’t control the weather, but you can be ready for whatever it throws your way. It’s not rocket science; it only requires a few minutes of your time to think through what you’ll need, and plan the time line to execute it.
If you don’t yet have storm insurance, you might consider looking into it. Make a list of all your possessions. One never knows what is lost once the incident is over. This is bound to help when the time comes to face the insurance brokers. And remember, a public adjuster can usually retrieve higher claim payouts for you, and take on the stress of dealing and negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf.