Hurricane season is a time of year that no one looks forward to, but being prepared can make all the difference.
As a homeowner, there are specific steps you can take to ensure that you, your family, and your property are as safe as possible when hurricanes strike.
Here’s your go-to checklist for hurricane season.
Know Your Risk Level
The first step in preparing for hurricane season is understanding your risk level. Are you in a flood zone? How close are you to the coast? Knowing your risk level will help you tailor your preparations and decide whether evacuation is necessary.
Secure Your Home’s Exterior
Windows and Doors
Invest in impact-resistant windows and doors if you’re in a high-risk area. These are designed to withstand flying debris and high winds.
If you can’t replace your windows, board them up when a storm is imminent.
Your roof is vulnerable during a hurricane. Consider installing roof straps to secure it to the frame of the house.
Also, check for loose tiles or shingles and secure them to minimize damage.
Don’t overlook your garage doors. They are large, flat surfaces that are vulnerable to high winds. Reinforce them with braces or replace them with wind-rated doors.
Create an Emergency Kit
An emergency kit is a must-have during hurricane season. Stock it with essentials like:
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable food items
- Flashlights and batteries
- First-aid supplies
- Important documents in a waterproof container
Plan Your Evacuation Route
Know where you’ll go if evacuation becomes necessary. Plan your route in advance and make sure your car is in good working condition.
Keep a smaller emergency kit in the car with snacks, water, and basic tools.
Safeguard Your Electronics
Electrical surges are common during storms. Unplug appliances and electronics or invest in surge protectors.
Also, consider a backup generator for essential electronics like refrigerators and medical equipment.
Check Your Insurance
Review your homeowner’s insurance policy to ensure it covers flood and wind damage. If not, consider adding these, as they can be invaluable in the aftermath of a hurricane.
Prepare Your Yard
Your yard can either be an asset or a liability during a hurricane. Secure or bring inside any outdoor furniture, decorations, or other items that could become projectiles. Trim trees and shrubs to minimize the risk of broken branches damaging your home.
Have a communication plan in place. Make sure each family member knows how to reach one another and where to meet in case you get separated.
Keep a list of important phone numbers in your emergency kit.
Stay updated on weather forecasts and heed any warnings or advisories. The more time you have to prepare or evacuate, the better.
Hurricane season is daunting, but preparation can significantly reduce the risks to your family and home.
This checklist is a starting point. Tailor it to your specific needs and circumstances, and you’ll be well on your way to weathering any storm that comes your way. Stay safe!