What Can You do to Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season?
There are things you can do to improve your home’s chances of withstanding a storm, though many are quite expensive. Replacing the roof and installing new windows, for example, are great advice but not something every homeowner can afford. Fortunately, there are smaller steps you can take that will also be helpful.
1. Collect Important Documents
Before storm season, collect your financial and insurance documents to store in an easily accessible location so you can grab them if you have to evacuate. You can find a list of important documents to gather at the Ready.gov website.
2. Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season by Bringing Things Inside
Ahead of an incoming storm, move outdoor furniture and garden equipment inside. Patio furniture, the grill, and children’s toys can be stored in the basement or the garage. If you have things that are too large to be moved, anchor them down as securely as possible.
3. Find Your Shut-Offs
One of the most important steps is locating your gas, electricity, and water shut-offs. Learning the locations of the shut-offs is one of the first things you should do when buying a new house. In the event of a hurricane, local officials will generally announce when it is time to shut off the gas.
4. Seal Doors and Windows to Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season
Inspect all of your doors and windows for any damage to the seals. Normal wear and tear along with exposure to the elements can cause them to weaken and separate over time. Neglecting to make repairs to the window and door seals could allow side-blowing rain to get inside your house during a hurricane or tropical storm.
5. Secure the Garage Door
Garage doors often get overlooked during hurricane preparation, but they are susceptible to damage. Consider adding a vertical garage door brace to help keep the door in place during strong winds and protect the contents of your garage.
6. Take Inventory of Your Property
Having accurate information on the value of your possessions is helpful if your home is damaged in a hurricane. This way you will know what needs replacing and how much it is worth. Take the time to review your insurance policy and understand your coverage. Photograph valuable items that are too large to carry with you during an evacuation to show proof of ownership.