The first reaction for many people is panic when they discover a hurricane is coming and they go into a frenzy of activity trying to prepare their home. There are some precautions and preparations you can make to make the process easier and protect your home, even if you have to evacuate.
Windows and Doors
The glass in windows and doors will be the first to be damaged in high winds. Storm shutters should be put up or plywood nailed in place. Another option is the installation of impact resistant glass that resists breakage during impacts. It’s a good idea to keep the appropriate pieces of plywood on hand as a precaution. When a hurricane is imminent, plywood may be in short supply as people converge on stores to purchase it.
Flooding is a major issue during a hurricane due to torrential rains and storm surges. Sandbag stations are typically set up throughout communities and the filled bags should be placed around doors and the perimeter of your home if you have enough to do so. Doors and basement windows will be a primary entryway for stormwater that enters the home.
Secure the Yard
Any item left unsecured in a yard can turn into a dangerous projectile in a hurricane’s high winds. Place children’s toys, lawn furniture, trash containers and other moveable items in a garage or other structure that can be securely closed.
Don’t wait until a hurricane is on the horizon to take care of lawn maintenance. That includes trimming dead or damaged limbs and branches, removing dead trees, and having any fruits removed from palm trees. Dead or diseased branches can break off and do a considerable amount of damage to your home and the abodes of others.
From security systems to carbon monoxide detectors, homes are equipped with a variety of monitoring systems. If you have to evacuate, it’s a good idea to notify the appropriate parties so they know the reason if an alarm goes off. Conversely, power loss will result in the system being inoperative. Carbon monoxide monitors are especially important if you’re sheltering in place and using a generator to power systems.
Inventories and Documents
Everyone should keep an inventory of their valuables in the event of an emergency. That can include jewelry, paintings, electronics and even weapons. Photograph valuables, scan pertinent documents such as insurance policies and vehicle registrations and save it all on a flash drive in a waterproof container. If you need to evacuate, you’ll still have the valuable documents and inventories, even if the originals are destroyed.