September brings the midst of hurricane season, and the threat of the damage these hurricanes can cause is already all too real. Hurricane Harvey has caused massive devastation in Texas; Hurricane Irma is one of the worst storms in history, leaving millions of dollars of damage in its wake. And there are more to follow. It’s a scary thing to think about your home facing hurricane damage, but here are a few things you can do to ready and prepare for the oncoming hurricanes.
Outside the Home
Hopefully, you have good gutters to help with drainage already, if not, it may be time to install new gutters. It’s important to maintain gutter cleaning and if there is a hurricane on the way, make sure gutters are adhered well to the home, including downspouts. Clear any clogged areas and debris that may keep the gutters from working well. Seamless gutters may be a little more expensive to install, but have a longer life and will protect your home better than other gutters. Learn more about gutter systems, including gutter guards.
Many homeowners in hurricane prone areas already have hurricane shutters to install in case of the threat of a hurricane. If not, installing plywood over windows is a good idea. Windows can be easily damaged by the strong winds and not only will the cost be high to replace them, but damage can ensue from water getting in the home through the broken windows. Windows blown out from hurricane winds are very common during these storms, so prepare accordingly.
If possible, keep trees trimmed throughout the year so falling branches won’t threaten the home. Also, if you are in an area prone to shallow root systems, keep an eye on your trees and take any down that are damaged or dead or that may be in line to fall on the home.
Inside the Home
Those that live in or near coastal areas that are prone to hurricanes often have a system in place before a hurricane strikes. Some of the basics for readying yourself and your home for a hurricane include:
- Being prepared with bottled water, extra batteries and flashlights, food, copies of your critical information, medication and a first aid kit, all stored in a safe, designated space.
- Know what you will take with you if you have to evacuate. Some people want to bring their family photos and mementos; others want to bring family heirlooms or other high cost items. Have whatever it may be packed separately from other stored things in the home to make it quick and easy to take those items.
- Be ready to store things. Decide where you will store items to protect them. Have plastic bins ready and an area that may be safer than others in your home to protect items.
Riding a storm out can be a terrifying thing. Yet, many people would rather stay than evacuate to oversee any damage to their home. It may be easier to protect your home if you’re there, and to begin damage cleanup afterward. However, the most important thing is to keep you and your family safe.
If your area advises evacuation, make safety your priority. You can ready your home and then leave. Any damage to your home can be fixed; damage to you and your family may not be able to be fixed so easily.
Take steps early to be prepared for massive storms. Plan for safety first.