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How to Prepare Your House for a Hurricane: A Step-By-Step Guide

How to Prepare Your House for a Hurricane: A Step-By-Step Guide

Did you know a large hurricane can release energy close to 10 atomic bombs every second? Being prepared can help you, your family and your business survive the storm. Start preparing for a hurricane now since the hurricane season is closing in.

Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to prepare your house for a hurricane.

Start by Making an Evacuation Plan

Knowing how to prepare your house for a hurricane starts by checking if you live in a hurricane-prone area. Hurricanes are unpredictable and you don’t want to be scurrying during the last minute to go to the evacuation zone. Foresight and planning are critical at these moments.

Map out the primary and backup routes to your evacuation destinations. Have a physical map of your area in case GPS systems are down or your battery is dead.

Pre-arrange a meeting place in case your family members get separated. Write down all your evacuation plans and be sure to inform each member of the family.

Know the Warning Signs for Hurricanes

Hurricane warning signs are not clear until a hurricane has gotten close. One of the biggest signs you can see is the increased ocean swell. Around 72 hours before a hurricane makes landfall, the ocean swell increases up to two meters in height.

Once the hurricane gets closer, it gets higher and increases to five meters in height. The barometric pressure also drops and it may cause lower blood pressure. The wind also speeds up and can go from 18km per hour to 167km per hour.

The rains also get intense around 18 hours before the hurricane. It can lead to continual downpour around six hours before the hurricane hits.

Check Your Insurance Policies

Do some research into your homeowner’s insurance. Check if your standard plans cover damages incurred from hurricanes and floods.

Some insurance policies can also help repair or rebuild your home. They also replace some of your belongings.

If your insurance doesn’t state that they will help you cover your home after a disaster, get a hurricane insurance lawyer. Be aware that some policies won’t go into effect for 30 days, so buy your insurance before a storm comes.

Build a Hurricane Emergency Kit

You should have an emergency kit or two, have a pre-made emergency, or make your own. Your emergency kit should include, but not limited to:

  • At least three days’ worth of food and water
  • All necessary medications
  • Important documents and paperwork
  • Extra clothes
  • A small radio
  • Batteries and chargers
  • Your gadgets
  • Flashlights

Keep your emergency kit in a specific spot in your home where everyone can get to it quickly and easily. Make sure that the food you have is non-perishable and place some of the important items in a waterproof bag. Have a checklist to make sure if everything important is with you and in your kit.

Inspect Every Part of Your House

Check every inch of your house from your roof to your basement. Start looking for any loose or missing parts to list down for repairs. Note down all your electric sockets with plugs so you know where to remove them. Sockets can explode during hurricanes and you don’t want a fire on top of a storm. 

Take note of every furniture inside and outside your house like your tools and grill. It will be easier to remember what to bring inside if you remember your furniture’s locations.

Be sure to grab all your important documents and objects and place them in one case or bag. Turn your ref and freezer to their coldest setting to keep the food cold during a power outage. Always double-check all your things at least every five hours to make sure everything is in place.

Install Short-Term and Long-Term Upgrades

Shield your house from damages by getting upgrades to secure everything from the inside to the outside. Below are some areas in your house you can upgrade for short-term or long-term.

Doors and Windows

Start by installing shutters to all the windows in your house. Don’t mount the shutters to your window frame, but instead mount them onto the wall around the windows. For your doors, especially glass doors, place wooden boards barring both outside and inside the door.

Rooftop

Your roof is vulnerable to wind damage if not secured. Check all the shingles and seams so pieces don’t fly off. Either replace them or reseal them in place.

Check if the roof trusses have enough bracings. Check the gable ends which are the parts of the wall enclosing the end of a pitched roof. Place some metal roof straps to hold down your roof.

You can go for the long run and replace your roof with impact-resistant specialized shingles. Shingles can be copper, aluminum, resin, and plastic.

Yard, Deck, and Patio

Place your ungrounded furniture and decorations inside. Winds during a hurricane can blow all your items away no matter how big or small. Go around your porch and deck and make sure the objects are secure.

Try lifting and pulling the objects and railings in your deck and make sure they are secure into the floor. Trim away tree branches that are within five to 10 feet of your house. Don’t forget to clean your gutters to avoid causing an overflow.

Garage

The doors of your garage are the most vulnerable point. Garage doors are flimsy, so install vertical door braces to prevent the doors from blowing in. Another option is horizontal beams to have better defense during a storm.

Upgrade to an impact-resistant garage door for a long-term upgrade. A new, impact-resistant garage door can cost between $750 to $1,300.

Pools

Items in your pools from toys to skimmer lids should be inside. Don’t submerge your furniture into the pool since it can damage the pool’s finish. Turn off any gas supplies and filter pumps.

Don’t drain the pool water. The weight of the water will act as an anchor so your pool won’t pop out of the ground.

Now You Know How to Prepare Your House for a Hurricane

Stay ahead of the hurricane by beginning hurricane preparation and make sure your whole family knows of your plans and actions. The most important step on how to prepare your house for a hurricane is ensuring the safety of you and your family.

But why stop here? We have tons more content to show you more survival tips and tricks! Feel free to go over our other guides right now to learn how to make a survival kit and more!

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