When hurricanes hit landfall and come roaring through neighborhoods, their power can rip the roof right off a house or send outdoor furniture flying through the air. These storms also tend to bring floodwaters across the neighborhood space, covering your home in several feet of potentially contaminated water. To minimize the damage your home and property faces, you can secure many different areas using the best practices available in this realm. Your efforts will go a long way in minimizing the amount of recovery tasks you have to do upon returning home from the evacuation or resuming life after sheltering in place.
Closely Monitor All Weather Reports and Changes
Up to the minute weather reports will help keep you informed on the severity of the storm and its potential path across your area. You can use these reports to determine the preventative techniques you need to use for your home and property. Even if the reports seem mild at first, avoid doing the bare minimum, as the efforts you put into hurricane damage prevention have the potential to pay off in the long run.
Install Storm Shutters or Temporary Wood Panels Over Windows
Even the best windows cannot withstand hurricane winds without suffering damage or completely shattering apart. You can protect your windows by installing storm shutters on the outside of each one. If that project exceeds your available budget, simply nail up sheets of plywood over the windows to protect them from the wind. You can easily remove the temporary plywood panels after the storm without seriously damaging the siding.
Prepare for Potential Flooding in Your Neighborhood
You will need to prepare for potential flooding in your neighborhood if the hurricane will come anywhere near your property. You can protect your belongings inside the home by relocating them to the second floor or attic, if available. You may also want to raise your large appliances on cement blocks to keep them out of the floodwater and turn off power to the house at the breaker. To promote good drainage, make sure your gutters and drains are clear of debris and flowing at peak efficiency.
Protect Your Roof with Hurricane Straps
With hurricane winds on the horizon, the best way to keep your roof firmly attached is with the installation of hurricane straps. These straps allow you to connect the trusses or rafters to the walls in a secure manner. With these straps in place, you effectively increase the strength of the lumber and plates used in the construction of your home. Have a skilled contractor install the straps to ensure they are attached securely to all the necessary structures around the exterior of your home.
Affix Extra Locks on All Exterior Doors
Wind and floodwater can damage basic locks on exterior doors, causing these protective elements to open your home up to the elements. You can prevent this situation by installing extra locks on your exterior doors. Make sure the locks are easily accessible to your family members to allow safe passage in and out of your structure in an emergency.
Trim Back Overhanging Branches of Trees on Your Property
When wind blows hard enough, trees on your property could lose their branches and send them sailing through the air toward your home. You can prevent this situation by trimming back the branches to eliminate the wind-catching vegetation at the tips. Work with a local tree trimmer to remove the branches that pose the most risk without damaging the overall health of your trees. Your tree trimmer can also let you know about trees in poor health that would be better off fully removed than trimmed back.
Secure Your Vehicle, Outdoor Furniture and Other Loose Items
All your vehicles, outdoor furniture and other loose items outside can end up pushed out of place, or even turn into projectiles when left unsecured during a hurricane. You can prevent this situation by securing these items inside structures or bolting them to the ground. Take a look around your property several times before the storm is predicted to arrive to address all the unsecured outdoor elements around you. If you do not have anywhere to place your items, ask friends or neighbors for assistance to effectively protect your home and adjacent structures from damage.
When you take the time to secure your home and property from a hurricane, you effectively minimize the damage your residence suffers during the storm.