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How to Prepare Your House for a Hurricane: 7 Things You Need to Know

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When hurricane season is in full swing, you have to be ready for anything. Not only is your personal safety on the line, but your home is also vulnerable to severe damage.

Your roof, siding, interiors, plumbing, and even your foundation is at risk for irreparable damage. That’s why preparation is essential for hurricane season.

One hurricane alone can generate more than $90 billion dollars worth of damage! Don’t let your house fall victim to the next major weather catastrophe.

Always prepare for the worst case scenario. Learn how to prepare your house for a hurricane with this must-have guide.

1. Have an Evacuation Plan

Your home is precious. But nothing is more precious than the lives of you and your loved ones. Before you even think about your home, have an evacuation plan in place first.

Many homeowners make the mistake of not evacuating during major hurricanes. Don’t let this be you. If city officials tell you to evacuate, leave ASAP.

Don’t leave your pets alone either. Pets could die, become gravely injured, or be permanently displaced from their owners. Choose a pet-friendly emergency shelter and bring a crate for your pet.

Assemble an evacuation kit complete with food, water, flashlights, first aid, and communication devices.

2. Prepare Your Car for a Hurricane

You’ll need your car in the event of an evacuation. Prepare your car for a hurricane just like you would your home and family.

Make sure your car has a full tank of case. An evacuation can happen at a moment’s notice. Keep your car in the garage until you need it.

Prepare your garage windows just like your home’s windows. Board up your garage windows with plywood, secure your frames, and install impact-resistant glass if possible.

If you don’t have a garage, park your car in a clear area. Don’t park your car around any trees, debris, or fragile balconies.

3. Prepare Your Roof

Hurricane winds can be as fast as 75 miles per hour, with category 5 hurricane winds reaching up to 150 miles or more per hour. Just imagine the damage this could do to your roof!

First, inspect your roof for any damage. You may need to call a professional inspector or contractor. You need to fix any pre-existing damage before hurricane season hits.

If there’s a lot of pre-existing damage, you may need a partial or full roof replacement. Otherwise, you can patch up potential trouble spots with sealant and new shingles.

You can also buy hurricane straps for your roof. These large straps clamp down, locking your roof in place.

4. Trim Your Trees

This is an easily overlooked tip. It’s not a last-minute fix, either. Fallen trees cause a considerable amount of damage during hurricane season.

It’s not just broken windows you have to worry about. Fallen trees can destroy your electrical system. Debris can also get stuck in your gutters and plumbing.

But you’re prepared this time.

Trim your trees before hurricane season even starts. You may have a considerable amount of tree trimming to do. Get this work out of the way during the dry months.

You don’t have to uproot all your trees. Start with trees that are hanging over your roof. Trim them back so they’re not even touching your roof.

Old and diseased trees are a big problem, as well. Make sure to remove any diseased trees before those winds hit.

5. Secure Your Windows

Windows are one of the first things to go during a hurricane. But there are several things you can do to protect them.

First, replace your current windows with impact-resistant windows. These windows are designed specifically to withstand hurricanes. This is essential for homeowners who routinely deal with harsh weather.

While no windows are fully hurricane-proof, impact windows are the closest you’re going to get. Some can withstand winds that are equivalent to a semi-truck moving at 50 feet per second!

Remember to board up your windows. You can do this with simple plywood from your local hardware store. Place plywood along the inside of your window frames for extra support.

You can add further support with caulk and storm shutters. Don’t forget to add caulk around your door frames, too.

6. Write Everything Down

Knowing how to prepare your house for a hurricane means planning for the aftermath. You have to face the fact that you may lose your entire home. Assessing the damage is much harder when you don’t know what’s missing.

Take inventory of all your belongings beforehand. This is essential for insurance purposes. You may be compensated for highly valuable items lost in a hurricane.

This goes hand-in-hand with hurricane insurance. If you live in a high-risk area for hurricanes, you can’t go without insurance.

You can’t wait till the last minute to buy hurricane and flood insurance, either. This is something you should take care of immediately after buying a home. Read more on your options so you’re fully prepared when those first winds hit.

7. How to Prepare Your House For a Hurricane Last-Minute

Not everyone is able to plan months in ahead for a hurricane. This is understandable. Luckily, there are a few last-minute things you can do to weather the storm.

Before you evacuate, freeze a cup of water. Put a coin on top of the frozen water before you leave. If the coin is still on top, that means your freezer didn’t lose power.

However, if the coin is at the bottom, that means your freezer lost power for a certain amount of time. This means your food may have gone bad. This little trick will let you know if your food is good to eat.

Clean out your gutters before those strong winds hit. Extra debris causes even more damage to your plumbing, roof, and sewer system.

Before you leave, bolt your doors. This will help prevent your doors from being blown off.

Weather the Storm the Right Away

Don’t pay the price for not being prepared. Learn how to prepare your house for a hurricane with these essential tips for homeowners.

Hurricanes aren’t the only problem to worry about. Prepare your house for anything with the latest home improvement hacks!

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