Preparing for a Hurricane

“Chance favors the prepared mind.” – Bradley Lilly 

The United States experiences roughly six hurricanes every year. Some hurricanes cause more devastation than others, so it’s best to prepare for the worst if you reside near the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, or the Caribbean Sea. 

Learn more about how to prepare your home for hurricanes. 

How Do Hurricanes Cause Damage?  

The two main ways hurricanes cause damage are high winds and water damage. 

Hurricanes are categorized by how fast the winds are:

  • Category 1: 74 – 95 mph winds
  • Category 2: 96 – 110 mph winds
  • Category 3: 111 – 129 mph winds
  • Category 4: 130 – 156 mph winds
  • Category 5: 157 mph winds+

Hurricanes usually also bring heavy rainfall, which can cause flooding. Damage will vary greatly depending on the amount of rainfall and the amount of waterproofing in your home. 

How to Prepare Your Home for Hurricanes

It’s up to you to be prepared when a hurricane hits. Here are some tips on how to prepare your household for a hurricane

  1. Create an Evacuation Plan

In some high-risk situations, you may need to evacuate the area. You will receive notice from local authorities if an evacuation order has been put in place. 

Have a route ready for when the time comes. You should also have an alternative route in mind, as certain roads can be extremely busy or damaged. Make sure to rell someone in a safe area about your plans just in case you go missing. Don’t forget to bring your pets with you!  

  1. Board Your Windows 

High winds can break glass, causing a serious hazard. In order to protect your family, board up the windows with thick plywood to prevent them from breaking. 

In most cases, you will want to board the windows from the outside. However, it’s also possible to board the windows from the inside. 

  1. Trim Your Trees

You will notice a number of fallen trees after a hurricane. You want to do what you can to prevent trees and branches from falling onto your home. 

Start by keeping up with regular tree maintenance by cutting dead or loose branches, especially if they are in a potentially hazardous location, such as nenar a window. If you have dead trees on your property, you may want to have them completely removed. 

  1. Secure Your Doors (Especially Your Garage Door)

While doors don’t have as much glass as windows do, they still have glass that can break and create a hazard. Furthermore, some doors can succumb to the pressure of hurricane winds, allowing water and wind to wreak havoc inside your home. Secure your doors in a similar fashion as the windows. 

Most importantly, secure your garage door as it’s the most vulnerable door on your property. 

  1. Bring Outdoor Items Inside 

If you have patio furniture, you’ll want to bring it inside. If left outside, the patio furniture may blow away in the hurricane. Not only will you lose your furniture, but it can also collide with your home, causing damage. 

  1. Keep Your Insurance Up to Date

Many of us pay insurance without much of a second thought. However, we should all be hyper-aware of our insurance and what is covered. Make sure your policy included hurricane damage! We should also be sure to pay the bill every month. 

If your home does experience damage from a hurricane, your insurance may cover the repairs (depending on your coverage). If you forget a payment, your insurance won’t be valid. Therefore, you’ll be stuck making the payments yourself. 

  1. Create an Emergency Kit 

Every home in a hurricane-vulnerable state should have an emergency kit with everything you need to survive if a hurricane takes out access to things like water, power, and food. 

Items to put in your emergency kit include:

  • Generator
  • Water
  • Non-perishable food 
  • First aif kit
  • Batteries
  • Matches/lighter
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Feminine hygiene products 
  • Can opener
  • Flashlight
  • Maps
  • Extra glasses
  • Powerless radio

Stay Informed

One of your best resources during a hurricane will undoubtedly be information. Make a point to stay informed on the status of the hurricane and the damage it creates in your area.