7 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season
The latest reports predict that the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season will be one for the record books. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts a 45 percent possibility of an above average season. A more active season can result in a higher number of tropical storms with the potential to develop into hurricanes.
Scientists and Meteorologists have pointed to the early start to the season, as well as other factors like warm water temperatures and weak El Niño current, for the predicted increase. For homeowners on the East coast, this serves as a warning. There is no guarantee there will be more hurricane landfalls in the U.S., but a little preparation during these months (June 1-Nov. 30) never hurt anything. Here, Inspect-It 1st has rounded up the most important ways to prepare your home for hurricane season. It’s better to be safe than sorry, as they say.
Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season
Hurricane season can be hard on your home. Even if no tropical storms make landfall, off-shore hurricanes and severe storms can invite damage if you’re not prepared.
- Have an Evacuation Plan
First and foremost, make a plan for evacuation. If all else fails, or if a storm surge forces you and your family to evacuate, you need to know where to go. And quickly.
Check to see if your home is in the evacuation path, an area which the government mandates that residents must leave in the event of a hurricane. Even if you fall outside of the designated area, it’s still a good idea to plan for evacuation, just in case.
Consult local government websites and community boards for information about alert systems, evacuations, and departure routes. Keep in mind that those in mobile homes, stilt houses or high-rise buildings might have to evacuate sooner than others.
Make sure each family member is aware of the plan and walk children through step-by-step instructions to ensure their safety. If you own pets, consider a plan for them as well.
- Assess Your Insurance Coverage
Prior to hurricane season, review your insurance policy. Whether you are a homeowner or a renter, make sure the policy covers flood damage and rebuilding costs should damage occur. Often, homeowner insurance policies will cover one but not the other. You will need both in the event of a severe storm.
If you also own a car, it might be a good idea to check on insurance protections for the vehicle as well.
- Storm Guard Your Home
Another important precaution to take during hurricane season is safeguarding your home. Begin with a full inspection of your house to make sure that there aren’t any problems that would be exacerbated by a tropical storm.
Next, secure and seal your roof. As the home’s largest potential opening, strong winds and excess water can do severe damage if they penetrate the roof. Fix and replace all tiles and shingles that are missing, cracked, or warped.
After securing your roof, seal your doors and windows. Commercial caulk and weather stripping wear over time, so check their condition once a year.
Purchase plywood or install hurricane covers for windows and doors. Board up entrances for extra security if the storm begins to worsen.
- Take Inventory
It is important to take inventory of your home, belongings and other assets. Once a year, document all your possessions and how much each is worth. That way, in the case of damage, you’ll know what needs to be replaced and if it is covered under your insurance plan.
- Buy Supplies
It is smart to have a disaster supply kit ready to go in the house. The kit can include things like batteries, flashlights, first aid supplies, water, personal documents, prescription drugs, electronics chargers, and more. The disaster supply kit will accompany you in the event of an evacuation.
- Make Copies
Before hurricane season, make duplicates of your important documents including deeds and proof of ownership of assets. Back up your digital records on external hard drives or in cloud-based software as well.
- Final Moments
There is nothing more important than the safety of yourself and your loved ones. Heed calls for evacuation even if you have not properly prepared your property. But if you do have some time before an approaching storm reaches landfall, there are a couple of quick things you can do:
- Clear your lawn of furniture, umbrellas, potted plants, and other items that could be picked up by strong winds.
- Move your car to safety, whether it is the garage, or just away from trees and electric lines.
- Shut off all utilities at their cutoff points, usually located near the meter.
- Before you evacuate your home, turn off the main breaker in your circuit box.
If you are in need of a pre-hurricane inspection or have questions about how to prepare your home for hurricane season, contact the professionals at Inspect-It 1st. We have the industry experience and know-how to tackle the tough questions homeowners face. Contact us online or call us today at (877) 392-6278.