When it comes to protecting your coastal home or rental during hurricane season, explore how to properly secure the most vulnerable areas of the home.
Last year saw the third-most active hurricane season in recorded history, with twenty-one named storms and eight hurricanes that hit the U.S.
2020 holds the record for the most active storm season of all time, with a staggering thirty named storms. 2021 was the second year in a row that forecasters ran out of names on the initial list issued by the World Meteorological Organization.
If you live near the coast or you have a home there, it’s critical that you know how to prepare your home for a hurricane. Read on to discover the best way to keep your home and your family safe during nature’s most powerful storms.
Gather Emergency Supplies
One of the most important things you need to do to get ready for hurricane season is preparing to keep your family safe. First, you’ll need to decide if you want to stay for the storm or evacuate. If you plan to stay, you need to gather emergency supplies to help your family through the storm and the days after.
Stock up on bottled water, non-perishable food that can be eaten cold, and lanterns with lots of extra batteries. You should also get a first aid kit and a wireless radio so you can keep up with what’s happening with the storm. If you have the means, getting a satellite phone and a generator may be smart.
Clear Your Yard
Once your emergency supplies are in place, you’ll need to start clearing your yard of any loose objects. Hurricanes can cause winds that blow more than 155 miles per hour, which is more than enough to throw around lawn furniture. There may also be tornadoes in the storm that can pick up and throw everything from a grill to a car.
Bring as much as you can inside – lawn chairs, outdoor tables and benches, grills, lawn decorations, toys, and so on. Secure the things that are too big and heavy to bring indoors to the ground with long stakes. Move bikes and trash cans indoors if possible or underneath a secure shelter.
Aside from your yard decorations, the most likely thing to break your windows during a storm is a tree branch. Hurricanes can rip large branches off of trees and throw them around like Frisbees. Worse yet, trees that are unhealthy or unbalanced could get knocked down by the force of the storm and might fall on your house or car.
Make sure to keep your trees well-maintained, and have any tree that you think might be dead examined by an arborist. Before the storm, go out and trim any branches with visible damage or those that overhang your roof. Practice appropriate safety measures during this work; the last thing you want going into a hurricane is an injury.
Cover Windows and Doors
Even with everything cleared out of your yard, there will still be plenty of debris flying around during a hurricane. The last thing you want during the middle of a storm is a tree limb flying through a window. You’ll need to cover all your windows and doors with sturdy material as part of your hurricane-proofing work.
If you have (functional) storm shutters on the house, close and secure them, checking to make sure there isn’t any damage to them as you go. If you don’t have functional shutters, cut pieces of ¾” plywood to fit over your windows and any exterior doors with glass. Screw these into place over your windows and doors before the storm rolls in.
Prepare to Shut Off Power
Depending on the strength of the storm, there’s a very good chance you’ll lose power to your home. But even if you don’t, you need to be prepared to shut the power off yourself if your home takes enough damage. If you have water pouring into your home or if a power line is down nearby, live electricity in your house could become very dangerous.
Locate your breaker box if you don’t already know where it is, and find the master switch to turn off power to the whole house. If you experience flooding or other water damage, shut the power off as soon as possible. If you have to leave your home either before or during the storm, turn the power off as a preemptive safety measure.
Fill Containers With Water
If you plan to stay in your home, the biggest risk you’ll face after a bad storm, assuming you aren’t injured, is dehydration. You can live for days without food, but you can die of dehydration in just a few days. You need to make sure your family has plenty of drinking water on hand in case your home is without clean water in the days after the storm.
Fill up clean containers around your home with tap water that’s suitable for drinking. You can use old milk jugs, pitchers, and even pots or plastic containers. You may also want to fill up your bathtubs and sinks with water to use for washing dishes, washing your hands, and other such basic hygiene.
Prepare for Hurricane Season
Hurricanes can be terrifying, but with the right preparations, you, your family, and your house should come out alright. First things first, gather your emergency supplies to keep your family safe during and after the storm. Then clear out your yard, trim up your trees, cover your windows, and prepare to be without power or water for a while.
If you’d like to learn more about preparing for hurricane season, check out the rest of our site at Michael Saunders & Company, office of Chelsea Oelker. Chelsea is a licensed realtor who can help you find your dream home on the Florida coast. Search available homes today and start making your beach life dreams a reality.