A hurricane of the intensity of Harvey or Irma can damage anywhere from 25 percent to 90 percent, respectively of the homes after it hits the mainland. With this year’s storm season also expected to be above average in severity, it behooves you to know how to prepare for summer rainstorms and hurricanes.
The impact of these storms on your home can be mitigated if you prepare for them in advance. Right now is the best time to do that, as the season is technically just beginning.
You’ll want to get on this as soon as possible: Meteorologists expect up to 16 named storms, including at least seven hurricanes. With that kind of outlook, here’s how to prepare your home
Reinforce Your Home
Certain parts of your home tend to be more vulnerable to strong winds and heavy rains. If you reinforce these areas, and you improve the odds of surviving hurricanes and storms with minimal to no damage.
Begin by repairing any damage to your roof. Then reinforce it: Secure your rain gutters and downspouts to make sure they won’t be ripped off by high winds. Additionally, clean your gutters and downspouts to make sure that water flows through them freely.
Check your windows to make sure they are sturdy and consider replacing those that don’t feature the latest technologies, like double panes.
Shutters and Doors
Storm shutters can also be beneficial, as long as they securely lock into place over the windows. If you can’t afford storm shutters, have plywood available so you can cover the windows if a storm rolls in.
You can also strengthen your door by improving the hinges and locks. Make sure your door has at least three hinges and that deadbolts extend out at least one inch.
Replace any builder-grade hinge screws with three-inch wood screws to make sure the underlying framing supports the jamb.
Cover Sliding Glass Doors
Also make sure that any sliding glass doors have tempered glass, and cover them with shutters — or plywood if a storm approaches.
Moving onto other areas, look into upgrading your garage door to one made from stronger materials or improved latching mechanisms.
Look for a garage door that is approved for wind pressure and provides measurable impact protection.
Falling tree branches can cause significant damage to your home and property. So trim your trees, making sure the limbs aren’t close to power lines or your roof.
Make sure to remove any dead branches or trees, as a dead tree is more likely to topple in high winds.
Clear away any debris from your property as well. Any object sitting in your yard can quickly become a projectile object if it is picked up and carried by high winds. By removing any items, you decrease the odds that random debris will strike your home.
For similar reasons, consider getting rid of any gravel in your yard — or replace it with shredded bark. It’s substantially lighter, so while it may fly around during a storm, it won’t cause as much damage.
If you have outside wall openings, like vents or outdoor outlets, make sure they are well sealed. Use a high-quality urethane-based caulk to seal gaps, ensuring water doesn’t seep in.
Buy Flood Insurance
Typically, traditional homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover floods. If you don’t have any flood insurance but live somewhere that may get hit this season, seriously consider paying for it.
Although it isn’t always cheap, foregoing this type of insurance can ultimately be even more expensive. You can’t buy coverage after a disaster strikes, so you’ll want to have it in place before storms come your way.
Flood insurance provides you with funds to help you rebuild and replace your belongings if your home is affected by rainwater, overflowing rivers, and more. If you don’t know where to begin, you can contact your insurance agent. You can also find valuable information about flood insurance on the Federal Emergency Management Administration website.
Create an Evacuation Plan
You’ll want to include in the planning any family or roommates so that you’re ready for all possible emergency scenarios.
Begin by reviewing local government information regarding evacuation areas and current plans. Use that to determine a meeting point in case family members are separated during the storm. Also decide where you might go if you evacuate early — such as the homes of friends and relatives who live outside of the storm areas.
Don’t forget to include pets in your evacuation plan — keep a carrier or leash near the door along with travel-sized pet supplies. Make sure your animal companions have ID chips as well; that way, if they get loose or you can’t retrieve them, you can be reunited after the storm.
Prepare for Summer Rainstorms and Hurricanes
You’ll want to prepare an emergency evacuation kit for these situations — including such things as a first aid kit.
Stock up on bottled water and non-perishable food that don’t require cooking. Make sure you also have pet food and kitty litter or piddle pads available if you have pets.
Once you get started with amassing emergency supplies, it can become an ongoing shopping habit — so you might want to set a budget that you can stick to.
And periodically check to make sure these items are still fresh or working, as the case may be.
If you follow as many of the tips above as possible — and do it soon — you should be ready for any extreme weather that might head your way this summer.
Readers, what have you done to prepare in advance for natural disasters? Or if you haven’t done any of these things yet, what’s kept you from doing so? Please tells us all about it by posting in the comments section.
Looking for more great articles? Check these out:
- Can You Buy Last-Minute Hurricane Insurance?
- Will Heatwaves and Rainstorms Set New Records This Summer?
- Beware of Hysteria Marketing: Premade Emergency Kits Are Ripoffs
- Keep Cool Without Overspending This Summer
- 5 Summer Home Improvement Projects
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