How to Prepare your Home for a Hurricane

By : Nick Marr

2017 has brought some of the most extreme weather in recent memory. Hurricane Harvey caused very severe flooding in Houston while Hurricane Irma devastated large parts of the Caribbean and left a trail of destruction almost anywhere it passed. Of course, these sorts of very powerful storm are mercifully rare but when they do strike they can cause chaos.

If you have a home that is anywhere near the standard path of hurricanes and other tropical storms, it might be time to start putting in some work to reinforce your home and make sure that you are completely prepared for very bad weather. Here are some steps you can take to help you completely prepare your home for a hurricane.

Invest in high quality doors

One part of the house that is often overlooked is also one of their weakest points – the doors. Naturally your doors are not going to be as strong as the walls of the building, so you need to ensure that they can still stand up the kind of punishing winds we see in hurricanes. If you front door has seen better days and extreme weather is on the horizon, it could be worth thinking about investing in a new one.

Additionally, homeowners can often forget all about their garage door. Leave an old garage door for too long and it can be weakened and will eventually compromise in heavy winds – this is the last thing you want. Modern garage doors are now more reinforced and stronger than ever before; everything from solid up-and-over doors to sectional garage doors will do a fantastic job of protecting your home.

Fix the roof while the sun is shining

This is more than just a cliché; you really do not to fix your roof before the hurricane season comes around. The roof is the first and most important defence that your home has against bad weather. It may also be one of the parts of your property that is most vulnerable to the effects of powerful gusts of wind. Now is the time to ensure that your roof is in great condition before you suffer any bad weather.

Take the time to get up on your roof and give it a thorough inspection. Do you notice any tiles or shingles that are missing or damaged? A leaky or draughty roof is a nightmare in a hurricane or other extreme weather so make sure you have this dealt with as soon as possible. It is also a good idea to check the inside of your roof around the roof – if you notice patches of damp this can be a tell-tale sign that something seriously needs fixing.

Seal your windows

With your roof and your doors covered, it is also going to be important to spend some time making sure that your windows are as secure as possible. The first thing to do is to check the seals around your windows – if they are quite old it could be the case that they have eroded over time and aren’t really doing their job anymore. In standard weather, this isn’t too much of a problem but in a hurricane it is a very serious issue.

If you have some windows that are in very poor condition – for example, a cracked skylight or a thin pane of glass somewhere on your property, it may be worth getting them replaced. Having to deal with broken glass after a hurricane really is not a lot of fun.

Ensure you can last for a few days indoors

Of course, it is important to put time and effort into preparing your home to withstand the effects of strong winds, but don’t forget that inside of your home needs to be ready for the aftermath of a hurricane.

In the event of the worst occurring, and the hurricane bringing on serious natural disasters such as a flood, you need to ensure that your home is properly equipped for you to be able to survive for at least a few days without being able to get out and around as you normally would. As the windy weather season approaches, you should begin to stock up on a few supplies than you can have in reserve.

The first thing you will inevitably need is drinking water, so invest in plenty of bottled water for your home – just in case. It is also worth picking up long-life foods, especially dried meals that don’t perish. It is always smart to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.

Pay attention to your garden

Don’t forget that there may be a number of items in your garden that need to be safely stowed away before bad weather arrives. You might store something like a ladder or other DIY tools outside your home, but if these aren’t securely fastened they can be taken by the hurricane and then they can become a serious hazard.

Review your insurance

Finally, remember that is it vital that you should check your home insurance to understand what you are covered for in the event of a hurricane. Whether you are a home-owner or you are renting, you need to understand whether you have insurance for the building or content, and if you need to take out any further insurance policies. For example, you might need to weigh up whether it is worth you getting flood insurance.