How to Protect Your Home From a Hurricane
Hurricane Florence is forecast to hit the coast this week. In times of extreme weather, it is often hard to ensure you have everything you need checked off the list. With hurricane season here, we have the steps to take to protect you and your home from any storm that hits.
Secure the Exterior
One of the biggest worries that comes with Category 3, 4 and 5 hurricanes is strong wind speeds over 130 mph. Exterior debris paired with high wind speed can be devastating to homes. Extensive damage to windows and roofs may occur, so it is best to prep your home as much as possible. Remove any patio furniture and strap down the roof. It is also a good idea to remove or tie down any dead trees or shrubs to reduce the chances of falling branches.
Fortify the Interior
Reinforce doors with extra bolts at the top and bottom for additional protection and support. Keep blinds shut to help fortify against broken glass. You can also purchase storm shutters or make window covers with heavy wood to help secure glass. To help protect against water getting into your home, consider using sandbags to barricade entry points as well. Test all drains, pumps and gutters to ensure they are working properly. This will be key in helping excess water flow away from your home.
Preserve Important Documents
Another major worry with hurricanes is the potential for storm surges and flooding. Many of our most important documents are stored in our homes. Think ahead and proactively guard documents like social security cards, birth certificates, passports, the deed to your home and insurance in waterproof containers. If you are evacuating your home, keep copies of these important documents with you.
If you are not in an evacuation zone, it is important to ensure you stock up with at least a 3-day supply for all family members and pets. Water is one of the most important things to stock up on. You can fill your tub with water prior to the storm as well as get several cases of bottled water. Try to have at least one gallon per day for every family member. Non-perishable foods and juices will be important to stock up on as well. Be sure to also have extra batteries, flashlights, first aid kits and any prescription medications you normally need.
Document Your Home
Whether you expect your home to be hit with little to no damage or heavy damage, having recent photos or videos of the exterior and interior of your home is key just in case you need to make insurance claims. This way, if there is damage, your claims will be more easily managed. As you document your home, an important thing to review is your insurance coverage. Know what you are up against so if something does happen to your home, you will know what steps you will need to take to move forward.
Most importantly, stay safe! Whether you are close to an upcoming storm or not, hurricane season is here and now is the time to start preparing your home for any storms to come.
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