It's never too early to begin preparations.Take the necessary steps ahead of the hurricane's arrival to protect the home and contents.
SandbagsWhen an official warning is declared, the city makes sand, shovels and bags available to city residents (with proof of residence through a driver's license). Learn about sandbag availability.
Securing Homes and Yards
Windows and Doors
Many property owners believe if the windows in their home are ok, then the house will be ok, too; however, all windows, patio doors, entry doors, garage doors and the roof should be protected. If the exterior of the structure is protected, the entire structure stands a much greater chance of staying intact. However, cost is often a factor when homeowners choose window and door protection.
Wind entering a house through a broken window or garage door weakens the integrity of the structure. When a window blows and wind enters the house, it has no place to go but up, which may result in a lost roof. The goal is to keep the wind out.
One of the most overlooked areas is the garage door, which is very likely the weakest area.
When high winds cause the garage doors to give way, a good portion of the home is exposed. Wind that enters the home forces the roof to blow out.
Residents should secure the sides of the garage door while bracing the center, so it doesn't buckle. Braces are available that can help strengthen the doors. Lumber braces may be constructed at home as well.
It may be best to install a new, hurricane-rated garage door. Hurricane-rated garage doors are more expensive than traditional garage doors and, with professional installation, provide invaluable protection against strong or hurricane-force winds.
The minimum thickness for plywood for window-and door-coverings should be 5/8 of an inch thick.
Steel shutters are the best method for protecting your home, yet are expensive. Property owners should consider the type of windows on the structure and what you have to protect.
Homeowners should be sure their removable shutters are in good shape. Numbering removable shutters helps you remember which windows they belong to and saves on installation time.
Around the House
- Keeping the house in good repair is advised. Always check the roof for loose shingles.
- Check for trees or shrubs that need to be trimmed or appear weak being cautious around power lines. Call a professional for this potentially dangerous work.
- Roof wind turbines are very vulnerable to being blown off during high winds and will leave gaping holes for rain to come in. It is suggested that you buy caps that can be installed when a hurricane threatens.
- Consider replacing turbines with a lower profile-style vent.
- Keep a roll of plastic or plastic garbage bags on hand to protect valuable items such as furniture and computers against leaks during the storm.
- Make sure insurance policies are current and coverage is adequate. Ensure the policy covers the value of your home and its contents; if not, consider increasing the coverage. Learn more here: Are You Prepared? A Hurricane Checklist for Insurance Consumers.