04 Oct Before the Storm: How to Protect Your Home Before a Hurricane Strikes
Heart-wrenching images of disaster and displacement may come to mind when an impending hurricane is headed your way. While you can’t control the heavy rains and destructive winds that a hurricane brings, you can certainly do your best to control how well-protected your home is during the storm. Keep reading for a few valuable hurricane preparation tips that can help save your home from extensive damage.
The Outside of Your Home
Your first order of business should be removing any loose items from your yard that could potentially damage the exterior of your home. Wind speeds of over 100 miles per hour can easily toss loose lawn items dozens of feet from where they stand. If you have large yard decorations, outdoor furniture, hoses, a portable storage shed, a greenhouse or anything else that could be whipped around by high winds, bring it inside or tie it down. You’ll also need to take measures to protect all vulnerable entry points, like windows, doors, and patio screens. In order to protect the outside of your home during a hurricane, it’s a good idea to fix anything on your house that is in need of repair and to cover your windows with plywood right before the storm hits.
When a hurricane comes to call, high winds aren’t the only dangerous force it brings. Wind might be your initial fear, but flooding causes substantial property damage during and after a hurricane. Throughout the storm, heavy rains can easily dump several inches of water in low-lying areas. Moreover, a deadly storm surge can bring a sudden and tremendous rush of water several miles inland, depending on the hurricane’s strength. To protect your home against rising water levels, sandbags are essential.
In hurricane-prone areas, you can typically acquire sandbags from a local volunteer agency. Alternatively, you can fill heavy-duty trash bags halfway with water if you’re short on time and if you can’t stand in line for hours. Pile sandbags against your entry doors at least 1-2 feet high to form a barricade against high water. Consider placing sandbags against your garage doors if you have them.
Electrical Surge Protection
Along with high winds, heavy rains, and storm surges, a hurricane also brings the hallmark of a heavy thunderstorm – lightning. Both lightning and high winds can cause widespread power outages and power surges during a hurricane. It’s a smart idea to install surge protection to guard against appliance damage during the storm. If you don’t already have whole-house surge protection installed within your breaker box, you can purchase surge protector strips. Use these strips to plug in your most critical and expensive appliances, like your refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher. Just before the storm, unplug any smaller appliances. If your power goes out, consider turning off your electricity to guard against a surge when the power is restored.
Hurricane preparation can be overwhelming, and when you combine it with the fear and worry of what might occur during the storm, the whole process can be very emotionally taxing. To give your home the best chance of weathering the storm without incurring significant damage, take a couple of days to prepare before the winds and rain arrive. You’ll be glad you did when you return home to assess the outcome. And if your roof has suffered damage, be sure to give our experts a call.