Be Hurricane-Ready: Tips for Your Home

Hurricanes and tropical storms are becoming increasingly prevalent in North America, especially around the eastern seaboard. Being prepared for a hurricane ahead of time can mean exponentially protecting your house and family from the damage these violent storms can leave in their wakes.

Let’s go over protecting yourself and your loved ones first. Hurricanes typically bring a substantial amount of precipitation and high-velocity wind. Understanding where your house is, and how it will be affected by flooding, electrical storms, and wind fast enough to knock down trees is the first step in planning accordingly. Make sure to keep an updated list of emergency contacts, including your local insurance agents, fire and law enforcement agencies, your utility company, as well as local hospitals, should you require any assistance that needs outside expertise or aid.

Have a plan in place should you be caught off guard by a hurricane. Your entire family should know where in the house you’ll all go for shelter, or where you’ll evacuate to, should you deem your home unsuitable for toughing out the storm. It’s best to have both scenarios well-planned out, as the chaos of the storm may make one not viable. One of the most significant differences between those who can weather the storm and who can’t is the presence of a basic disaster kit. This kit should include a three- day supply of water. Something like a gallon of water per person per day to cover necessary hydration and sanitation needs is sufficient. A three-day supply of non-perishable food is next on the priority list, followed by a first aid kit, a flashlight, batteries, a wrench/pliers, maps, and cell phones with extra batteries or chargers.

Be sure you know how to use everything in the kit and that nothing is missing. For instance, if your choice in non-perishable food is canned goods, have a can opener waiting in the kit ready to go. Stay safely inside your home until you’re sure the storm has passed completely. Even when you think the storm is over, you may merely be in the “eye of the storm,” where it’s briefly calm before resuming its previous intensity. If you have access to outside communications, you should be listening intently for when it’s deemed safe to exit your safe zone.

Protecting your house to minimize the damage a storm can bring is slightly trickier. As far as the plants and trees on your property are concerned, has a very comprehensive guide to keeping your trees from falling on your house, an occurrence that can cause thousands of dollars in damages.

With regards to protecting the inside of your home, having surge protection is extremely important. Power surges frequently occur during a hurricane and can damage appliances and any electronics currently plugged in. So having good surge protection can be the difference between being able to keep your phone charged, or being completely cut off from the outside world. Next, ensure you’re easily able to seal windows and doors with either plywood or other methods to reduce the possibility of shattered glass littering your house after a hurricane.

This is hardly a full list of how you can have your home hurricane-proof, but these tips should at least prompt you to have a complete idea of how you’ll choose to ride out a natural disaster.

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