Rush to complete any tasks around the house once a hurricane warning is issued.
In theory, that’s it BUT in real life, for those who have just moved in or have never suffered any hurricane before, what exactly to do?
Don’t worry. I’m here to help and below is a full checklist of “how do you prepare your home for a hurricane?”. Trust me, and keep reading!
During a hurricane, the lowest floor in your home is the safest place, and it’s commonly your basement as long as flooding is not a risk for it. But if this floor is a zone that’s prone to get flooded then some extra steps to protect your valuables are essential.
The short-term option is to store all of your precious items in waterproof containers that are tightly sealed, make sure they are easy to identify in case of evacuation.
If you live in an area where commonly suffers from light to medium hurricanes, it’s important to have long-term solutions to your house.
What I’m trying to say is getting a sump pump to avoid water damage. This is also the simplest option to carry out (although it’s not really glamorous). The average cost is around $900 to $1500 at the current.
Once the installation is done, there are two things needed checking carefully:
1) Make sure there is no debris or anything that potentially causes clogged in it. Otherwise, during a hurricane, it can’t work its best to get rid of water, or, even in the worst case, the motor could be burnout.
2) Prepare a backup battery and check if it works properly before the hurricane comes.
The most vulnerable point of a garage is its doors. From that point, I highly recommend upgrading it to an impact-resistant one, which costs around $700 to $1300.
In case that the amount of time for preparation is too short to upgrade it, here are two short-term options for you:
Set up horizontal beams for extra defense (cost averagely from $100 to $200)
Install vertical door braces (around $200) to reinforce it from the inside because the tendency is for these garage doors to blow in, not out.
Outside your home
The outside spaces of your house are usually patio, deck, porch, and yard. If you want to decrease potential damages and dangers in a hurricane to the minimum, these areas are worth to be upgraded.
Stay away from those that are probably damaged easily or harder landscaping materials, such as tiles and big rocks, if your living area is usually attacked by hurricanes.
If you already use them for your house, replace them with mulch and wood chips or something softer.
In terms of instant options, I suggest checking the house’s foundation for any signs of cracks or distress. For minor fractures, an economic solution for you is using patchwork.
But remember, if the problems are serious, don’t regret to spend extra money to solve it ultimately. Your future you (after hurricanes) will thank you for that.
Besides, remember to:
- Clean out debris, like branches and leaves, to prevent overflow causing roof damage or avoid sending water straight out to the basement
- Trim all the branches that are already breaking or dead. Pay attention to those within 10’ of your house, especially near the windows (a chainsaw would come in handy)
- Make sure these outdoor spaces are properly anchored
- Move all ungrounded décor and furniture inside. Take note that the gusts during a hurricane could be 100MPH so anything loose around these areas should be brought inside the house.
If not properly secured, your house proof can be peeled off as easily as you peel off a banana.
So if the remaining time for hurricane preparation is enough to upgrade it to specialized shingles and a weatherproof roof, do it!
Such upgrades will help significantly lower the overall homeowner’s insurance premiums because now, the proof is increased its storm resistance ability up to 20% than the traditional shingles.
Conversely, what to do if your preparation time is nearly out? Here are some instant yet effective solutions worth trying:
Lodge metal roof straps (in case yours still don’t have). The current cost is around $50 to $200.
Repair/replace damaged or broken tiles and shingles. I advise replacing the entire roof if you find the shingles to be missed, seriously damaged, or curled, the roof has many bald spots or leaks.
Inspect gable ends and check the roof trusses have a moderate amount of bracing. If it needs replacing, the expense could be around $300 to $1000.
Reseal all the seams and shingles if they are in bad condition (estimated cost is somewhere between $350 and $1700 for a 1500sq. ft. roof, or $0.25-$1/sq. ft. of the surface to apply a sealant.
Doors & Windows
Now, the most unprotected parts of a house during hurricanes – windows and doors.
Start with doors first!
What you need to do for the upcoming hurricane is install a heavy-duty bolt to them, inspect if they need reseal or not (by checking glazing around the panes and the frame caulk)
Do the same thing with your windows by holding a candle near them on a windy day to check if there’s any airflow. If the damage is too serious, I suggest spending a few extra bucks to replace them with storm-resistant ones.
Besides, don’t forget to shutter all the windows (the expense is $50 to $350/shutter) and make sure it holds up well against 100MPH flying debris and is impact-resistant.
When mounting the shutter, remember to mount to the wall around the window, not the window frame unless you would like to remain the original shape of that frame.
Last but not least, close and lock all the windows.
Other Things to Prepare
Review your insurance policy or call your agent before the storm to check what it covers and what doesn’t
Find a safe place in your house where everyone can hide during emergencies. Make sure it is on the ground floor with no windows
Prepare for the worst. Make a checklist in case you have to evacuate to ensure you won’t forget anything. To avoid the chaos and delay, solidify your evacuation plan, remember the route, prepare your supplies, and especially, make sure the car’s gas tank is full.
Invest a portable generator (around $2000 to $10000) for power shortage.
Put together a survival kit, including a first-aid kit, medicines, non-perishable food items, battery-powered radio, phone chargers, extra batteries, battery-powered lanterns, flashlight, and water.
That’s all for this article!
Above are generally full of everything you need to prepare your home for a hurricane, and remember to make a detailed to-do checklist so you won’t forget anything.
Thanks for reading.