5 Steps to Protecting Yourself Against Hurricanes

Hurricane window

If you live in an area that frequently has hurricanes, you probably already know how important is it to keep yourself and your family safe during the storms. Hurricanes can reach very high levels of destruction and are not to be thought of as a normal thunder storm. You should always be prepared for a hurricane, even before they announce that one is on the way. If you follow these simple tips to prepare your home’s doors and windows and other areas for a hurricane then it could result in big savings later on.

  1. The first thing you want to do is check your insurance in order to ensure that it is up to date with the current status of your home. Floor insurance can help to cover living expenses if your home becomes flooded during a storm, which often happens. It is always better to be over prepared for hurricanes than under prepared as far as insurance goes. You might not like paying the premiums every month but if something happens during a storm, you will be exceedingly grateful that you had the insurance beforehand.

  2. In the event that you have to evacuate the home quickly, you could keep a binder or a box or some sort of organizational tool with all of your important papers including insurance documents together. This way, you can grab the folder on your way out the door and it will have the whole family’s passports, ID’s, medical information, insurance policies and any other important information. Having all this information together will make it easier to file a claim as well, should your home become uninhabitable due to the storm.

  3. You should make sure that you property and home are protected by installing the following features:
    • Impact Windows– Impact windows and doors are a very strong type of glass, usually double panes, that are used in order to strengthen the home against a storm. Impact windows are also known as hurricane resistant windows for the simple reason that they can usually withstand even a harsh hurricane.
    • Hurricane shutters– You could use shutters or keep plywood boards about an inch thick in order to board up the windows. If you choose to go the round of the plywood boards, you’ll want to have already installed holes and anchors so that you can put the boards in place as fast as possible. The storms can sometimes hit very suddenly, not allowing for a lot of time to do anything.
    • Door Bolts– Installing head and foot bolts on all of your doors will help hold them in place when the strong winds hit.
    • Straps or Clips– Hurricane straps and clips can be used to hold the roof down during a storm. Again, you will want something that is easy to handle when the storm comes quickly.
    • Safe Room– When all else fails, you should have a safe room for you and your family to retreat to if necessary. A basement or something is usually ideal. Basically, somewhere close by that can resist the heavy winds and debris flying around.
  4. As a side note, you should always maintain your landscape because dead tree branches can cause catastrophic damage when used in conjunction with high speed winds.

  5. You should have an emergency supply kit that is always stocked with the basic items needed to survive. These would be things like water and ready to eat canned foods for family members as well as pets. A two week supply is a good rule of thumb to follow.

  6. Your family should already know the established plan of action in the event that evacuation is necessary. Even if it is not, it’s helpful if every family member already knows their job once a storm hits. For example, who closes the bolts, who closes the shutters over the impact windows and who ties down the roof. This way, everything runs smoothly and efficiently and nothing is forgotten about once a hurricane starts up.

Once your family has left the home, never go back in. It doesn’t matter what material possession was left behind, it can be replaced. The important thing is to stay with your family and make sure that no one gets left behind or separated during the chaos that is sure to ensue.