Things to Do Around Your House and Yard to Be Ready for Hurricane Season

Things to do around your house and yard to be ready for hurricane season

As we admire the beauty of nature, we must also recognize its potential for devastation. Hurricane season looms ahead, casting a shadow of uncertainty over homeowners, regardless of their proximity to the coast.

While coastal regions are traditionally associated with hurricane threats, the reach of these powerful storms extends far beyond sandy shores. Inland communities are not immune to the wrath of hurricanes, as evidenced by historical events like Hurricane Harvey’s devastating impact on Houston, Texas. Understanding the risks specific to your location is the first step toward proactive preparedness.

Hurricane season started on May 15 in the North Pacific and June 1 in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. It will officially end on November 30. Preparation is paramount, transcending geographical boundaries, and ensuring the safety and security of our homes and loved ones.

In this blog, we share essential tips for fortifying your residence and yard, equipping you with the knowledge to navigate hurricane season and other severe weather.

House Preparation: A Fortress Against the Storm

Roof Inspection and Repairs: The roof stands as your first line of defense against wind and rain. Conduct a thorough inspection, addressing any loose or damaged shingles, and reinforce vulnerable areas to mitigate potential leaks and structural damage.

Reinforce Windows and Doors: Install storm shutters or invest in impact-resistant windows and doors to safeguard against projectile debris propelled by high winds. Ensure all entry points are secure, minimizing the risk of intrusion by wind-driven rain.

Clear Gutters and Drainage Systems: Prevent water buildup by clearing gutters and downspouts of debris, facilitating proper drainage away from the foundation. Clogged gutters exacerbate flooding risks and compromise the integrity of your home’s structure.

Secure Outdoor Furniture and Objects: Anchor or store outdoor furniture, grills, and decorative items in a secure location to prevent them from becoming hazardous projectiles during a storm. Trim trees and shrubs to minimize the risk of falling branches.

Backup Power and Emergency Supplies: Invest in a generator to ensure continuity of essential services during power outages. Stockpile emergency supplies including non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries, and first aid kits.

Yard Preparation: Taming Nature’s Fury

Trim and Prune: Prior to hurricane season, trim trees and prune shrubs to reduce wind resistance and mitigate the risk of falling limbs. Remove dead or diseased branches to promote overall tree health and minimize storm damage.

Secure Loose Items: Store or secure outdoor equipment such as lawn mowers, tools, and potted plants to prevent them from becoming airborne projectiles. Heavy items should be anchored or relocated to a sheltered area.

Evaluate Drainage: Assess the topography of your yard and identify areas prone to flooding. Implement measures such as grading, French drains, or landscaping features to redirect water away from vulnerable areas and prevent water intrusion into your home.

Protect Irrigation Systems: Shut off irrigation systems to prevent water accumulation in the event of heavy rainfall. Inspect and repair any damaged irrigation lines to avoid water wastage and potential flooding.

Preparing for Other Severe Weather Events

While hurricane preparedness remains a top priority for coastal and inland residents alike, it’s essential to recognize the diverse range of severe weather threats prevalent in different regions of the United States. For those residing in areas susceptible to snowstorms, floods, or tornadoes, proactive measures can mitigate risks and enhance protection.

Snowstorms: Prior to the onset of winter, insulate pipes, seal gaps around doors and windows, and stockpile emergency supplies including blankets, food, and heating fuel. Equip vehicles with snow tires or tire chains, and familiarize yourself with safe driving practices in snowy conditions.

Floods: Elevate electrical appliances and utilities above potential flood levels, and consider installing a sump pump or flood barriers to protect against water intrusion. Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes and ensure adequate insurance coverage for flood damage.

Tornadoes: Designate a safe room or shelter within your home, preferably in a basement or interior room away from windows. Secure outdoor objects and reinforce garage doors to minimize structural damage from high winds. Stay informed through weather alerts and have a family emergency plan in place.

Engaging with Insurance Providers

In anticipation of severe weather events, proactive engagement with your insurance provider can provide invaluable peace of mind and financial protection. Consider the following steps to ensure comprehensive coverage.

Regularly review your homeowner’s insurance policy to understand coverage limits, deductibles, and exclusions related to severe weather events. Discuss any concerns or questions with your insurance agent to clarify coverage details.

Maintain a detailed inventory of your home and belongings, including photographs or videos, to facilitate the claims process in the event of damage or loss. Keep important documents, such as insurance policies and contact information, in a secure and accessible location.

Ensure your insurance provider has current contact information to facilitate communication during emergencies. Familiarize yourself with the claims process and emergency contact procedures to expedite assistance when needed.

Resilience Through Preparedness

The CDC offers a preparedness guide for hurricanes and subsequent flooding. Their key directives include:

  1. Make a plan.
  2. Gather emergency supplies.
  3. Know the difference between a hurricane “watch” and “warning.”
    • A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible in a stated area. Experts announce hurricane watches 48 hours before they expect tropical-storm-force winds (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) to start.
    • A hurricane warning is more serious. It means hurricane-force winds are expected in a stated area. Experts issue these warnings 36 hours before tropical-storm-force winds are expected in the area to give people enough time to prepare for the storm.
  4. Get your car ready.
  5. Get your family and pets ready.
  6. Get your house ready (yard, structures, belongings, and important documents you might keep in the home). Knowing your insurance coverage is vital.
  7. Determine an evacuation route and destination before you are ordered to leave your home.

As we stand on the threshold of another hurricane season and brace ourselves for the uncertainties of severe weather, let us embrace the power of preparedness. By fortifying our homes, securing our yards, and engaging with our insurance provider, we are better able to weather any storm.

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