If you live in the hurricane belt, it’s important that your home is protected and can withstand any storm.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the severity of storms varying each year. Hurricanes affect homeowners along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, so those residing from Texas to Maine are at risk. Hurricanes and storms take a devastating toll. These disasters caused $45 billion worth of home and property damage in 2019, although it varies each year.
So how can you protect your home? Here are the top ways to prepare your home for a hurricane.
1. Have a Hurricane Preparation Plan
When local officials declare a potential hurricane emergency, you may only have a few days' notice. Sometimes these storms change course, which means there is a great deal of uncertainty. Your plan should include what you will do while you are at work and your children are in child care or school. The call to evacuate may come at any time in the day or night.
2. Assemble a Disaster Response Kit
Most people who have lived a long time in hurricane hot zones have created a hurricane survival kit. This is something to keep in the safest location at home, which could be the basement, garage, or closet. Among the items recommended by the U.S. government include:
Water — one gallon per family member per day
Food — a minimum of a three-day supply of non-perishable foods
First aid kit
Basic tools such as a wrench
Whistle or horn to call for help
Cell phone with a battery charger
3. Make Your Homeowner's Insurance Covers Hurricane Damage
Even the most solidly built home will take some damage from a hurricane's strong winds and deluges of rain. The reality is that a major hurricane or any large storm can damage any home in unexpected ways. Rather than dipping into your "rainy day" fund, it's best to have the insurance company foot most or all of the bill.
Homeowner's insurance is designed to protect you. Many policies cover the damage caused by high winds. However, many policies do not cover the damage caused by flooding. Therefore, it's important to shop around for insurance that covers flooding, a major consequence of hurricanes.
4. Make Sure the Roof Can Withstand the Elements
The best time to storm-proof your roof is when it's time to replace the roof. A few inexpensive upgrades can make a big difference. The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety outlines several tips any homeowner can use to strengthen the home's exterior. Even a basic groundskeeping chore such as cleaning the gutters and downspouts can prevent flooding.
5. Make Sure Windows Can Withstand High Winds
If you are living in an area at high risk for hurricanes, such as on the Florida coast, then upgraded windows is a must. Hurricane grade windows can withstand winds of up to 150 miles per hour.
6. Your Personal Safety of You and Your Family Comes First
When public officials make the call for communities to evacuate, please heed the direction of these public safety experts. The risks of sheltering in place are far greater than evacuation. Therefore, knowing your evacuation route and leaving early is more important than remaining at home.
Are you interested in learning more about real estate and the homes affected by hurricane season? Take some courses from Aceable Real Estate School and get your real estate license online.