There are many wonderful things about the summer season, from endless sunshine and lengthy daylight to lazy days by the pool and backyard barbecues every weekend. But there are dangers as well, including the constant threat of hurricanes.
When the air is unstable and weather changes rapidly, a small storm can turn into a hurricane quickly, giving you and your family little time to prepare. If you want your home to survive the next hurricane season, you need to prepare ahead of time. Here are five ways to make sure your home is hurricane ready before the next storm blows into town.
Protect Your Windows, Doors, Roof and Air Conditioning
There are many potential points of entry for those dangerous hurricane-level winds. If you want to protect your home, you need to identify, and shore up, these potential points of entry.
That means shoring up the windows, making sure your shutters are in good shape and looking for potential areas of failure. It also means checking the doors - a failing entry door will quickly become a problem when the winds begin to blow.
You will also want to make sure your roof is in good shape before hurricane season begins in earnest. If you have not yet had your roof inspected, now is the perfect time to do so. While you are at it, inspect the air conditioning system as well, including the outdoor unit, which could be vulnerable to wind and water damage.
Clean Out Your Gutters and Drains
Hurricanes come with a lot of water, and that moisture needs a place to go. Now is the time to clean out your gutters and make sure your drains are clear of any debris.
Even a small amount of existing debris in your drains can cause water to pool and gather, increasing the risk of harmful flooding and putting your home's foundation in danger. If your gutters are not clean and in good repair, those debris fields will quickly grow, and you may not have time for gutter maintenance when a hurricane is bearing down on you. By taking care of these issues now, you can avoid problems later.
Keep the Power On
Power outages are common during hurricanes but losing your lights could put your family at risk. You never know when the power will go out, but you can keep the lights on with a standby generator.
You can choose a portable generator to run a few appliances and keep your freezer on, but if you live in a hurricane-prone area, a whole-house generator could be a better choice. These standby generators are designed to come on automatically when the electrical grid kicks off, and they can power your entire home for the duration of the storm.
Keep Basic Supplies on Hand
The government recommends that all homeowners have a basic emergency kit, including first aid supplies, shelf-stable food and other essentials. If you have not already done so, now is the time to build your emergency kit.
You may need to evacuate if a hurricane is bearing down, so having a go bag by the front door or in the trunk of your car is a smart idea as well. This go bag should be stocked with food and water, a supply of prescription medications and anything else you feel is important.
Staying informed is critical in an emergency, but what happens when the electrical power runs out? If you want to stay up to date on the weather and get emergency updates, you need a radio that will be there when you need it.
A small battery-powered radio can keep you informed for the duration of the storm, so make sure you have one in your go bag or emergency kit. Be sure to pack extra batteries or invest in a radio with a hand crank or solar option.
There are a lot of things you can do to prepare for hurricane season, but time is running short. Basic preparedness will help you weather the immediate storm, but quality insurance will ensure that you emerge financially unscathed.
If you have not already done so, now is the time to review your insurance coverage. If you live in a flood-prone area, some form of flood insurance is essential. And if flooding is not a concern, homeowner's insurance with enough protection is vital. You do not want to wait until after the storm has passed to procure the insurance coverage you need, and the sooner you get started, the better off you will be.