Hurricane season can be a stressful time, but as a homeowner, there are plenty of precautions you can take to prepare yourself and your home for any potential hurricane-related damage.
There are several important things you should do to prepare your home for an encounter with a hurricane. These things include:
- Trimming any trees or branches that are near your home
- Installing storm shutters on windows or nailing plywood over windows
- Ensuring that exterior doors are hurricane proof*
- Replacing old garage doors with doors approved to handle wind pressure and impact
- Sealing outside wall openings such as electrical outlets, vents, or areas where pipes or cables enter the house
*Hurricane-proof doors have at least three hinges and a deadbolt lock that is at least one-inch long.
You should also be sure to stock up on supplies at the beginning of hurricane season. Oftentimes, people rush to stores when a hurricane warning is issued. This can make it difficult to acquire the items you will need. Stocking up early will help you avoid the long lines, and you will have a better chance of finding all of the items on your list. Some examples of things you should stock up on include:
- First aid items
- Candles or lamps (with fuel for the lamps)
- Matches or lighters
- Three-day supply of water to drink
- Non-perishable food that does not need to be refrigerated or cooked
- Tools and materials to make emergency repairs to your home, such as plywood, nails, and a hammer
- Portable wireless NOAA weather radio
Be sure to check the expiration dates on your supplies regularly, so that you can replace any items that expire before the hurricane hits.
Inventory Your Personal Property
You should also be sure to inventory all of your personal property. Prepare a list of the items you own and how much they are worth. This can help you to quickly and easily make a claim if your home is destroyed or damaged as a result of a hurricane. Your inventory list will help you know exactly which items you lost and the value of those items. Provide this list to your insurance company in a timely manner to speed up the process of recovering the costs of those items, so that you can quickly replace them.
Review Your Insurance Policy
Finally, you should make sure to review your homeowner’s insurance policy to be sure that you are covered in the event of a hurricane. Your policy should cover any costs related to wind and flood damage. This will help you to be sure that if your home is damaged or destroyed by a hurricane, that you will have the financial resources necessary to purchase a new home or to repair any damage to your existing home.
Following through with these suggestions will you help you prepare your home for hurricane season. It can also help alleviate much of the stress associated with a potential hurricane. This can give you peace of mind and can also help you to repair, rebuild, or replace your home or any items you might lose in the event of a hurricane.
Disclaimer: This column does not create a client-attorney relationship and is not intended as legal advice. Should you need any legal advice, speak to an attorney who is skilled in the area and jurisdiction you require.