September brings Labor Day celebrations, kids heading back to school, and for many the arrival of hurricane season. It’s a fact of life for Americans living on the coast and even those anywhere near it. While the destructive nature of these storms can pose a serious threat to the safety and security of your home, taking preventative measures to protect your house can turn the tide in your favor.
Get a head start on protecting against heavy winds by trimming precarious limbs from trees. Falling and wind-blown branches pose a danger whether by falling or being blown into your home, breaking windows, damaging your roof shingles, etc. Shrubs should be similarly trimmed to strengthen their integrity and eliminate projectiles, and flowers or plants that can be potted and moved inside temporarily should be dealt with as such. For members of your garden that cannot be uprooted, cover them with a protective covering such as a heavy-duty custom tarp – or hurricane tarp – before a storm rolls in. Be sure to use heavy duty anchors to keep the tarp in place. Any backyard furniture or appliances that are not bolted to the ground should also be moved indoors, while immovable accents should be protected with waterproof furniture covers. These small steps can save your backyard paradise from the destructive power of a hurricane.
Board It Up
Ensuring that the doors and windows of your home are properly protected is one of the most important aspects of hurricane preparedness as hurricane- or even tropical storm-strength gusts of wind can easily send debris crashing through. There are a number of preventive measures you can take to reinforce the areas most vulnerable to exterior forces. Many who live in severe weather areas opt for inexpensive plywood or storm shutters to keep their windows safe from winds and install extra deadbolts and locks to prevent exterior doors from buckling in.
Heavy rainfall is an equally worrisome concern for any homeowner living in a flood zone. Even homes that sit on higher ground can be subject to flash floods that can ruin flooring and destroy possessions, not to mention putting the safety of you and your family at risk. Placing sandbags at every entry point of your home will help to stave off the worst of any potential water surges while utilizing waterproof furniture covers and fitted plastic furniture covers ensures that your more permanent outdoor belongings are prepared for any possible water damage. If you’re looking for heavy-duty, year-long flood protection, consider dry flooding your home. Dry flooding, which consists of sealing the outside walls of your home to prevent water entry, is a more thorough option for flood-proofing for homes that are in a more hurricane-prone region. Regardless of which option you choose, you can rest a little easier knowing that your home is much safer from any major flood catastrophes.
Even if you believe your home is thoroughly protected from storms, there is always a risk that either winds or water can break past your defenses and cause damage. Take time to secure your valuables and important documents. Passports, social security cards, deeds, wills, living trusts, diamonds, heirlooms – all should be stored in a waterproof safe which you can wrap with a hurricane tarp for extra protection. Experts also suggest taking a thorough inventory of every item in your home, including photos of each room and its contents. If you have to contend with your home insurance provider in the unfortunate event of a hurricane, having your possessions logged will be extremely helpful should any claims need to be paid out.
Safe and Secure
If you and your family are faced with packing up and heading to safer ground, be sure to keep the conventional security of your home in mind. Break-ins and home burglary are common in the wake of evacuations thanks to a large number of unattended homes. Setting up an alarm system, installing durable outdoor cameras, and putting an extra set of locks on your doors and windows can help to keep any potential intruders at bay; make sure your electronic security is battery powered in case of a power outage. The chances of your home being burglarized while you are away are low, but it is always better to err on the side of caution.