How To Prepare Your Home For a Hurricane

Living by the coast means that you will experience hurricane season regularly. While this season comes around every six months or so, it is important to get yourself well prepared ahead of time. 

There are several things you should do to prepare your home for hurricane season, and in this guide, we are sharing the best tips for every area of the home.

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Common Costs of Hurricane Damage

If you are struggling to find the motivation to prepare your home for hurricane season, thinking about the costs that the damage can cause is a good way to get moving.

The strong winds and heavy rainfall that come with a hurricane are more likely to target the roof, windows, and siding of your home. This causes significant damage and causes homeowners across the US to spend an average of $9,073 for repairs.

To prevent this kind of damage and the expense that comes with it, there are some DIY tips that you can use to prepare your home for hurricane season. It is best to do these ahead of time and make sure your home is ready to tackle the bad weather before it is too late.

Five Steps For Getting Ready For Hurricane Season

Following these five steps can help get your home ready for a hurricane and limit the damage that this weather can cause.

  • Prepare Your Roof

When: Before hurricane season, with a final check a week before the weather turns

Before hurricane season approaches, roof protection should be your number one priority as your roof is more prone to wind and water damage than any other area.

A strong gust of wind could tear shingles from the roof and eventually tear at the entire structure, so you need to prepare it well through these steps: 

  • Secure loose shingles
  • Reinforce gables
  • Reinforce soffits
  • Install hurricane straps

This work can be done yourself, but you can also call in a contractor for the biggest tasks to make sure it is done right.

  • Install Impact Doors

When: A week before hurricane season

To make your home hurricane-proof, the exterior doors should be made of wood or hollow steel. If this is not the case with your home, and replacements are not possible, you can secure them further by installing a third hinge.

However, the best protection against hurricane damage is by installing impact doors, so this is something you should strive to do with your exterior doors as soon as possible.

You can install impact doors using these steps:

  • Remove your old door and make sure to scrape away the old coating
  • Measure the width and length of the door 
  • Determine the jamb depth to ensure the new door will open and close properly once installed
  • Measure the door’s outswing
  • Install the impact doors

Like the roof, exterior doors are prone to damage during hurricane season, so make sure they are solid and sturdy.

  • Prepare Your Yard

When: The day before the storm

Getting your home ready for a hurricane is important, but it is just as important to take care of your yard as well. Outdoor fixtures like trees, gravel, and other debris can cause serious damage to your home during a storm, so these need to be addressed before the weather turns.

You can prepare your yard by:

  • Removing decorative items, including all loose items that can get blown away
  • Cut down threatening trees 
  • Get rid of gravel and other loose stones
  • Anchor outbuildings or heavy garden furniture that cannot be removed

It would be best if you did not neglect your yard when preparing for hurricane season, as a lot of damage can happen here too.

  • Brace Your Garage Door

When: Right before the storm

When the heavy winds come, your garage door should be secure to protect everything inside of it as well as your home. It is fairly easy to prepare your garage door for an upcoming storm using the following steps:

  • Turn off the power, if you have a powered garage door
  • Make a base for the door, which can be done using plywood 
  • Extend the top ledge of your garage using plywood and nail this into place in an L shape where it aligns with the hinges
  • Take another piece of plywood and attach this to the upper lip of the garage door
  • Connect the braces using more plywood over the front of the garage door 
  • Steel brackets can be attached to the plywood you have installed in the hinges for additional security

You want to make sure that your garage door will not move or open during the heavy winds, so the more secure you can make the braces, the better.

  • Storm Proof The Windows

When: Right before the storm

Much like working on the garage, it is best to secure your windows right before the storm appears. Windows can also cause a lot of damage and can be very dangerous, so they need to be secured. 

You can stormproof windows by:

  • Measure the windows for accurate dimensions
  • Gather materials for storm-proofing, such as sheets of plywood
  • Cut the plywood to fit the windows, making sure they will overlap the glass 
  • Locate and measure the window studs, which can be found inside the windows, so that you can screw the barriers on at these points
  • Secure the plywood to the window, making sure it overlaps the glass 
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