Hurricanes are forces of nature that can strike unexpectedly, leaving little time for preparation. However, in the face of uncertainty, there are some steps you can take to help protect your home, yourself and your loved ones when an imminent hurricane looms on the horizon. By implementing these strategies, you can be better prepared to navigate the challenges posed by these powerful storms.
Secure Windows and Doors
Securing your home’s windows and doors is crucial in defending against the destructive forces of hurricane winds and flying debris. Consider installing storm shutters or boarding up windows with plywood for added protection. Reinforce doorways with strong hinges and deadbolt locks, and check that any double-entry doors are secured with head and foot bolts.
Seal Gaps and Openings
Caulk and seal any exterior or interior gaps or openings to prevent rainwater from entering and causing water damage in your home. This includes the areas around windows, doors and vents.
Secure Outdoor Items and Landscaping
Keep flying projectiles at bay by anchoring or storing items that could fly away in high winds. This may include patio furniture, grills and landscaping ornaments.
Trees can also be a hazard – if you’re able to, trim bushes and trees to make them more wind-resistant. Gravel or rocks can also cause damage to cars or homes, so consider replacing these landscaping materials with shredded bark.
Finally, finish your home’s exterior preparation by clearing your home’s gutters of debris to make sure water can drain properly amid torrential rain.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Pack a waterproof bag with essentials like water, flashlights, batteries, nonperishable food, a first-aid kit, personal documents, prescription medications, insurance papers, pet items and other personal items.
Also add a battery-powered radio to your emergency preparedness kit so you’re able to stay up-to-date on the latest news, even in the case of a power outage.
Create a Home Inventory
Document your possessions through photographs or videos, particularly any high-value items in your home. Having this physical inventory will be invaluable when filing an insurance claim in the event of a loss.
Plan for Water Needs
Fill containers, buckets or tubs with water for flushing toilets and washing hands in case your water supply is cut off. If possible, stock up on bottled water, and if not, boil water to disinfect it before use. Water can also be frozen in bags to keep perishables cold during power outages and provide drinking water.
Stay Informed and Have an Evacuation Plan
Monitor your news and weather services for the latest information on the path and severity of the hurricane. Follow instructions from local officials and have a plan for where to go if conditions worsen and it becomes necessary to evacuate. Make sure all family members or residents of your home know the plan and designate a meeting place in case of separation.
Review Your Insurance Coverage
Understand your renters’ or homeowners’ insurance policy and know what is and is not covered in the event of a hurricane. Before hurricane season begins, consult your insurance broker to help ensure you have the proper coverage, including flood insurance if necessary.
Protect Your Home with Higginbotham
In the face of an impending hurricane, safeguarding your loved ones and your most valuable belongings is paramount. Having homeowners’ insurance that meets your needs can help protect you when you need it most.
Don’t wait for disaster to strike before considering your coverage options. Talk to one of Higginbotham’s home insurance specialists today.