How To Prepare Your Property For A Hurricane

The best time to prepare is well in advance, before a hurricane is forecasted to strike!  Since we live in an area that can experience the destructive force of a hurricane, there are specific measures that can be taken to help mitigate the potential for damage.

General Preparations

  1. Roofs: Be sure that your roof covering and sheathing will resist high winds. Roofing contractors should always remove old roofing materials to the wood sheathing, confirm that rafters and trusses are secured to walls, replace damaged sheathing, attach sheathing by fastening according to the latest building codes (or better), install roofing designed to resist high winds and seal all sheathing joints with self-stick rubberized asphalt tape to provide a second moisture barrier. You can also glue the sheathing to the rafters and trusses. Brace the end wall of a gable roof to resist high winds. Check current local building codes or consult a qualified engineer.
  2. Entry Doors: Entry doors are highly susceptible to wind pressure. Pressure on entry doors can cause the doors to fail and blow inward, increasing the internal pressure on the walls and roof. Ensure that your doors have three hinges and a deadbolt lock with a bolt at least two inches in length. Anchor door frames securely to wall framing.
  3. Trees: Actively manage the trees and shrubs around your home so they are healthy and well-trimmed.  Weak trees should be strengthened or removed, and effective trimming can help reduce wind resistance.
  4. Reinforce garage doors.  Hurricane-force winds applied to the large surface area of most garage doors can lead to structural failure, leaving a significant opening in your home or garage space during the storm.
  5. Install an emergency generator.

Preparations in the immediate advance of a storm

  1. Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  2. Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  3. Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.