How To Prepare
You can prevent or reduce damage to your property, and the property of others.
Following these steps will help reduce hurricane destruction:
Trim or Chop Down Trees
Trimming your trees now means less danger of fying yard debris during a storm. Plan ahead and avoid the rush when the storm is on its way. Follow these tips from the NOAA:
• Trim dead wood and weak / overhanging branches from all trees.
• Certain types of trees and bushes are vulnerable to high winds. If such trees are located close enough, they could topple over and damage the home, creating a serious danger for your family.
• Consider landscaping materials other than gravel/rock.
Install Hurricane Shutters
Protect all windows by installing commercial shutters or preparing 5/8 inch plywood panels. If you have a wood-frame house, use adequate fasteners to attach the panels over the openings when a hurricane approaches. Have these temporary shutters stored and ready to use since building supply stores generally sell out of these materials quickly during a hurricane warning. If your home is made with concrete blocks, however, you will have to install anchoring devices well in advance.
• NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
• See how to board-up your home.
Clean Your Storm Drains
Keeping storm drains free of leaves and litter will allow for a clear drainage path during a storm. Clogged drains can back up water and cause problematic standing water and flooding.
Bring in Outdoor Furniture and Objects
These may include garden tools and toys. Anchor items, such as barbeque grills, that cannot be brought inside but could be tossed by winds.
Dispose of Trash Well in Advance of a Storm
Sanitation crews will stop pickup routes 48 hours in advance of a storm’s projected landfall. Until that time, dispose of trash on normally scheduled neighborhood pick up days.
Secure Garage Door
Garage doors are frequently the first feature in a home to fail. Reinforce all garage doors at its weakest points so that they are able to withstand high winds. This involves installing horizontal and/or vertical bracing onto each panel, using wood or light gauge metal girds bolted to the door mullions. You may also need heavier hinges and stronger end and vertical supports for your door. As another option, you may purchase garage door retrofit kits to withstand hurricane winds at your local building supply store or preferably through your garage door manufacturer.