Getting Ready for Atlantic Hurricane Season

Atlantic hurricane season is still a couple months away–the official beginning is in early June–but now is the time to begin preparing your residence for severe storms. The entire Atlantic region and the Gulf states are the most vulnerable to hurricanes annually, but strong storms can move inland and affect other areas as well. Because of the predictable risk of hurricanes across the region, early preparation is the best way to help mitigate the risks of serious damage to your residence. Planning early and addressing any deficiencies in your home will give you a little more peace of mind if a hurricane strikes. Here are a few tips to help you begin preparing for hurricane season and making your home more resilient.

Secure Your Outdoor Area

Evaluate your outdoor surroundings and look at things like landscaping and objects around your home that could cause damage in a hurricane. Things like outdoor furniture, toys, signs, garbage bins, and other objects can become high speed propellants during a hurricane–causing widespread damages. These items should be removed or secured if a hurricane is imminent. Also, think about the landscaping around your home. Large rocks, gravel, and trees can become dangerous flying objects with huge destructive potential. Consider replacing gravel landscaping with material like mulch or wood chips. Trim back trees and branches that are near the structure and remove any trees that seemed weakened or are extremely close to the structure as they can easily be uprooted in a hurricane.

Adhere Shingles & Soffits

The roof is very vulnerable to damage during a hurricane, so inspecting shingles and structural supports is crucial. If you notice loose shingles, apply roofing cement to adhere them. Simply dab roofing cement on the underside of the shingles and secure them. Shingles near the roof edges are the most vulnerable to being torn off, so inspect these closely. Doing what you can to prevent roof damage can save you a lot of time and money in repairs after a hurricane. While there are no certainties that a storm will not damage your roof, taking measures to reinforce and protect your roof from damages can pay off in the end.

Seal All Gaps

Sealing any gaps in the outer walls is important in anticipation of a hurricane. High winds and severe rains can easily lead to water damage. There are likely more vulnerabilities around the exterior of your home than you think. Gaps from cables, pipes, and wires entering the house are always a concern. Any openings for cable and telephone lines and electrical boxes and circuit panels are also at risk for water intrusion. As always, vents and cracks in the walls are vulnerable to water damage during a hurricane. The best solution is to simply buy a tube of caulking and begin sealing the gaps. You may not guarantee protection from water damage, but taking these steps will certainly help.

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Install Shutters

Protecting windows and doors during hurricane winds is extremely important. Debris and pressurization can cause serious damage to homes. You can either install permanent shutters to protect doors and windows or add permanent fasteners and keep pre-fitted panels on hand to quickly attach in the event of a hurricane. This is one of the most important procedures to take if you live in a hurricane prone region.