12 Ways to Hurricane Proof Your House This Hurricane Season
Hurricane season began on June 1st and will continue to run until November 30th. Some hurricane seasons have spared us more than others, but regardless of what is hoped for- it is essential to be prepared for the worst. Whether you live right by the water on the coast or in southern suburbia, it’s essential to know how to prepare for a hurricane season in Texas.
In this post, we have accumulated 12 life-saving ways to ensure that you and your home are prepared and protected this hurricane season.
1. Check your Homeowners Insurance Coverage
It’s important to take the time each year to ensure that your insurance policy covers the full cost of rebuilding your home should you lose it in a storm. A standard homeowners insurance policy should cover wind-related damage, but you want to make sure you know just what your insurance protects you from and what it doesn’t.
2. Have Your Windows Inspected
If your windows and doors are faulty, they can let in water and create an additional issue. Even if you have coastal windows or storm windows as some call them, it’s still important to be sure that they are operating efficiently. By scheduling a window inspection, you can assess what may need to be fixed immediately before the hurricane. Later down the line, you’ll see this inspection also contributes to making your windows as energy efficient as possible.
3. Consider Hurricane Impact Windows
It doesn’t matter how prepared you are, you can never 100% guarantee that your home will not suffer any kind of damage from a hurricane.
Your windows are one of the most vulnerable parts of your home. They can be shattered by flying debris, thereby allowing outside elements to cause damage that could have possibly been avoided with impact-resistant windows.
Hurricane impact-resistant windows are built to withstand the most severe weather conditions and eliminate the need to board up when a hurricane approaches your neighborhood. Also, with impact-resistant windows, there is no need for bulky storm panels.
Outside of hurricane season, they’re high-performers year-round. Hurricane impact windows reduce your energy usage, minimize outside noise, and protect the inside of your home from harmful UV rays. Even though these windows are sometimes referred to as “coastal windows” or “storm windows”, you truly get your money’s worth out of these windows all year.
4. Consider Flood Insurance
It might be beneficial to work with an independent agent who has access to multiple private flood markets to ensure you are looking at all options available to you. Texan Insurance is an independent agency that is able to provide flood insurance coverage. They specialize in providing affordable flood coverage plans for Houston residents.
The cost of flood insurance depends mainly on the flood zone, the elevation of your home, the amount of coverage selected, and the deductible. There is usually a 30-day waiting period before the policy goes into effect. There are some exceptions:
- If you initially purchased flood insurance while securing, adjusting, or renewing a loan for your property, there is no waiting period. Coverage goes into effect when the loan is closed.
- If you live in an area newly affected by a flood risk map change, review your options with your insurance agent.
- Some private market companies waive the 30 day waiting period but eligibility is solely determined by the insurance company.
Keeping these exceptions in mind, plan ahead so you are not caught without insurance.
5. Hurricane Proof Your Landscaping
In the midst of a hurricane, your landscaping will be powerless against the strong winds that can send plants, shrubs, and trees flying through the air, and potentially in a destructive path toward your home.
You want to eliminate as many potential dangers as possible. It’s best to trim your trees and shrubs to ensure that they can resist the wind, as well as work to minimize potential damage from fallen limbs. Tie down small trees and shrubs to prevent uprooting, and have a professional look at the larger trees near your home to assess if you need to remove any that may come down in the high winds of a hurricane.
Consider swapping any rock gravel for soft mulch or shredded bark. Small rocks are easily picked up by strong winds and flung toward your home, causing damage to the siding of your home.
At the end of the day, it’s better to protect yourself by removing a tree completely than to face the aftermath of a tree falling on your home or car.
6. Inspect Your Roof
The roof is one of the most vulnerable places of your home and it can be pretty expensive to replace should anything go wrong.
Strong hurricane force winds have a history of tampering pretty harshly with roofs, so by inspecting your roof for holes or areas of weaknesses beforehand, you can save your home and your life.
7. Seal Any Holes
If you have cable or any other kind of electrical wires coming into the side of your house, it’s likely that a hole was placed in the exterior wall. It’s good practice to seal these holes in order to prevent water from getting in using caulk.
8. Power Outage Protection
You can get eight hours worth of power on 5 gallons of gasoline using a 5,500-watt generator. In the event that a power outage occurs during or after the hurricane, it’s best to make sure that you have a good source of power you can rely on in case anything occurs.
To do so, you’ll need to calculate how much gasoline you need for the amount of power you would like to utilize.
9. Create a Hurricane Kit
Your basic storm kit should be designed to get your family through 48 hours without electricity and basic services. It should include whistles, blankets, garbage bags, batteries, three-day water supply, flashlights, and at least two full days worth of food.
10. Determine What You’ll Do with Your Pets
A plan for your pets is just as essential as a having a hurricane kit. Although there are emergency shelters that accept pets, not all of them de, therefore a backup plan for your pets is highly important. Before storm season arrives, locate shelters that allow pets and contact them. Keep a picture of your pet in your hurricane kit for easy reference that way should you ever need to locate your pet, you have a recent photo on hand.
11. Reinforce Your Garage Door
Hurricane winds have the potential to blow in garage doors and tend to do so for countless homes that don’t take the proper precautions to get it reinforced.
If you have an attic above your garage door and it gets blown in, it could result in tearing your house apart from top to bottom. Reinforcing your garage is simple and can be done using a few horizontal wooden beams.
12. Take Inventory of Your Property
Examine your home and be sure to take inventory of your possessions each year, so you know exactly what you need to replace and how much what you need to replace is worth.
There are several apps available on both the android and apple store that are useful for this purpose but you can also stick to relying on manual means.
Resources for Optimal Hurricane Safety
This hurricane season, be sure to stay up to date on how to prepare properly by using the following hurricane preparedness resources:
- Texas Emergency Preparedness: This resource is Texas’ emergency portal.
- Texas Department of Transportation Evacuation Routes: This site provides the hurricane evacuation routes for the Gulf Coast area.
- Texas Department of Public Safety – Hurricane Preparedness: This page provides a wealth of links and resources to help you prepare for the 2019 hurricane season.
- FEMA’s Hurricane Readiness Guide: This site provides comprehensive information for hurricane preparedness from FEMA.
- National Hurricane Center at NOAA’s Guide: This list provides a rundown of what you should do to prepare for hurricane season.
- Ready.gov for Kids: This link offers resources for children and parents for preparedness in the event of a natural disaster. It features games for the little ones, and it offers advice to parents for helping children cope during and after an event like a hurricane.
Stay Safe This Hurricane Season with Avana Windows & Doors
The last thing you want to scramble about when faced with a hurricane is how you are going to protect one of your largest investments; your home.
Here at Avana Windows and Doors, we provide the best hurricane impact windows in both quality and performance, keeping the wind, rain, and debris outside your home and all inside of it safe.
Defend your home with the installation of hurricane impact windows today by filling out our online form for a free consultation or giving us a call at 832-432-7930
Hurricane proof your house with these awesome tips this season and you can guarantee that you will be ready for whatever the next hurricane event throws your way!