How to Prepare your Home for Hurricane Season

The first step is the question; can this house stand up to a Category 3?

If the answer is no, then all the preparation in the world is worthless. You make this assessment by the nearness to the sea or a body of water, it’s position on a hill side or a valley, and the materials of which your home is made and how it is made.

For example, a house made of concrete blocks which is not properly anchored to the foundation, and does not have one steel rod per block in its construction will collapse.

A wooden house made in the shape of a pyramid will, if well anchored to a raised foundation, and not assaulted by water, will survive.

If you believe your home will survive, the first preparation should be on the roof. Make sure your roof is well connected to the house, and that all the eaves are battened. Wind gets under the eaves and will lift the roof if not battened.

In tropical places, roof are roped down. This may look silly, but properly roped roofs, the ends strongly connected to spikes in the ground, will survive.

The next area are windows. All but one window should be blocked by shutters, be they metal or wood. You may have to nail ply board or metal sheets over windows. You may run tape across them so if they break the glass pieces won’t fly in a random pattern.

Some people will nail up board on the outside and block the windows again on the inside. This is not overdoing, as long as there is one window that can be opened.

You must have a window, whether in a bathroom, a narrow hall, a side room, that can open. This is to allow pressure to escape. It may be also to allow you to escape.

Nailing up doors is another necessity. Some people will go too far and trap themselves. Always leave an escape. If the river rises, if the roof blows off, if the walls start to buckle, get out.

All valuables should be put into plastic and into a secure ‘safe’. For important documents, jewelry and money, the freezer in your fridge is the best place.

You may also consider standing your electrical appliances on blocks in case of minor flooding. A fridge even six inches off the floor is better than one in two inches of water.

Turn all glass front furniture to the wall. This means the Television. If you can, put the television into a secure closet; not on the floor but as high as you can get it.

Breakfronts, mirrored dressers, need to be turned.

When the hurricane is eminent, shut off electricity to your house.

If you are staying there, do not go into any deep part of the house far from your escape window or door. The fact that the sea Never came this far before means nothing.