Hurricane preparedness starts with fortifying your home
As history has shown, hurricanes are like no other storms on earth.
From Maine to Texas to Hawaii, these ferocious weather systems bring torrential rain, flooding, storm surges and devastating winds that damage homes, destroy treasured keepsakes and disrupt lives.
It's never too early to think about hurricane safety, and you can take several basic steps right now to protect your family and your home from disaster.
For your home
When working toward hurricane preparedness, make sure your home meets or exceeds current model building codes for high-wind regions. You may also want to do the following:
Install impact-resistant windows with permanent storm shutters.
Make certain your doors have at least three hinges and a deadbolt
security lock with a bolt at least 1 inch long
Consider installing impact-resistant door systems made of laminated
glass, plastic glazing or a combination of plastic and glass instead of
sliding glass doors
Think about building a safe room for your family to go to for
protection from a hurricane
Make sure your roof covering and the sheathing it attaches to will
resist high winds
Replace landscaping materials such as gravel and rock with mulch
- Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed, paying particular attention to weak branches that could fall on your home
Before the storm
When a hurricane strikes, the safety of you and your family depends on staying calm and reacting quickly. Here are some actions you can take:
Move anything in your yard that may become flying debris, such as patio
furniture or a grill, inside your house or garage.
Obey evacuation orders from local authorities.
Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the
refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors
Shut off propane tanks.
Avoid using the phone.
Fill a bathtub and other large containers with water to use for
cleaning or flushing toilets.
Close all interior doors, and brace and secure outside doors.
If you're unable to evacuate or go to safe room, stay indoors and away
from windows and glass doors. Take refuge in a small interior room,
closet or hallway on the lowest level.
- When the hurricane has passed, look for flooding, which can produce dangerous conditions hours, or even days, later.
This information is meant to help you make decisions that may reduce your risk. Of course, we can't note every possible risk, and we can’t guarantee that these tips will work for you. However, we hope that if you use some of them, you'll better protect your family and yourself.