Southerners are no stranger to hurricane season. According to NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, 298 hurricanes have hit U.S. coastline since 1851. Of the major storms, 88% percent hit either Florida or Texas.
Hurricane season is upon us again, beginning June 1st and running through November 30. But according Tim Tracy, National Foundation Specialist for Groundworks Companies, home prep for hurricane season is a year-round affair. "The smart approach is to include hurricane preparation in your home maintenance routine throughout the year," Tracy says. "That includes tasks such as keeping downspouts, gutters, and drainage systems clear, trimming trees, and repairing the roof as needed."
He says even if you don't have waterfront views, "damage can happen well away from the coast and from the path of the hurricane." Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prepare (and some common tasks that often go neglected!). Wondering if your home is all set for the season? Here are some of the tell-tale signs a home isn't ready for hurricane season:
#1 – The trees aren’t trimmed.
You'll need to remove dead limbs and branches growing above your home that could easily break off and hit your home (and/or potentially gather dangerous speed in the wind).
#2 – The roof has been neglected for a little too long.
Groundworks advises homeowners to repair loose or missing shingles and damaged roof vents, all of which could allow moisture and wind to enter the attic, ceiling, and walls.
#3 – The gutters and downspouts haven’t been cleaned.
Clean 'em out and fix 'em up. These are your first line of defense in moving rain off and away from your home. Pooling water near your foundation can cause flooding in your basement or crawl space.
#4 – The outdoor furniture is not secure.
High winds can turn that pretty patio set into a high-flying hazard quickly. Move outdoor furniture and décor into a garage, shed, or indoors for safe storage.
#5 – Windows and doors are totally exposed.
Cover your windows with plywood or hurricane shutters to prevent potential breakage and therefore wind and rain. Opt for a wind-load garage door, and make sure you know how to manually open the door in case of a power outage.
The other things you should do to prepare your home for hurricane season? Review your insurance, create a family emergency plan, get a generator, make sure you have a way to check the weather and evacuation guidance, create an emergency kit of supplies, and prepare to evacuate. Stay safe, y'all!