Building a Hurricane-Ready Home
Living in a hurricane-prone region requires taking additional steps to help your home withstand the forces of nature without suffering extensive damage. These steps will also improve your family's safety in the event that you are unable to evacuate your home when a hurricane strikes.
Install Hurricane Shutters
Hurricane shutters help keep water and foreign objects from entering your home through broken windows. These fit on the outside of your windows, can be made out of plywood and are an essential aspect of home hurricane safety. There are also manufactured hurricane shutters available made of aluminum and steel.
Prune Your Trees
Falling trees are a common cause of damage during hurricanes. By keeping trees on or near your property trimmed, you may avoid some of the severe damage that can result from flying and falling branches.
Hurricane-Proof Your Roof
Replace any worn or decayed shingles on your roof, and ensure that the roof conforms to codes for high wind ratings. Prepare your attic vents for the possibility of wind-driven rain, and cover all openings as necessary. Ensure that soffit vents (under the roof overhang) are secured. If your home has overhangs that exceed 12 feet, make sure they are secured and braced properly.
Appraise Your Home's Strength
You can contact a housing inspector and arrange for a full appraisal of the ability of your home and any other nearby structures (such as barns and tool sheds) to withstand hurricane-strength winds. If it is determined that your home is not up to code, consider making any important upgrades that will help secure your home and your family's safety.
Remember, having a strengthened home does not mean that you should ignore evacuation alerts from local authorities. In the interest of your family's safety, always evacuate when you are advised to do so.