Hurricane Preparation for Homeowners

Hurricane preparation equals peace of mind if you live near the coast.

You just never know what each hurricane season will bring. Odds are that we won’t even see one hit landfall near us. On the other hand, we might.

Being prepared, though, is always the best plan of action.

Hurricanes are nothing to mess around with and if an evacuation order goes out in your area, you should heed it. A Category 4 or 5 hurricane brings major devastation. You and your family should not be subjected to the risk that entails.

Whether you stay put or flee, your home is going to weather the storm.

The question is how well.

The time is now

Rather than waiting until a hurricane is barreling toward the coastline, taking steps now to prepare your home is a wise idea.

If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person, last minute hurricane preparation can find you with no available supplies to purchase. Pictures of barren shelves prior to a major weather event just don’t apply to the grocery store.

Even if your plans include hiring a professional, last minute attempts to contact one will find you at the bottom of the list.

Hurricanes don’t wait around for deliveries or free schedules.

Up on the rooftop

Your home’s roof is in serious and immediate danger during a hurricane. Doing all you can to strengthen it makes it all the more likely it will stay in place. Losing a few shingles or minor damage is no comparison to losing it entirely.

Construction adhesives

Some find it surprising that using an adhesive is a simple, economical method of hurricane preparation. Applying a construction adhesive along each rafter or truss where it meets the plywood decking makes your roof nearly three times stronger!

Brace it up

Adding braces in your attic is another inexpensive way to beef up your roof.

If your home has a gable roof, screwing a pair of 2x4s in an “X” pattern on each end wall adds a lot of extra support. The first 2×4 should extend from the peak of the gable to the bottom center brace of the fourth truss. The second 2×4 is placed at the bottom center of the gable and extend to the top center brace of the fourth truss. Use 3-inch wood screws or 16d galvanized common nails to attach them. Use 1-inch galvanized-steel straps for added reinforcement wherever the brace meets the roof members.

If your roof is framed, collar ties provide added strength to your roof. Run a long stud from one side of the roof to the other, three-quarters of the way up the slope of the rafters. Use long wood screws and galvanized-steel straps to secure the lumber.

It looks like a giant “A.”

Which, by the way, is the score you receive for this simple, yet extremely effective hurricane preparation method.

Strapping or clips

Installing hurricane straps or clips when a home is built is the best option for them. It’s a tricky business to retrofit them. Hire an experienced contractor for the job. The straps or clips attach at each roof connection.

Your entire roof connects directly to your house.

Windows and doors

Sadly, the entry points to our home often permit entry for a hurricane as well. Windows that blow out or doors that are ripped away from their hinges become weapons of destruction.

We don’t want our families submitted to that type of danger.

Ever.

Moreover, once the wind rips full force into our home, it immediately begins looking for a way out again. It rushes to the top of the house and once in the attic pushes against the rooftop with all its might. Meanwhile, outside the winds continue to batter our home from all sides.

If you haven’t beefed up your roof with added protection, you are in grave danger of losing it all together.

Hurricane shutters come in a variety of styles that range in price. Temporary shutters are a popular choice. You put them up in preparation of a coming storm and then remove them afterward. Storage is sometimes an issue though, not to mention the hassle of getting them up and down.

Decorative shutters remain on homes year round.

Hurricane resistant windows and doors provide extremely effective protection. Their rating depends on their overall performance during testing.

Hurricane windows, also called impact windows, are not indestructible. However there is no comparison between normal and hurricane windows. The amount of force they can withstand from both the storm and the debris it hurls at your home is amazing!

Doors receive hurricane ratings as well. While your shopping around, don’t forget about beefing up your garage door! It’s estimated that a hurricane obtained entrance to rip through a home full force in over 80% of homes that are destroyed.

You can purchase hurricane resistant doors or purchase kits to strengthen the one that you currently have installed.

Landscaping

Oftentimes, homeowners don’t think about this fact we’re about to share.

Poorly-maintained trees provide ammunition for hurricanes. Pruning your trees to rid them of dead branches and excess foliage makes a huge difference whether or not they survive the storm.

Falling trees are a huge hazard to your home and those around you.

Your fruit trees can pack an extra punch. You should consider picking them. Each piece of fruit becomes a missile when ripped from the tree by a hurricane.

After the fact

Living near the coast in Texas, strengthening your home to better withstand the force of a hurricane is a sage choice.

You will reap the benefits for years to come.

Your family’s safety during a hurricane is of the utmost importance. As a matter of fact, hurricane preparation now is an investment in their future.

To say nothing of the fact that should you ever find yourself in a hurricane’s path and safely weather the storm together, your investment pays off tenfold.

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