Hurricanes happen every year during summer and fall. If you live in a coastal area, it is important to prepare for them. As soon as you know a hurricane is heading in your direction, get the outside of your home protected and the last few details secured. Here are some ways to prepare your home for a hurricane.

Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane with an Emergency Kit

It’s smart to keep an emergency kit prepared that will last for at least one week. Assemble your emergency kit well in advance of the hurricane season. Here are some items to include in your emergency kit:

• A flashlight and extra batteries
• First-aid kit and several cases of bottled water
• Non-perishable food like dried cereals, granola bars, seeds and nuts, canned fruit, canned fish, canned vegetables, and canned soup
• Keep insurance documents in a zip-locked bag and readily available
• Pet food and medicines
• A battery-powered cell phone charger
• A solar-powered or crank radio
• Prescription medicines for family members

Invest in a Generator to Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane

You’ll be glad to have a generator if the power goes out. Familiarize yourself with your generator by reading the owner’s manual. Have several gas tanks filled and ready to use.

Secure Outdoor Furniture

The next step is to secure and anchor all outdoor furniture unless you have enough space to bring the furniture inside. Anchor down grills and playground sets also.

Prepare Windows and Doors

Make sure your windows are closed and locked. Your windows should be covered with plywood, storm shutters, or plastic storm coverings. Close all interior doors to prevent banging. A heavy-duty bolt will secure your doors. Brace the garage door with a reinforcement kit.

Trim Trees to Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane

Trim long branches from trees to minimize any damage to nearby windows and your roof. If you have any dead or dying trees in the yard, have them cut down to protect your property and your neighbors.

Set Refrigerator and Freezer Temperatures

Set your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. This will keep your items cooler for longer. If you lose power, open the refrigerator and freezer doors only as needed, being mindful of cool air escaping.

Water, Gas, and Electricity

Know where the shut-off locations are for your water, gas, and electricity. Turn your gas off only when the gas department instructs you to.

Unplug All Electrical Appliances

If power is lost, make sure all electrical appliances are unplugged. This will prevent a power surge from damaging your appliances when the electricity does come back on.

Lower-Level Furniture

If you have time, move any furniture or valuables from the lower level to the upper level. This will save these items from possible water damage if there is a flood.

A hurricane comes with potentially damaging winds and heavy rain. Having the necessary equipment and preparing your home before a hurricane will give you some extra protection when a storm does hit.

Dave Holt Home Inspections offers home inspection services to the New Orleans area. Contact us to schedule an appointment.