How To Protect Your Home From a Hurricane

Hurricanes have been a major factor in the damage caused by natural disasters here in the United States. From Hurricane Katrina to Hurricane Sandy, it feels like almost everyone is vulnerable. Even though hurricane season doesn’t start until June 1st, it’s never too early to start planning ahead.  Here are some tips to prevent your home from falling victim to a hurricane.

Impact-resistant windows

Impact-resistant windows, as their name indicates, can hold up against impacts from debris blown from the high speed windows of hurricanes. These windows generally come in two types. The first kind consists of three layers – two layers of laminated glass, and one layer in between of a shatter-proof membrane. Set within a sturdy frame, this type of frame makes it nearly impossible for wind and water to penetrate your home.

 The second type of frame involves a shatter-proof film placed over the glass, which helps keep the shards intact should the glass break. This second type is less durable in general than the first, but its durability really depends on the make and assembly.

 If you’re preparing for a hurricane, don’t put masking or duct tape over the windows, as this doesn’t do anything. If you decide not to replace your windows, or you’re short on time, considering boarding them up.

Elevate your home

This is quite a drastic measure, and you should only consider it if your area is below sea level and floods often. Elevating your home can be quite costly and the regulations vary depending on where you live. Contact your local disaster-relief area for more information.

Protect your roof

After Katrina, almost every house the Greater New Orleans area had blue tarps covering the damage done to their roofs. To protect your roof before a disaster, buy hurricane straps to secure the roof to the house. Make sure no shingles are loose, as these can become violent projectiles in high winds. Seal up any small openings where wires might be, to minimize wind and water damage.

Trees

If you have trees near your house, cut away any dead branches you see. If the winds are strong enough, there’s not much you can do about the whole tree toppling over. However if you trim back some dead branches you could greatly minimize the damages to your house if the tree itself holds up.

 Prevention is always better than cleaning up the mess later, so start preparing now. Hurricane season doesn’t start until June 1, and hurricanes usually don’t meet a US coast until much later than that. However if you start now, you’ll have plenty of time to prepare your home for whatever weather comes its way.

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Sources:

http://lbihouseraising.com/faqs/

http://www.kiplinger.com/article/insurance/T028-C001-S001-6-steps-to-protect-your-home-from-hurricanes.html

http://www.bobvila.com/articles/342-hurricane-proof-your-house-with-impact-resistant-windows/

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