When a warning is given, do you have a hurricane evacuation plan ready?
Following a hurricane evacuation plan helps keep you and your family safe. Protect the property you leave behind with these hurricane preparedness tips:
Reinforce the structure
Before a hurricane hits, add strength to the structure of your home to help prevent wind and water damage.
- Help prevent broken windows. But don't tape them. Instead, install impact-resistant permanent storm shutters for the best protection during a hurricane. If those are not an option, add permanent fasteners to windows so protective plywood panels can quickly be put in place.
- Brace the roof. Follow instructions from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for installing braces at the gables or through the trusses of the roof. Attach hurricane clips at the studs and rafters. Use polyurethane sealant and stainless steel screws to secure soffits to the walls and fascia.
- Keep shingles secure. Ask a roofing professional to set extra roofing cement under shingles to keep them in place during a hurricane.
- Waterproof the basement. Fill cracks with hydraulic cement, and coat walls with waterproof masonry cement.
- Protect the garage. Retrofit garage doors with vertical boards, install hurricane-resistant garage doors or use a steel bracing kit to support the door against wind pressure.
- Avoid damage to doors. Ensure all entry doors have three hinges and a dead bolt lock with at least a one-inch bolt throw length.
- Seal small openings. Add caulk to any cracks or holes where cables, pipes or wires enter your home. If you have a pool, cover the pump filter.
Remove excess from the exterior
Store any non-secure items or non-structural elements from around your property, such as:
- Patio furniture
- Garbage bins
- Porch swings
- Landscaping ornaments, such as sculptures or bird baths
- Garage or store vehicles you plan to leave behind
- Moor boats securely. If your boat is ashore in a jack stand, strap the boat down when possible. Discover more tips to protect your boat during a hurricane.
Protect against extreme conditions
Be hurricane ready and prepared for any situation.
- Trim trees and bushes to make them more wind resistant.
- Clear gutters of any debris so water can flow freely.
- Apply sealant around windows and doors.
- Consider flood or wind insurance to help you recover from hurricane damage.
- Protect utilities, such as your furnace and electrical panel, by turning them off right before you evacuate. If possible, move utilities to the second level of your home.
- Unplug electronics before you leave.
Follow a family evacuation plan
- Keep your radio tuned to local weather advisories.
- If you are ordered to evacuate, go to a shelter as directed by local authorities.
- Lock doors and windows before you evacuate.
- Bring your survival kit and other supplies.
- Let friends and relatives know where you plan to be.
- If an evacuation has not been ordered or there is no time to get to a shelter, stay in the middle of your home or basement, away from windows. Try to take cover under a staircase or a heavy piece of furniture.
- Don't stay in a manufactured home if a hurricane is approaching. Their light frames and exteriors can easily be punctured by flying debris, and they are easily overturned in high winds.