Hurricane season is approaching. If you live in areas commonly affected by hurricanes, like Dallas, preparation is fundamental.
The following are 7 tips to help you in this regard:
Tip #1: Do a risk assessment.
Is the area you live in hurricane-prone? Areas such as Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Florida are generally prone to hurricanes. If you live in any of these areas, you need to take extra precaution to protect you and your family.
In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ranks hurricane preparedness as the #1 step.
Remember, not living on the coast doesn’t necessarily mean you are unlikely to get hit by a hurricane. Hurricanes often bring heavy winds, flooding, and even tornadoes.
Tip #2: Add storm shutters to your window.
They might be costly but are certainly worthwhile. The prices range from $200 to $1,000, depending on the material and installation method.
Storm shutters are usually made from steel or aluminum and can be found at most hardware stores. Their installation takes time, and you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to install them.
If you find yourself low on time, then consider using plywood shutters instead.
What should you do if the storm manages to break your windows?
In such an event, you’ll need a hammer to remove any glass that has broken. You’ll need to place dust sheets on the window sides to catch the broken glass.
If you are unable to get hold of a repair service straightaway, then you will need to tape plastic sheeting over the window. This will help prevent rain from flooding your home.
This should be done once the storm has ended; plastic sheeting won’t be useful during a storm.
What should you do if your door gets broken?
Your priority should be keeping your home secure. If you have a wooden door and door frame, but no mail slot, then you can use a barrel bolt to keep the door shut.
If you have a door that swings inward, with a mail slot, you’ll need to nail a piece of sturdy wood to the floor.
Tip #3: Secure outdoor items.
When you are frantically trying to prepare for a hurricane, it’s easy to forget about your home’s exterior. Bringing in your outdoor furniture may seem like a hassle but it is important not to overlook it.
If it is too difficult or time-consuming, then make sure it is tightly secured to the ground. In addition to the outdoor furniture, remember your grill, tools, and dog house as well. During storms, it isn’t uncommon for furniture to blow around and break windows.
You also may want to trim any tree limbs or loose branches hanging over your Dallas home. If left unchecked, they could end up causing serious damage to your roof.
Tip #4: Clean your gutters.
Cleaning gutters may not be a favorite on your already long to-do list, but it’s an important task if you live in a hurricane-prone zone.
You can clean your gutter in three ways:
A) You can clean it by hand using a gutter scoop or a garden trowel.
B) You can buy a gutter cleaning kit from your local hardware store.
C) You can use a hose or a leaf blower. Just make sure you wear protective gear like heavy work gloves, a dust mask, and goggles.
Once you have removed all the twigs, branches, and dirt from your gutters, check the condition of your gutters. Are some of the gutters falling or broken? If so, have them fixed immediately.
Tip #5: Protect your foundation from potential water damage.
The foundation of your home may not be as visible as other structural elements, but it certainly is a critical structural element.
How do you keep your home’s foundation healthy during the hurricane season?
- You need to ensure that your house is graded properly. In other words, it should be slanted in such a way that it directs water away from your home and not towards it to avoid water damage.
- Ensure that downspouts are draining water at least 10 feet from your home. This way, water will not be able to form a pool near your foundation.
Tip #6: Inspect your roof.
Your roof should be in pristine condition if a hurricane is heading your way. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, yearly roof evaluations are a must.
These evaluations help ensure that any roof issues are dealt with as soon as they happen. As you prepare for the hurricane season, have a contractor check the integrity of your roof.
Generally speaking, roof inspectors look at the following areas:
- Gutters and downspouts – They make sure that all gutters and drains are working properly.
- Mounted equipment – They make sure penetrations are properly sealed and that equipment is securely attached.
- Flashings – They make sure flashings are correctly attached and sealed.
- Membrane – They make sure there are no holes, punctures, rips or effects of aging.
Tip #7: Build an emergency kit.
Having an emergency kit is important regardless of where you live. If you live in an area frequented by hurricanes, then having one is an absolute must. The worst thing you can do is wait until the hurricane strikes to figure out what to do.
You can either make your own emergency kit or purchase one that is pre-made. According to Phillips, your kit should include a radio, flashlight, a regular first aid kit, important documents and paperwork, necessary medications, non-perishable food items, and enough water to last three days.
If you are like most Americans, your home is probably the single most significant asset you own. As such, it only makes sense to protect it. As we approach the hurricane season, these are the 7 things to do to prep your Dallas home.