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How to Prepare Your Home for High Winds

Have you heard of a hurricane? No, not the delicious beverage made with many different rums and juices, but the weather threat? A common weather advisory residents all over the Gulf Coast have to face is a hurricane. With hurricanes, come high winds reaching as fast as 170 MPH, which could have devastating results for your home, if the safety measures are not properly taken. Do you know what to do if you ever see a wind advisory/hurricane warning on the news? Below I have listed different ways to prepare your home for hurricanes or high winds, to ensure the safety of you, your house, and others around you. 

1. Inspect and Maintain Roof: 

  • Ensure that your roof is in good condition. Repair any loose or damaged shingles. Consider reinforcing the roof with hurricane straps or clips to provide additional support.

2. Secure Doors and Windows:

  • Install storm shutters or board up windows with plywood to protect against flying debris.
  • Reinforce garage doors to prevent them from collapsing under high winds.
  • Ensure all exterior doors have at least three hinges and a deadbolt lock.

3. Trim Trees and Remove Loose Items:

  • Trim tree branches that are close to your house to reduce the risk of them falling onto your property.
  • Remove any loose items from your yard, such as patio furniture, potted plants, or toys, as they can become projectiles in high winds.

4. Check and Secure Outdoor Structures:

  • Ensure that sheds, gazebos, and other outdoor structures are properly anchored.
  • If you have a fence, make sure it's in good repair and properly anchored.
  • Move items such as grills, smokers, and outdoor furniture to a secure location. Such as a garage. 
  • If there is larger children's play equipment; such as swing sets or playhouses, be sure to adequately anchor them to the ground.
  • Smaller exterior decorations such as; wind chimes and other hanging decorations that are not fixed.

5. Reinforce the Garage:

  • Install a garage door bracing kit to help prevent the garage door from buckling under high winds.
  • Regularly inspect your garage for any wear and tear or misalignment 
  • if your garage door has windows, consider reinforcing them with impact-resistant films or shutters to prevent shattering from winds.
  • Check for gaps and cracks around the garage door and seal them with weather stripping. This helps prevent water infiltration and reduces the risk of wind entering the garage and causing structural damage. 

6. Inspect and Reinforce Doors:

  • Check exterior doors for stability and reinforce them if necessary.
  • Ensure that all doors have proper weather-stripping to prevent water from entering.

7. Secure Roof Ventilation:

  • Seal and secure roof vents to prevent water infiltration and minimize the risk of wind damage.
  • Preventing water infiltration also prevents mold from growing throughout the house!

8. Install Hurricane Straps: 

  • Consider installing hurricane straps to reinforce the connection between your home's frame and the foundation.
  • Be sure to obtain the proper straps for the construction you have, and follow the manufacturer's guidelines for installation
  • Always consult a professional if you are uncertain about how to properly install hurricane straps. 

9. Emergency Kit and Evacuation Plan:

  • Prepare an emergency kit with essentials like water, non-perishable food, flashlights, batteries, and important documents.
  • Have an evacuation plan in place and know the nearest evacuation shelters.

10. Stay Informed:

  • Monitor weather forecasts and evacuation orders.
  • Have a battery-powered weather radio or a fully charged portable charger to stay informed in case of power outages.

Remember that safety should be your top priority. If authorities issue evacuation orders, follow them promptly. It's also a good idea to consult with local authorities or a building professional for specific recommendations based on your location and the construction of your home.

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