Living on the East Coast exposes you to the threat of hurricanes and tropical storms, which can wreak havoc on your homes and properties. It is crucial to be proactive and safeguard your home before it is too late. To mitigate the potential destruction caused by these natural disasters, we have compiled a list of 10 precautionary measures you can take prior to the arrival of the next storm. 

1.      Reinforce Windows and Doors 

All entry points of your home such as doors and windows should be properly sealed. Consider installing impact-resistant windows and storm shutters to protect against high winds, flying debris, and water.  

2.      Secure Roof 

During a hurricane, your home’s roof is at its highest risk. It is crucial to ensure that your roof is in excellent shape and capable of enduring powerful winds. It is recommended to hire a certified roofing expert to routinely examine and fix any loose or damaged shingles. 

3.      Clear Yard & Secure Outdoor Area 

Remove any weak or damaged trees. Trim branches that are close to your home and could potentially fall during a storm. Clear your yard of any loose items such as outdoor furniture or equipment that could be blown away. Anchoring outdoor structures such as sheds, grills, kid toys, and playsets is crucial to prevent them from becoming airborne. Properly secure these structures using straps, anchors, or concrete.  

4.      Install a Generator 

Power outages are common during hurricanes or tropical storms. Consider installing a generator to ensure that you have a backup power source for your home. A generator will help keep the essentials running like a refrigerator, lights, and phones, and allow you to stay comfortable and safe until power is restored. If you are in the Hampton Roads area, we recommend one of our clients, Gault Electric, who can install, repair or replace generators at your home. 

5.      Protect and secure your HVAC  

If your HVAC system is located outside in a prone-to-flood area, consider elevating the outdoor unit on a platform or stand. Anchor or secure the unit to help prevent it from being dislodged or blown away.  

6.      Create an Emergency Preparedness Kit 

Pack a kit with essential items such as non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, a portable charger, and a portable radio.  

7.      Take Pictures & Videos 

Before a storm is on the way, take pictures and videos of the exterior and interior of your home. The pictures will be helpful in the need for damage to show an insurance provider.  

8.  Create a Home Inventory 

Along with documenting your belongings with pictures and videos, create a home inventory list that includes your possessions. Upload and save this list to a safe and secure place that can be accessed in the event of a total loss. This inventory will help with an insurance claim after a hurricane.  

9.  Insurance Coverage 

Review the terms and coverage limits with your insurance agent to understand what is included when it comes to hurricane damage and home insurance. Consider purchasing additional coverage, such as flood insurance, as standard policies may not include it.  

10.  Flood Preparations 

  • Plan and determine two routes for evacuation if needed  
  • If your home is in a flood prone area, consider elevating your home and any electric work that may be destroyed from flooding 
  • Place sandbags around entries of your home to deter water from seeping in 
  • Move items/furniture you do not want to get ruined to second floor or attic 

Protecting your home from storms on the East Coast requires careful planning and preparation. Take advantage of these 10 steps to protect your home and assets. Remember, it is crucial to stay informed about weather updates and follow any evacuation orders issued by local authorities to prioritize safety.  

Here are some extra helpful tips to keep you safe during hurricane season.