How to Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane

The Simpsons could have used a lightning rod.
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If Poseidon comes to claim your house, there’s a chance that even the best preparation will be insufficient, but we’re optimists! We think you can fight Poseidon and win! There are things you can do to prepare your home, long before a hurricane warning is issued.

Review Your Insurance Policy

In most cases, the majority of hurricane damage to your home is covered under an “Act of God” or Natural Disaster rider. Or in other words, a specific clause protecting your home from damage that homeowners cannot reasonably prevent. 

That said, not everything you’d reasonably consider a godly act is guaranteed to be covered. If flooding rather than wind is the primary cause of damage, you might be shocked to discover that your insurance won’t cover repairs. Prevent financial heartache and devastation by investing in a flood policy. Flood policies are rarely standard as part of traditional homeowners insurance. So, if you live in a hurricane region, you’ll want to speak with your insurance agent. Get a flood policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Don’t turn your basement into a fancy vacation rental until it’s fully insured against flooding.

Fortify Your Home

If you live in a hurricane-prone region, have your home inspected to ensure it’s structurally sound. Make any necessary improvements, such as reinforcing load-bearing exterior walls and directing all drainage paths away from your house. Trimming trees near your home will make it less likely for limbs to cause damage. Cleaning your gutters will also help water drain away from your house more efficiently.

When a Hurricane Warning Has Been Issued

Hurricanes usually give you a bit of warning, so you might have a few hours to button things up before hitting the bricks. Prioritize evacuating quickly if encouraged to do so. Your house won’t mean a dang thing to you if you’re no longer alive to enjoy it.

how to prepare your home for a hurricane

Inside your house, move valuables to higher floors, and seal any important documents in waterproof containers. Don’t forget to check any drains, valves, or sump pumps that could help control flooding.

Outside, you can minimize the risk of wind damage by boarding up windows and moving loose furniture indoors or chaining it down. Move your car to a protected area to help keep it safe.

Rule of Thumb

Could your unsecured trampoline take flight and punch a hole in a neighbor’s roof? It’s possible!

If you have time, you can also fill sandbags and place them around your doors, low windows, and vents to prevent water from infiltrating your house. Before you head out or hunker down, secure all exterior doors, including your garage door.

Once you’ve adequately limited your trampoline-related liability, turn your attention to your family.

About the Authors

It takes a village! We are researching, writing and fact checking as a family. Collaboration is the name of the game, whether we’re running from a zombie horde or finding the best way to turn a complex concept into a deliciously digestible set of bullet points.

Katherine Esperanza is a Los Angeles based writer. When she's not conjuring new queer slice-of-life short stories, she's busy watching the newest films, out at queer shows, supporting queer artists, or just checking out the queer community as a whole.

A former international non-profiteer, small business owner, and co-op'er, Katherine is delighted to help introduce more leftist politics into the disaster preparedness/prepper sphere, which is currently far too right-wing.