We’re smack-dab in the middle of hurricane season, and while the tropics have been fairly quiet so far this year, this is definitely not the time to let your guard down. Hurricane season starts in June and runs through November, but it usually doesn’t really get cranked up until August, with the peak of tropical activity taking place in mid September.
Hurricanes are an unpleasant fact of life here on the Gulf Coast where I live. But, as Hurricane Katrina clearly demonstrated, their awesome power should never be taken lightly.
Advance planning and preparation is the key to staying safe during a storm, so don’t wait until the last minute to stock up on essential supplies such as bottled water, nonperishable food, and flashlight batteries.
It’s important to take precautions in advance to prepare your home for a hurricane as well. Since roofs are often damaged by high winds, keep several plastic tarps and a bag of felt nails on hand to cover up any roof damage once the storm has passed. Tuck the top edge of the tarp under a row of shingles or over the peak of the roof ridge to keep rainwater out from under it. For added security, nail strips of wood on top of the tarp to hold it in place.
Windows are another very vulnerable area of your home during a hurricane. High winds and flying debris can easily break window glass, allowing the wind to enter your home and cause extensive damage. To prevent this, have storm panels or shutters made to fit each window on your home, then store them in a garage or shed until needed.
Plastic storm panels are much lighter and easier to install than either plywood or metal. And since plastic panels allow light to enter your home, you won’t feel like you’re living in a dungeon when the power goes out during the storm.
While I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this hurricane season will be a mild one and pass us by, it’s important to prepare your home now for the worst. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
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