Hurricane season is in mid-swing, and in Part 1 (opens a new window) of this series we provided ideas to protect your loved ones when a storm is on the horizon. It's also crucial to take proactive measures for your home's exterior and to safeguard the cherished belongings within. Let’s explore specific steps you can take now to fortify your home inside and out to minimize the risk of storm-related damage.
PROTECT THE EXTERIOR
Reinforce your roof. Begin by inspecting and repairing loose shingles, damaged flashing, or weakened areas. Consider installing hurricane straps to secure your roof's structure, as this can help prevent costly wind-related damage.
Upgrade windows and doors. Invest in impact-resistant windows and doors, and think about installing storm shutters. These measures provide a critical barrier against wind-driven debris, reducing the risk of shattered windows and structural damage.
Retrofit garage doors. Install upgraded garage doors or brace existing ones with a hurricane-resistant toolkit. These are somewhat new to the market and can help reduce wind and water entry.
Trim trees and secure outdoor items. Remove dead branches and unhealthy landscaping that could potentially damage your home during high winds. Secure or relocate outdoor furniture, grills, and other loose objects to prevent them from becoming projectiles.
Elevate outdoor HVAC units. If you have outdoor HVAC units, consider elevating them to prevent water damage. Ensure they are securely anchored to withstand strong winds.
Install water shutoff valves. Shutoff valves allow you to turn off water immediately prior to a hurricane, reducing the risk of water damage to your interior belongings.
Use water sensors. Place water sensors in vulnerable areas of your home, such as the basement or near water heaters. These devices can alert you of leaks or rising water levels, giving you a chance to take action before significant damage occurs.
Elevate belongings. Move valuable and irreplaceable items to an interior room, and raise them off the floor to prevent water damage. This includes electronics, important documents, and sentimental items. Use waterproof storage containers to keep these items elevated and dry.
Relocate vehicles and fine art. Many communities offer offsite secure vaults designed to withstand a tropical storm. You may wish to relocate fine art, heirlooms, and other collectibles prior to hurricane season. Move luxury vehicles to the vault immediately before the storm.
Research flood insurance. Standard homeowner's insurance typically does not cover flood-related damage. If flood insurance is available in your area – and it’s getting harder to find – you may want to consider adding it to your existing policies.
We believe protecting the exterior of your home and your belongings from hurricane damage requires careful planning and proactive measures. By taking these steps, and reviewing our Hurricane Preparedness Checklist (opens a new window), you’ll be taking the first steps to ensure the safety of what you value most.
At Lockton, we’re here for you before and after a hurricane or tropical storm. Talk to your Private Risk Solutions account team about implementing these ideas or to submit a claim should damage occur.