How to Prepare for a Hurricane
Houston, Texas, often sees hurricanes from the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane season starts June 1 and ends November 30. The National Weather Service states the most intense times for hurricanes in Texas are August and Septemeber. Hurricanes can range in severity, but even the weakest hurricanes can do severe damage. Unfortunately, the Greater Houston Area is at a high risk of flooding. Heavy rainfall and hurricanes increase the risk substantially. It is important to prepare your home for potential flooding, strong winds, power outages, and more. If you are preparing to stay in your home for the duration of the hurricane, then take extra precautions. In the event of a major hurricane (category 3, 4, or 5), it is best to leave the city. Of course, we understand that not everyone can afford this option or may not have anywhere to go. So, follow the tips below to stay safe and reduce the risk of damage to your property.
Seal Your Windows and DoorsWater can enter through the smallest seam or crack. For that reason, ensure your doors and windows are sealed. When it comes to windows, you should cover them with a material that reduces their chance of damage. Many popular options include fabric, shutters, and plywood. For doors, cover any glass within the door. Check the seals or gaps within the door’s frame. If there are points where water can enter, then have them properly sealed before the hurricane. You may also want to consider sandbags. These simple makeshift barriers can easily keep water from entering your home. Place a few in front of entrances where water may be a threat. Also, don’t forget about the garage door! The best way of reinforcing your garage door from blowing during a hurricane is with a garage door brace kit. Most kits start at around $150, but you could also use other methods such as hurricane panels or netting.
Create or Resupply Your Disaster KitA disaster kit includes essentials in the event you cannot leave your home, or you become stranded in flooding. The most basic emergency disaster kit consists of the following:
- radio (either hand-cranked or battery-powered)
- first aid-kit
- can opener
- local maps
- duct tape
- tool kit
Clean Your GuttersCleaning the gutters is not a fun task, but you’ll be thankful once a hurricane hits. Your gutters help move water away from your home rather than collecting it. Reducing the chance of flooding is always beneficial for your home. While you are cleaning your gutter, it is best you check to see if they are working correctly too. That way, you can make any repairs before the big storm.
Secure Outdoor Furniture and MoreThe outside of your home is just as important as the inside. Patio furniture, grills, basketball goals, and other outdoor items should be secured in a safe place. You have several options when it comes to securing these items:
- place them in an outdoor area like a shed
- bring them into the house or garage (if there is space)
- tie them to a secure foundation (rope, zip ties, etc.)