Hurricanes can lead to destruction and devastation, but there are many ways you can help protect yourself and prevent damage to your home. Amica’s Storm Center can help you stay prepared before, during and after a storm. Before the next storm approaches, take a look at these hurricane preparedness tips for your home.
1. Prepare an emergency supply kit
The first step in preparing for a storm is putting together an emergency kit that’s easily accessible. Ask yourself what your family would need to survive. This bag should contain essentials like first aid supplies, a flashlight with batteries, important paperwork (such as your Social Security card), medications for existing conditions and pain relievers.1 Make sure to include cash in your hurricane kit so you don’t have to rely on a credit card to make any necessary purchases in the event of prolonged power outages.
2. Reinforce your house
During a storm, your house will be susceptible to high winds and floodwaters. To help reinforce it before the storm hits, start with the roof, checking to make sure all shingles are in place and intact and replacing any that are broken.2 Hire a professional if you’re unsure of the safety of accessing the roof. Next, if you don’t have hurricane shutters, make some out of plywood to cover your windows and doors.3 You should also clear any clogged areas in your gutters and secure your rain gutters and downspouts to help prevent flooding.1
3. Remove debris and secure loose items outside your home
When the storm hits, strong winds can turn any object outside into a projectile capable of damaging your home. Before a storm makes landfall, trim shrubs and trees on your property and clean out your gutters. Bring outdoor items, like garbage cans and unsecured furniture, inside to help prevent damage.4
4. Preserve food and stock nonperishables
Once the storm clears and it’s safe to go outdoors, it could take several days for grocery stores to reopen due to power outages and other damages. Before the storm hits, set your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest temperature to help preserve food if you lose power. Monitor the temperature of items that can spoil before consuming.1 Stock at least three days’ worth of canned food, nonperishable items and water for your whole family to play it safe.5
It’s important to protect yourself and your property in the event of a hurricane. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety offers post-storm recovery resources and safety guidelines that can help you navigate after a storm hits. If you live in an area that’s affected by hurricanes, review your current home insurance policy to ensure you're properly covered for damages. Talk to your insurance company and determine if you need to purchase separate flood insurance to protect your home and your family well in advance of a storm.