Friday, September 06, 2019 / by Harvey Rosenberg
First, let's talk about what a hurricane rating means. Hurricanes are categorized on a scale of 1 to 5 based on the wind speed. While each hurricane brings in a lot of rain, the wind is the cause of a lot of damage as well. The wind speeds are the following:
- Category 1 - 74-95 mph
- Category 2 - 95-100 mph
- Category 3 - 111-129 mph
- Category 4 - 130-156 mph
- Category 5 - above 157 mph
The high wind speeds are like a freight train coming at your house. Take these steps before the next hurricane or major tropical storm hits.
Document Your Belongings
Take pictures of your items for insurance purposes both in and outside the home. Save these to a cloud-based system such as Apple or Google Photos so that you can access even if your computers are damaged.
Take Care of Your Roof
Check gutters and downspouts so that water can be free-flowing and not back up and cause leaks or other damage. Check for loose shingles and seal where you can. Most hardware stores have roofing cement and sealant. Be sure to check your soffits as well.
Take care of Doors
You'll see a lot of folks boarding up their windows, and yes, that's a good idea as well, but don't forget about doors. Keep your interior doors closed. From the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, "This reduces the impact of wind getting inside your home and literally blowing it up like a balloon to the point where the roof could blow off entirely." Also, brace your garage door. The wind blowing and shaking this door can also force pressure on the roof.
Check your doors for poor insulating along the bottom where leaks could get in. Even if you can't get sandbags, fill tube socks with rice to block the doors and absorb any incoming water.
Secure Outside Items
We often focus on securing what's inside that we forget to remove items that can be picked up outside and damage your home, or someone else's home. Be sure to bring in patio furniture, grills, potted plants, and other lawn decorations or items. Take a look around your hard and if you can lift it, so can the wind.
Use old juice bottles, milk jugs, or even Tupperware and freeze water before the power goes out. This will make your freezer and refrigerator more efficient and keep items cold in case of a power loss. Also, you'll have drinking water when the ice melts. Consider keeping a few bottles frozen years round.