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Hurricanes are among the most destructive weather disasters in the world. When hurricanes hit land, they can cause billions of dollars worth of damage to homes, buildings, and infrastructure, as well as extensive destruction of natural surroundings.
Along the Atlantic coast, hurricane season lasts from June to November. During these months, an average of five hurricanes hit land every three years. When it comes to states that receive the most hurricane landfalls, Texas is second only to Florida.
In order to help you prepare for hurricane season, we have compiled a list of eight ways that you can help secure your house, and ensure that you are covered in the event of a storm.
During high winds, lose debris can become deadly projectiles. Help keep things safe by having regular cleanups outside, and be sure to get rid of any unwanted items.
During a hurricane watch, it is important that all outside decorations, lawn furniture, and other unsecured items are stored away. To prevent damage that unsecured objects can cause, be sure to bring inside all lawn chairs, yard ornaments, and flowerpots during a hurricane watch.
Loose or weak trees and branches can easily snap during hurricane winds. Ensure that trees are well trimmed, and all the branches and cuttings have been properly disposed of.
Clean out the gutters and drains. Clear drainage systems can help to prevent flooding from the excessive rain during the hurricane season.
Consider having hurricane shutters installed on your windows and glass doors. This is a safe way to help protect your house against storm damage, and is a better alternative to plywood.
Standard home insurance policies do not always cover windstorm damage. Some policies offer a degree of coverage, but the level of insurance may not be comprehensive. Other policies only provide coverage for the house, not for destruction of personal property. Check with your insurer to see if you are covered in case of a storm.
Windstorm coverage and other home insurance policies usually do not include flood damage. Make sure you have a policy that covers flood damage as well.
And finally, while it’s important to make sure your house is secure, it is also important to ensure you have an evacuation plan. Your evacuation plan should include evacuation routes, locations of shelters, as well as a plan to contact an out-of-state friend or relative. Your local chapter of the American Red Cross should have information on evacuation routes and shelters.