Forecasters are predicting an above normal hurricane season this year, with 10-16 named storms, 5-9 hurricanes and 1-5 major hurricanes.
The official start of the Atlantic hurricane season is June 1 and runs through November 30. Your safety and the safety of your family and loved ones is most important but don't forget about protecting your home. It's one of your largest investments.
In addition to the basic preparedness tips, such as assembling a hurricane prep kit, knowing where to go in case of an evacuation and finding a reliable and trusted source of information to monitor the storm, here are a few tips to make sure your home is secured and protected.
- Review your homeowners insurance policy - make sure your home insurance policy is up to date and includes adequate coverage. Some homeowner policies cover damage during a hurricane but not the floods that sometimes follow the storm. If you don't have flood insurance consider adding it. This is also a good time to check insurance policies on vehicles and boats.
- Take stock of your property - take a close look around your home and take a full inventory of your possessions so that you know exactly what you might need to replace and how much it's worth, in the event of a disaster.
- Inspect your roof - make sure all shingles or tiles are secure and repair and replace those that may be cracked or missing. Consider spending the extra money to seal the roof deck if you haven't already done so.
- Seal windows and doors - check that seals around windows and doors are not damaged. in a hot climate like this one, seals tend to become compromised by extreme heat. Have sandbags on hand to use in the event of flooding.
- Prepare your garden - trim and remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe. Also, be prepared to remove lawn or patio furniture, potted plants and anything else that can be carried away by a strong wind, to a safe indoor space.
- Hurricane shutters - check to make sure that your hurricane shutters are in good condition and that you have everything necessary to properly install them. If you don't already have hurricane shutters consider purchasing them or replacing regular windows with hurricane-proof versions.
- Rain gutters - check to make sure rain gutters are clear of leaves and other debris. A clean rain gutter can prevent serious water damage to your home.
It's never too early to start preparing for hurricane season.