Prepare Your Home

Prepare Your Home

Hurricane Planning for Your Home

Preparing your home for hurricane seasonThe most important precaution you can take to reduce damage to your home and property is to protect the areas where wind can enter. According to recent wind technology research, it’s important to strengthen the exterior of your house so wind and debris do not tear large openings in it. You can do this by protecting and reinforcing these five critical areas:

Retrofitting Your Home

The resiliency of these areas (see picture) can be verified through a Wind Mitigation Inspection:

      1. Check roof coverings (e.g., shingles), roof decking, secondary water barrier, roof-to-wall connections, wall-to-foundation connections, and gables.
      2. Reinforce soffits.
      3. If they are not impact resistant, protect windows, exterior doors, and garage doors.
      4. Consider standby electricity with a Whole Home Generator. If using a portable generator, consider utilizing a Circuit Breaker Interlock, or just power devices directly to your generator.
      5. Trees and shrubs near your home should be trimmed or removed to prevent damage to your home.

A great time to start securing – or retrofitting – your house is when you are making other improvements or adding an addition. Remember: building codes reflect the lessons experts have learned from past catastrophes. Contact the local building code official to find out what requirements are necessary for your home improvement projects.

Strengthen Your Garage Door

More than 90% of damage to homes during hurricanes begins when garage doors fail. Garage doors are typically the largest and weakest openings in a home.

Strengthen Your Soffits

A residential soffit is a horizontal surface outside on the underside of the eaves. The eave is an area of the roof which overhangs the exterior walls. Properly installed and braced soffits resist wind forces and keep water out when the wind drives rain against the outside walls and up into the attic of your home. Soffits are a common failure point in high winds, especially hurricanes.

Strengthen Your Roof

You can affordably improve your roof’s resistance to wind from inside the attic without removing your shingles or other coverings. Keeping the roof on in high winds is essential: research shows that the correct application of the right adhesive or caulk will increase the resistance of your roof decking by as much as three times.

Make Your Landscaping Hurricane Resistant

If You Can Pick It Up, Put It Up

Nearly any object can become a dangerous, flying missile in a high-wind event like a hurricane or tornado. Inspect your property and identify ways to make your landscape more high-wind resistant. While you can do many of these projects yourself, consult a professional when projects require the use of chainsaws or any unfamiliar or dangerous equipment.

Click here for a Florida Division of Emergency Management 2024 Hurricane Guide PDF »»

Adapted from FDEM 2024 Hurricane Guide materials.