5 Tips to prepare your home for a hurricane

July 5th, 2016  |  Home Insurance

While the majority of Canada doesn’t have to worry too hard about getting hit directly with hurricanes or tropical storms, it is a possibility for some of us. One of the most important things you need to know how to do is to protect yourself, your family, and your home if you live on the Atlantic coast.

Hurricanes are among the most dramatic and powerful natural disasters that can occur. There isn’t a whole lot one can do against a hurricane. If one is on its way, your only real bet is to get out of its way and barricade yourself in a shelter of some sort. Even though you can protect yourself that way, it’s much harder to protect your home and your possessions. A hurricane (or even another strong storm) can easily destroy everything you hold dear – as well as your place to rest, so keep these few tips in mind to help your home weather the storm:

1. Purchase the right coverage

Protection begins long before a storm warning. Having the right home insurance coverage will guarantee that if your home is damaged you will be able to get it repaired or replaced. Speak to your agent about coverage for hurricanes and storms, making sure your policy will handle all the perils that could arise from storms including flooding. Make sure the replacement value of your house and possessions is up to date so that you have the right amount of coverage should a storm hit.

2. Clear outdoor areas of furniture or other wind risks

The high winds of a hurricane cause massive amounts of damage by picking up objects and tossing them around. The fewer unsecured objects you have around your home, the less risk there is for those objects to be blown into it or someone else’s property.

Trees are also risks during storm season, so trim or remove damaged trees to reduce the risk of branches or trees falling and damaging your home.

3. Flood proof your home

While it can cost a bit of money, it can be well worth it to protect your home’s basement and/or foundation from water damage by sealing them properly. While there is plenty of DIY literature of varying skill and expense levels on the web about how to do this, there are also specialists you can pay to do the necessary upgrades if you’re the kind of person that isn’t sure which end of a hammer to use.

Also make sure your home’s gutters and eavestroughs are clear of debris and pointed away from the base of the home for proper drainage.

4. Keep an emergency power generator

Power outages big risks during major storms. Having a backup energy source comes in handy for making sure you can keep food preserved, bodies heated, and lines of communication open during blackouts.

5. Have a plan

When things get tough, it’s easy to become panicked or anxious. A solid emergency preparedness plan – along with an emergency supply kit – is one of the best ways to retain control of a situation.

The items you want to have in your kit include drinking water, first aid supplies, canned goods, flashlights, batteries, blankets, a tool kit, and any other items you think you’d absolutely need in an emergency. The great thing about the modern world is that hurricanes are often detected long before they arrive, giving you time to make sure you have a kit ready and that everyone knows exactly what they need to do when the hurricane comes.

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