Preparing your home for a hurricane: What to do before, during & after Irma / by Jenny Yarborough

Whether Irma hits North Carolina's coast or not, hurricane season is here to stay through November 30, so it's better late than never to be prepared. Take a quick look at our hurricane preparedness list to see what you should do to prepare your home before, during & after Hurricane Irma makes landfall. 

Preparing your home for a hurricane: What to do before, during & after landfall

Before

  • Keep a close eye out on the storm with the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) here.
  • Be sure to stock up on necessities in the event of power outages and home damage. Here's what the professionals suggest: water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days is recommended), nonperishable food (three day supply), first aid kit, flash light (one per person), extra batteries, hand-crank or battery-operated radio, cell phone battery-powered chargers (fully charged), generator (if possible), dusk mask (one per person), moist towelettes, garbage bags, manual can opener, whistle, candles, matches (in waterproof container), bucket of water (to refill toilet if water is turned off) and any prescription meditations.  
  • You may also want to inspect your garage or shed to be sure you have cleanup supplies readily available such as: gloves, tarps, saws, rope, crow bars, pruners, a chainsaw and gasoline.
  • Create a family plan for your home.
  • Make a list of your possessions for insurance purposes incase items need to be replaced after the hurricane.
  • Bring in or secure any lawn furniture, hanging baskets, grills, small statuary and other free-standing lawn items that could cause damage to your home in the event of hurricane-force winds or flooding.
  • Trim trees and shrubs for dead or damaged limbs that may become airborne during the storm. If the waste disposal company in your neighborhood won't be back before the storm makes landfall, place the debris in a bag or barrel and store in a shed or garage until the storm is over to prevent even more flying debris.
  • Inspect downspouts and gutters. Secure any loose pieces. Clear out any clogs to prevent water damage to your home.
  • If you do not already have storm shutters, consider building your own using plywood. If these are properly installed, they will certainly add protection to your home. They do, however, take quite a bit of time, money and effort to install and may damage the exterior of your home if not installed properly so proceed with caution if you're unsure.

During

  • Stay tuned to weather authorities on your phone, charged laptop and/or radio if there are power outages. 
  • Turn off the stove and oven if the power goes out while you're cooking to be sure there are no potential fire hazards when the power comes back on. 
  • Keep your refrigerator door closed to trap the cool air and keep your perishables as long as possible. 
  • If the conditions worsen and there is no way to evacuate, stay safe in a room or closet in the center of the home with no windows. Be sure to bring a radio and/or phone with you to stay updated on when it is safe to leave this space. 

After

  • Inspect your home for damage or leaks. Retrofit and repair as needed to reinforce the windows, doors and roof.
  • Build a Safe Room that meets FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) specifications to provide near-absolute protection from hurricanes and tornados. 
  • Consider installing impact-resistant hurricane shutters or replacing your windows with hurricane glass if you don't already have them. 
  • Replace old skylights using current codes.

Feel free to contact me for assistance on any post-Irma cleanup, repairs or renovations to keep your family and home safe for the next weather event. Give us a call at 910.620.1835 or fill out our brief Custom Renovations form here. We'll be in touch!