Man, it rolls around fast doesn’t it?
The onset of summer means it’s time to break out the hurricane preparation tips. Even if you’ve weathered a hurricane or two, it doesn’t hurt to brush up.
Hurricane preparation is necessary when you live near the coast in Texas. You just never know when mother nature will send one hurtling our way. Taking steps to prepare now will afford you peace of mind throughout the season.
We outlined four critical things to think about so you’ll be ready!
Feel free to customize to meet your needs.
First and foremost
Hurricanes are serious business. If one is headed toward the coast pay attention to the latest updates. Known for erratic behavior, hurricanes can change course in no time at all. The point of landfall today might not be the same tomorrow.
Moreover, if an evacuation order is in place for your area, heed it.
If officials warrant the situation requires evacuation, massive destruction is anticipated. Excessive wind coupled with the ocean rushing inland do not bode well for your family’s safety.
The rule of thumb as to when to evacuate is the sooner the better. It will be much easier to get away from the area if you don’t wait until the mad rush just prior to the hurricane hitting. Traffic backs up quickly as zero–hour approaches.
Check evacuation routes in your area or if you are very familiar with your surroundings, map one out yourself.
Also, consider driving to a safe place within the state rather than trying to get out of Texas entirely. Again, traffic is more than a headache when in the thick of it. Hurry up and wait weighs heavy on the wait side of things.
While time permits
Reinforcing your home is another major hurricane preparation tip.
Granted, if the storm is close, it may not be the best idea to start a home improvement project. However, there are a few simple and economical ideas that you should consider.
Did you know that using construction adhesive increases the strength of your home times three?
That’s some super glue!
Run a ½ bead of adhesive along each rafter or truss where it meets the plywood sheathing. That’s all there is to it.
Backed up by braces
Adding braces to your roof from the attic fortifies your roof.
If it’s a gable roof, a couple of 2-4’s on each end wall make it more wind resistant. That’s a good thing. Gabled roofs are more susceptible to wind damage.
The 2×4’s are nailed in an “X” pattern. Begin by placing the first 2×4 at the top center brace of the fourth truss. Vice versa for the second brace. The braces should be secured using 3-inch, 14-gauge wood screws or 16d galvanized common nails.
Before things get pressing
There are other ways to greatly increase the hurricane resistance value of your home. They require more than a just a few hours to complete the job, though.
If you are not under threat of an impending hurricane, consider these methods.
No matter what type of roof you have, hurricane straps help hold your roof to the walls of your home. The best-case scenario is having these straps installed when your home is being built. You can retrofit them, but it’s no easy task.
You should call a contractor to tackle this job for you. A skilled professional can complete the job with as little hassle as possible.
It’s estimated that 80% of homes destroyed by hurricanes lost their garage door first. This allows the storm to enter your home through a large gaping hole. Once inside, the winds push through every possible gap creating extreme pressure.
We know what happens after that.
Hurricane windows, also known as impact windows, prove themselves to be an extremely worthy investment. Built to take a beating, reinforced windows are put through rigorous testing before they earn a rating.
The ratings vary according to overall testing performance. Your customer service representative knows the ins and outs of it all and will guide you through your selection process.
By the way, hurricane windows offer other benefits. Such as being extremely energy efficient and they protect your family against home invasion!
Keeping your trees free of dead branches and pruned to remove excess foliage gives them a much greater chance of survival.
Don’t forget to think about your fruit trees. If left on the tree, each piece of fruit becomes a projectile. Consider harvesting whether it’s time or not.
The here and now
If a hurricane is on the way, gather supplies needed for each family member to survive for three days. This includes medicines, clothes, food, water, and comfort items. Remember to have supplies on hand for your pets, too.
If you have children, having access to games, toys, or drawing materials is a wise idea. Generally, it will distract them from what’s going on around them.
Gather up important documents and have some cash on hand. Debit or credit cards will be rendered useless in the event of extreme power outages.
Also, have flashlights, extra batteries and an emergency alert radio ready to go as well.
If you plan to use a back-up generator, do not use it indoors. The carbon monoxide fumes are deadly. Place your generator outside and away from windows.
Living in paradise
Much of the time living in Texas is the best! We have sun and surf at our disposal anytime. Many of us view the hurricane season as the price we pay for it.
Riding out a hurricane isn’t a pleasant spot to be in and we hope you never find yourself there.
However, a bit of hurricane preparation review in advance leaves you with the satisfaction of knowing that your family will be as safe as possible if you find yourselves in a hurricane’s path.