Preparing your home for hurricane season

Preparedness makes the best defense against anything, even hurricanes. While you can’t control the weather, you can reduce the number of hazards around your home that could add to a hurricane’s impact. Start now and you’ll be ready to weather the storm in Virginia Beach VA when hurricane season begins in June.

House Prep

  • Conduct a home inventory. Create a list of items and their value. Take photos of major items, like home entertainment systems. 
  • Purchase a generator. You’ll still have power if the electricity goes out.
  • Learn how to turn off the water, electricity and natural gas or propane lines in your home. Practice doing this before the storm. 
  • Strap down the roof using hurricane clips or straps. This reduces roof damage by adding a second connection of the roof to your house frame.
  • Install foot and head bolts on all entry doors to bolster security from high winds.
  • Reinforce your garage door. These commonly blow in during high winds. If your  second floor or attic is located above it, it can tear upwards and damage the roof. 
  • Purchase or make storm shutters for doors and windows. If you make this a DIY project, use exterior grade or marine grade plywood at least five-eighths of an inch in thickness.
  • Caulk windows and doors to block moisture from entering your home.
  • Test your sump pump and basement and yard drains well ahead of storm season and just before the storm. Keep replacement batteries handy.

Outside Your Home

  • Keep gutters clean and in good repair. This keeps heavy rains flowing off your roof and into proper drainage channels on the ground.
  • A day or two before landfall, bring inside all outdoor furniture and decorations. This reduces projectiles that high winds can pick up. 
  • Reinforce areas of attachment between the home and porches, decks, carports, and canopies. Use roof straps and tie downs to reinforce the stability of sheds or well houses.
  • Keep shrubs and trees trimmed so they better resist the wind. Cut down any dead branches and trees well before the storm.
  • Tie down smaller shrubs and trees to prevent uprooting.
  • Replace the gravel in your driveway or yard paths with shredded bark. Windblown gravel can damage windows and structures.

Insurance Review

  • Review with your Insurance Shopper VA insurance agent what your home insurance policy covers.
  • Purchase wind insurance, if your home insurance policy doesn’t cover wind damage.
  • Home insurance policies don’t cover flood damage. For this, you need flood insurance. Your agent can help you obtain this through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Although it takes time and effort, preparing your well in advance of the storm protects you and your investment from damage. Many of these improvements also cut your energy expenses and raise the value of your home.