The peak potential time for hurricanes here in New Jersey runs from mid-August through the end of October. Although Hurricane Sandy occurred eight years ago, it is still on people’s minds. An average hurricane season is predicted to have between 15-18 named storms, however each season is different, and no two seasons are alike. According to NOAA, the 2020 hurricane season is predicted to be “60% chance of an above-average.”
Considering this information, the more prepared you are, the better the odds that you won’t suffer flood or water damage as severely as if no preparation were taken.
To protect your home, here are 5 tips that can help you prepare for and ride out a storm:
Keep Doors and Windows Protected - Heavy rains can cause flooding in your home, and high winds can hurl objects at high speeds. Take care to make sure to your windows and doors are properly protected. The best method is to nail plywood to the outside of your house. Taping your windows to keep them from breaking is not helpful, but actually more dangerous as the windows can break into larger, more dangerous pieces.
Remove Items from Your Yard - The more you can minimize any loose, large objects near your house, the better you can protect yourself from flying debris. Remember to secure any patio furniture or garden sculptures. Even better, try to bring everything you can indoors for the duration of the storm.
Keep your trees pruned - Removing any dead branches well before the storm begins will make a big difference in high winds.
Keep Gutters Clear - Regularly clean out your gutters and downspouts and make sure nothing blocks flowing rainwater, especially before a major storm. If the heavy rains can’t flow down and away from your home, they could end up pooling on your roof and leaking into your attic, or pooling around your foundation, creating significant and costly damage to your home.
Make Sure You Have a Working Sump Pump and Emergency Generator – Installing a sump pump is the best way to ensure your basement or crawl space will stay dry during any potential flooding. Also having an emergency generator on hand can be essential for any power loss you may experience during a major storm.
Stock Up on Basic Supplies - According to the National Weather Service, you should never be without an emergency supply kit. Having necessities on-hand during a storm ensures that, should the power go out, you will be well prepared.
Hurricane season is unpredictable, but if you take the time to prepare beforehand you should be able to ride out most any storm.