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A circular hurricane travels across the ocean and passes over the US.
Hurricane Prep
Tips + Tricks

Year-Round Tips to Stay Prepared for Hurricane Season

September 19, 2022

September 19, 2022

Preparation before a hurricane or other weather event occurs is key to a speedy recovery. We may be at the very middle of hurricane season, but you can still prepare before with these year-round tips!

A gutter is full of autumn leaves, clogging the drain.

1. Check your insurance coverage

You might think your insurance policy is a “set it and forget it,” but really you should check and update coverage every year, as needed. You want to make sure your property is fully covered. That means items like new electronics, a home addition, or a new car should all be added to your policy, so they are protected. Also keep in mind what your deductible is and have money in the bank to cover it if you can.

2. Know your risks

Are you likely to flood? Do you live in a tornado prone area? Knowing your risks means you can be properly prepared for when these events occur. Your insurance policy should include coverage for the risks you could face.

3. Understand National Weather Service (NWS) alerts

Learn and understand what each NWS alert means. You don’t want to mix up a warning and a watch when you’re at risk. Check out different alerts here.

4. Clean drains and gutters

Street drains and gutters won’t perform as well if they are clogged with debris. Keep your drainage systems clear. Even a heavy rain day can back up your gutters and cause water damage to your home.

5. Trim your trees

Prep your property by trimming dead or dangerous limbs. Remember that a strong enough gust of wind can carry debris much farther than you might think, so manage the trees even when they aren’t right next to your home.

A man packs items into his emergency kit. He holds two clear bottles of water and examines many other items on a grey couch in front of him. Among the items is a red first aid kit, various charging cables, a red flashlight, clothing, dollar bills, and a radio.

6. Prepare your emergency kit and plan

Have your kit prepped and ready before a storm is heading your way. Supplies can sell out quickly, so it’s better to have your kit ahead of time. Be sure to regularly cycle out damaged or expired items. See our full emergency kit checklist here.

7. Have and practice a communication plan

How will you contact your family if internet services are down? Who is your point of contact to share that you’re safe or need help? Where will you get your emergency alerts? These questions and more are things you should have ready before an emergency. See FEMA’s advice on creating your communication plan here.

8. Know how to shut off your utilities

If a pipe bursts or a power line falls, do you know how to turn off your utilities? Make sure you know how to prevent further risk after damage occurs by having the tools and knowledge to shut off your utilities.

9. Have proper supplies to cover windows and doors

Store storm shutters or protection somewhere close. Plywood supplies will be reduced if a big storm is heading for your area. The gold standard for opening protection is rated storm shutters, hurricane fabric, etc. If you must use plywood, FEMA suggests you use at least 5/8-inch thickness.

10. Have a plan to secure loose items

Loose items like furniture, planters, etc., in your yard or on your patio become projectiles when a storm approaches. Have a plan to store or anchor these items so they don’t become flying debris for you or your neighbors.

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