According to the NOAA's Hurricane Research Division, Miami, Tampa, and Key West, Florida as well as New Orleans, Louisiana, and Cape Hatteras, North Carolina are the five American cities most prone to hurricanes. In addition to powerful winds and the damage they can do, flooding is the other big concern. As coastal areas continue to grow and the effects of a changing climate lead to unpredictable weather, it's extremely important people living in hurricane zones are adequately prepared to deal with these storms. Here's three steps you can take to protect yourself and your home.
Get Impact Windows And Doors
Hurricane-force winds can do a lot of damage to the exterior of a home. But when the wind makes its way into your home, the entire structure can be destroyed in a matter of minutes. The window can send projectiles flying like bullets through your windows. The wind can blow regular windows out. When the wind is then blowing around the interior of your home, a miniature tornado is formed, the pressure builds, and your home's roof is blown off, collapsing the structure.
Impact windows and doors can help prevent this disaster. Impact windows are made with a silicon-laminated glass combined with heavy-duty frames. The frames prevent the glass from breaking away, and the glass will spider, but it will not shatter. This is because the windows are made of a sandwich of two pieces of glass and a core of polyvinyl butyral resin. This is similar to how windshields in automobiles are made. If your home has an attached garage, you should also have an impact-resistant garage door. If the garage is breached, the same tornado-like effect can occur in the garage, ripping off the roof. Additionally, the garage door should be braced as part of your pre-hurricane preparations.
Keep Up On Your Landscaping
You don't need a hurricane to snap tree branches or topple trees; a severe thunderstorm can do that. However, in a hurricane, branches and trees can become airborne and dangerous. For this reason, your trees should be pruned each year in late autumn or early winter as well as after each major storm. This will help protect your home from the destruction of falling or flying branches and trees.
Secure Loose Items
Don't leave things like your gas grill and patio furniture sitting outside. Bring them in the house or securely chain them in place. Put any vehicles and bicycles in the garage to protect them from damage or becoming projectiles.