Will he or won’t he? With Hurricane Earl threatening the nation’s Eastern Seaboard this Labor Day, there are steps homeowners can take to weatherproof their homes that won’t break the bank.Kiplinger’s Personal Finance offers six pieces of essential hurricane-preparation advice, including:
- Brace your garage door to prevent more-extensive damage.Will he or won’t he? With Hurricane Earl threatening the nation’s Eastern Seaboard this Labor Day, there are steps homeowners can take to weatherproof their homes that won’t break the bank.
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance offers six pieces of essential hurricane-preparation advice, including:
- Brace your garage door to prevent more-extensive damage. “A lot of people believe that the roof is the most vulnerable part of the house,” says Ray Stone, vice-president of catastrophe operations for Travelers Insurance. “But it’s not. It’s the garage door.” Most garage doors are not reinforced, and when the wind gets into the garage, it creates a positive push at the same time that the wind swirling above the structure creates a negative pull. That push-pull combination can cause the roof to fly off. See the National Weather Service information sheet to learn about kits that you can buy at home-improvement stores to brace your garage doors.
- Secure your windows and doors. Broken windows can let in wind and rain, and they can also increase the pressure under the roof. Storm shutters provide the best protection, but boarding up windows when a storm is on the way can help, too. Don’t bother taping your windows, though. “Putting masking tape on the windows literally does nothing,” says Stone. Make sure doors have several locking mechanisms so they don’t fly open; deadbolts are best. And it’s important to secure windows and doors at all sides of the home -- not just the one facing the body of water where hurricanes could form -- because hurricanes can swirl in any direction. See the Institute for Business & Home Safety’s DisasterSafety.org for details about how to make your windows and doors more secure.
- Take inventory. “The last thing you want to be doing after you’ve been affected by a hurricane is to try to remember everything you had in the house,” says Stone. “Having an inventory will make the process of getting through the claim and getting back to normal so much easier.” The Insurance Information Institute’s KnowYourStuff.org is a great place to get started. Keep the inventory in a safe place away from your home.