Ways to prepare your home for emergencies



The National Institute of Building Sciences says that every $1 spent on preparing for disasters, saves our country roughly $4. The question is what can you do to minimize damage from any type of storm with high winds and wind-driven rain?

Here are some preparedness actions you can take:


  • Seal gaps in your homes envelope with caulking. Start with doors (entry, sliding glass and garage) and windows, then holes and gaps around pipes and wires going into your home. Shutters or plywood will also help protect windows.
  • Clear gutters, downspouts and drains to help rain water quickly move away from your home.
  • Make sure you have sufficient financial resources to cover any losses, whether money in the bank or comprehensive insurance policies.
  • Your roof must be in good repair, including flashing and caulking around anything penetrating the roof. If you live in a location prone to hurricanes, use a high-wind product when replacing your roof.
  • Make sure exterior features like gutters, vents, decks, porches and house trim are securely attached.
  • Trim any tree limbs at risk of breaking in high winds.
  • Put away any loose items normally stored outside like garbage cans, porch and lawn furniture.
  • Move furniture, appliances and electronics off the basement or first floor, to prevent water damage if there’s flooding. Roll up area rugs and carpeting where possible.
  • Check your pumps and generators to make sure they’ll operate when needed. Make sure you’ve got extra gas and batteries if needed.
  • Shut off electrical service at the main breaker before you leave your home, in case the electrical system or outlets will be under water.
  • Locate and shut off the gas (main coming into house, tank, etc) and make sure everyone knows how to turn them off.