How To Prep Your New Home for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is quickly approaching, and we don’t take this time of year lightly in the Bayou region. If you’ve recently built a new home or renovated your existing home, thinking about the impending hurricane season can be stressful. Here’s some advice from local and national experts about how you can prepare your home for hurricane season.

Consider the 5 S’s in your home: shingles, soffits, seals, shutters and surroundings.

  • Shingles: Roof damage is the biggest homeowners insurance claim following a storm. Check your roof for any loose pieces, and ensure that the most vulnerable parts of your roof (the first course of shingles and along the gable ends) are secure. This is a good time to clear your gutters as well!
  • Soffts: Loose soffits can be blown around, allowing wind-driven rain to enter your attic space. Ensure soffits are secure with polyurethane sealant and stainless steel screws.
  • Seals: Check holes on the exterior of your home where wires, cables and pipes enter or exit your home, and caulk where needed.
  • Shutters: Hurricanes bring high winds, which can cause flying debris to damage windows. If you have functioning shutters, do a test run before hurricane season to ensure they are working properly. If you do not have functional shutters, consider investing in lightweight, translucent removable storm panels that are significantly easier to install than traditional plywood boards.
  • Surroundings: In advance of hurricane season, survey the trees in your yard and address any dead or decaying trees around your home that could cause problems. Prior to an impending storm, secure loose objects such as patio furniture, potted plants, bird feeders, etc. Don’t forget about any chemicals you may store in your garage or carport – make sure chemicals like gasoline or pesticides are in secure locations and placed high enough so they will not be affected by any flood waters.

Hurricane season runs June – November, but historically Louisiana has seen the most dangerous hurricanes in the months of August and September.

Remember that the time to prepare for hurricane season isn’t when a storm has been named – set time aside in May or June to review this checklist and ensure you have time to make any necessary updates to your home.