Protecting your home during a hurricane and how to prepare for a potential hurricane or tropical storm.
Well, we dodged a bullet this last week. Hurricane Madeline and Lester were more bark than bite for our islands but you just never know when a big one might hit and it’s important to be prepared. Many forecasters predict that it’s only a matter of time before Hawaii may be directly hit by a big storm.
Here are some great tips to preparing and keeping yourself and your home safe if a large storm or hurricane ever hits.
Before preparing your home in case of a large storm you want to take pictures of each room of your house and items that are irreplaceable such as a piano, jewelry, large furniture, or other items of value. You want to have proof in terms of the type of loss you sustained should something happen.
Check into your insurance policy.
You want to understand what kind of policy you have and what it actually covers. Ask questions, talk about the deductible and if it doesn’t cover what you think it covers, ask about additional insurance.
Install hurricane clips.
Hurricane connectors are steel clips and straps that of been designed for new construction to connect your roof to the wall. Only homes in Hawaii built since 1994 have these hurricane clips and they are now mandated and county codes. You want to check to see if your home has these. Not all homes with V-gable peaks and horizontal lookout beams have these clips.
Secure the doors.
Regardless of whether your home has a double or single entry door, you want to secure it. If it is solid wood or hollow metal it can properly resist when pressures and hurricane debris. If you do not have this type of door you want to install head and foot bolts on the inactive door of double-entry doors and make sure your doors have at least three hinges and a deadbolt security lock.
Bracing garage doors.
Not many homes in Hawaii have garage doors but those who do can be more susceptible to wind damage than the rest of the house due to the large door. You want to check with your local building code to see if there are requirements for garage doors in your area and ask about the garage door retrofit kit for hurricane safety.
Read more: More about Bad Weather on Oahu
Trim all trees.
Take a look if there are any major trees surrounding your home but could fall and damage the house. Try not to let trees get too large and if they have shallow roots that are more likely to uproot.
Secure windows and doors.
Broken windows can lead a lot of wind and rain in and can damage your home also increasing the pressure under the roof. You want to install storm shutters for the best protection but boarding up windows when a storm is on the way can also be helpful. Taking windows will not help.
Try to stock up on water, essentials, drygoods and other items to sustain you and your family for about 10 days. Make careful note on what you can use if you are unable to heat up food and actually cook it. Keep water bottles, first aid kits, and flashlights with batteries handy at all times.