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How to Keep Your Home Safe During Hurricane Season

Oct 13, 2022|

For people who live along the Atlantic coast, June through November means hurricane season. When a hurricane hits, high winds, rains, and flooding leads to billions of dollars in damage to people’s homes, businesses, and property.

While you can’t stop Mother Nature, homeowners can still take steps to protect your home during hurricane season.

Cars partially submerged in water during a flood.

What can a hurricane do to a home?

Protecting your home starts with understanding what exactly causes hurricane damage. The most serious damage from hurricanes comes from a combination of the following:

  • Strong winds. Hurricanes are rated by severity on a scale from 1-5 based on wind speed. They range from 74mph in a Category 1 hurricane to over 150mph in a Category 5. Strong hurricane winds can cause major damage. Gusts can turn everyday items into dangerous projectiles, uprooting trees, damaging power lines and causing power outages, and blowing away roofs and shingles.
  • Storm surges. A storm surge is an abnormal rise in water level (as high as 20 feet) as the result of a storm, pushing large waves into the coasts and damaging everything in its path. It also contributes to erosion.
  • Heavy rains. Heavy rains also occur during hurricane season, producing up to 6 inches of rain in a short period of time and causing flood damage. If your roof has wind damage, heavy rain can also lead to flooding in homes and serious water damage.

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How to protect your home during hurricane season

Protection from hurricanes should take place in phases—before, during, and after the storm. Taking precautions before the hurricane lands or before you evacuate (if needed) can help minimize damage.

Before the hurricane

Preparedness before the hurricane landfall can make all the difference. Be sure to:

  • Double-check your insurance policies. Insurance can be confusing, so make sure your policies, including those for your boats and cars, cover all the risks associated with hurricanes. If you need flood insurance, check or call your insurance company with any questions. It’s also a good idea to check your deductible; in Florida, for example, the hurricane deductible is separate from the regular deductible on your homeowners policy.
  • Have a plan. Have an evacuation plan in place so you know where to go and how to get there should you need to evacuate the area.
  • Keep some essentials on hand. Stock up on non-perishable food items, bottled water, toiletries, flashlights, and batteries. In serious hurricanes, power outages can last for days.
  • Protect your home from flooding. Use surge protectors on electronics and appliances and safeguard important documents, such as passports and birth certificates, in a stormproof container. If you have a basement, a sump pump is a must.
  • Consider sandbags. While they can’t keep water out completely, sandbags can help divert water away from your home and protect it from flooding, especially around entry doorways and your garage door.
  • Clean up outside. Trim low-hanging branches (especially those around your house) and landscaping, and bring in patio furniture, grills, decor, and toys. Use hurricane straps to tie down anything you can’t bring inside so they don’t get blown away by heavy winds.
  • Check your gutters and downspouts. Clean and repair loose gutters to ensure they’re functioning properly. You should also ensure your downspouts are far enough away so heavy rain doesn’t pool around your house; an accordion extension can help divert water.
  • Install storm shutters. These can protect your windows from breaking. You can also nail plywood sheets to your window frames as an alternative hurricane shutters. Seal windows and other openings with waterproof caulk to further protect against leaks from rain.

During the storm

  • Stay inside. It can be tempting to go outside, but strong winds can quickly overcome you.
  • Monitor the weather forecasts. Keep a radio or TV on with regular updates so you can track the storm and evacuate if needed.
  • Unplug major appliances. This will help protect them from power surge damage. If there’s a chance your home will flood, move expensive appliances to higher ground to help protect from flood waters.
  • Never walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Just 6 inches of fast-moving flood water is enough to knock you down and sweep you away, while 12 inches can carry away an entire car. It’s not worth the risk to you and your loved ones.

After the hurricane

If the hurricane impact was minimal, you may not have serious damage. If you had to evacuate, once the storm has gone and you’ve been given the green light by authorities to return home, you can start to assess the damage and take steps to prevent further problems:

  • Board up any broken windows. This will help protect your home from further damage by vandals or thieves.
  • Take an inventory of damaged items. Your insurance company will need this information.
  • Avoid downed power lines and report them to the electric company immediately.
  • Contact your insurance company if your home appears unsafe or inhabitable after a hurricane. They can assist with temporary accommodations.

How Vivint protects your home during hurricane season

Even if your home or city is safe from the hurricane’s impact, there can still be risks during hurricane season. Vivint provides another added layer of security for your home and family during hurricanes and natural disasters.

Take a look at a few of the ways a Vivint Smart Home works to protect your home during a natural disaster:

24/7 monitoring

All Vivint systems include 24/7 monitoring from a professional monitoring company. If an alarm in your house goes off—whether it’s a burglar alarm or safety alarm—the monitoring center will contact you immediately to assess the emergency. If they are unable to get ahold of you, they will contact emergency services for you.

You’ll also be able to monitor your home via the Vivint App while you’re away. If you’ve evacuated your home, you can view your security camera feeds right from your phone. You’ll also be notified if any alarms in your home go off.

Smart devices

Vivint includes a wide range of smart devices to keep you informed and protected during a natural disaster (and any time!), including:

  • Smart Hub. Your home’s control panel keeps you connected and informed at all times. One-touch emergency callouts put you in touch with help in an emergency, and the panel also keeps you updated with weather emergencies, providing a visual and audible alert if there is a severe weather warning. The backup battery keeps the Hub running even in a power outage, so you’ll always have access to help.
  • Water sensor. Safeguard against flooding or standing water with Water Sensor. These small, portable devices can be placed throughout your home in areas more likely to flood. Fast, accurate leak detection and immediate notifications to your Smart Hub and Vivint App let you take action quickly if there is flooding in your home.

Professional installation

In an emergency, you need everything to work. All Vivint systems include professional installation, so there’s no need to DIY your smart home or security system. Our technicians will ensure your home is running and show you how to use your system, so you get the full benefit of all it has to offer.

Vivint Water Sensor under a kitchen sink.

Let Vivint help you protect your home

Staying safe during hurricane season can be stressful. Vivint can help protect your home around the clock and keep you in touch with the help you need. Give us a call today at 855.822.1220 for a free consultation.

Get a free quote today.

A Vivint Smart Home Pro will contact you within 24 hours. Or skip the form and call now: 844.481.8630.

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