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House Cross-SectionSecuring your home for a storm should start well before hurricane season. Decide on the kind of shutters you will be using. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows, but you could also board up with 5/8 inch plywood. If you are going to use this option, to avoid unnecessary stress when a storm warning is announced, buy and cut the plywood to fit well before the season starts. Number the plywood sheets so you can fit them to the right window and store them in the order you will install. Remember, too: tape does NOT prevent windows from breaking.

To reduce roof damage, install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. Also around your home, keep all trees and shrubs trimmed and clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts. If you are a boat owner, determine how and where to secure it.

With these pre-hurricane season preparations complete, once a storm warning is given, all you need to do is secure your home by boarding up or closing storm shutters. Secure loose outdoor objects by tying them down or taking them indoors. If instructed to do so, turn off utilities; otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed. Turn off propane tanks, and avoid using the phone, except for emergencies. Moor your boat if time permits, and by filling bathtubs and other large containers with water, ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets.

Last Updated: 2010-08-15