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How to prepare your new home for a hurricane

Follow this hurricane preparation guide to keep your home and family safe in the event of an emergency.

If you've recently moved to a new area where hurricanes are a concern, it's important to prepare accordingly., the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' official website reported that hurricane season is at its peak and will come to an end Nov. 30. There are certain precautions to take when preparing for a hurricane, so make sure your home and your family are equipped with the tools necessary to stay safe.

Get insured

Even if your new home isn't technically in a flood zone, it may be beneficial to look into flood insurance after an address change. noted that flood damage isn't typically covered in standard homeowner's insurance, and it could cause substantial financial concern should a disaster occur. Check your policy to make sure that your home is protected as required by law, and keep the copies in a safe spot outside of your home. Try keeping records in a safety deposit box at your bank for optimal safety. This will ensure that, even if there's damage to your home, your important documents will still be accessible.

Stay connected

Oftentimes, you'll receive an alert on your smartphone warning of an approaching severe weather. However, don't wait until you receive an alert to prepare. Keep up with the news and weather forecasts in your area to be informed of a pending storm, and talk to your new neighbors and co-workers who may be able to provide you with firsthand advice for handling dangerous weather conditions in your neighborhood. They may know about community resources that can assist residents in the event of an emergency.

Equip your home

Making small tweaks to your new home and yard after moving could make a major difference in the event of a hurricane. USA Today recommended taking special note of trees or branches that appear to be weak or unable to withstand a storm. If they break during the storm and they're close to your home or power lines, they could cause serious damage. Additionally, board up windows with plywood to protect them from shattering due to powerful winds. Be sure to purchase wood that is large enough to fit your windows, and don't wait until an alert is issued before going to the store to buy them. 

Prepare to lose power

During a storm, it's common for your power to go out. Try purchasing solar-powered chargers for your electronics and stocking up on batteries before a storm. Also, many businesses allow those without power to come in and use their power to charge your devices. It's also important to keep a kit of essentials for when there's no electricity. Think of everything your family typically uses daily, and use that as a starting point. Stock up on bottled water to stay hydrated and use it to brush your teeth and wash up if the power is out for a while. Keep flashlights, blankets and enough non perishable food to last a few days. Board games and cards can help pass the time in the event of an emergency, so including them in your kit could be beneficial as well.

Manage the aftermath

Should a hurricane hit and cause damage, you need to know who to contact for help. If it's an urgent situation, like a fire, personal injury or fallen power lines, call emergency services immediately. If your power has been restored, but your cable has been out for a while, talk to your neighbors to see if they're experiencing the same trouble. Contact your cable service if you're the only household having issues, as it could require special technical attention.

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