How to hurricane-proof your house

Hurricane Isaias approaching East Coast

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is underway, and the National Weather Service has predicted it will be “above normal” this year, with another storm now approaching the East Coast.

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The odds are that there will be 13-19 named storms this year, including six to 10 hurricanes and three to six “major” hurricanes, according to the NOAA’s hurricane season outlook.

But it’s still not too late to prepare your home for any hurricanes or tropical storm that may head your way this year. Here's a look at some of the options that are out there.

Protect doors and windows

Shoppers load their truck with supplies to prepare ahead of Hurricane Dorian at The Home Depot on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Pembroke Pines, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

COSTLIEST HURRICANES IN US HISTORY

High winds often present the greatest danger in a hurricane. They can carry harmful debris, breaking glass and can even blow the roof off a structure by building up pressure inside.

Hurricane shutters are the best-known defense. The metal barriers can be lowered into place over windows and doors.

There are also impact-resistant windows that use a plastic layer between glass panes in order to prevent them from breaking.

For doors, fiberglass options can be stronger and more resistant to impact than wooden doors. Impact-resistant garage doors are also available that are rated strong enough to withstand even Category 5 hurricane winds.

Strengthen the roof

An aerial view of floods and damages from Hurricane Dorian on Freeport, Grand Bahama on September 5, 2019. (ADAM DELGIUDICE/AFP/Getty Images)

HURRICANE SEASON 2020 COULD BE INTENSE, FORECASTERS SAY

Metal roofs may come with some disadvantages – they can be more expensive, noisy and prone to expanding and contracting, according to State Farm – but they can also be crucial in a storm, withstanding stronger winds than conventional roofs.

Hurricane straps are another option, but another which can also be expensive to install. The metal straps connect roof trusses to wall frames, creating a stronger, more wind-resistant bond.

Clean up the yard

Wind brought by Hurricane Matthew blow palm trees on Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Tim Aylen)

OIL MAY TAKE FRESH BEATING THIS HURRICANE SEASON

It’s important to clear up yard debris before a storm, as winds can carry items like loose branches and turn them into projectiles that may cause serious damage or injuries.

Outdoor furniture and other items should also be stored inside before a storm.

It’s also a good idea to make sure gutters and anyplace else water flows are clear before a hurricane brings heavy rains.

Prepare for floods and outages

Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department chief Albert O’Neal, in blue shirt, boats down Sunset Drive on his way to seek out islanders stranded in their flooded homes in the aftermath of Hurricane. (Connie Leinbach/Ocracoke Observer via AP)

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Many homes can benefit from a sump pump to flush water out of a basement during flooding.

But hurricane winds frequently cause power outages, which can leave a pump sitting useless as water flows into your home. That’s why many experts recommend having a backup generator in case of emergencies.

When using a generator, it’s important to run it in a safe, ventilated space. Once it’s running, the generator can also power essential emergency items like radios for storm updates and keep your refrigerated food fresh.

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