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Home Hurricane Prep as a Storm Approaches Landfall

When a storm is on the way, make every minute count to prepare. There are critical steps you can take——like closing interior doors and installing hurricane shutters—to better protect your home. 

Begin Last-Minute Prep!

When a storm is approaching landfall, follow these last-minute steps to help reduce damage to your home.

Last-minute Hurricane Prep & Recovery
Quick, last-minute steps you can take and steps to recover quickly.


1. Stay informed. Set up 3 ways to get reliable weather information and alerts.

A hurricane can knock out power and disrupt communications. Having multiple ways to receive alerts helps keep you informed throughout the storm. 

  • Find a reliable source for hurricane updates. Pay attention to hurricane forecasts from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Follow the NHC on Facebook or X and tune in to local news often. For impacts to your local area, follow your local National Weather Service (NWS) office. 
  • Purchase a NOAA weather radio, preferably one with a hand crank.  
  • Enable wireless emergency alerts on your cell phone. Check your wireless service provider’s website to find out how to do this for your specific phone type. 

Note: Geographical maps are used to communicate critical weather information. Know where you are on a map and know your county name. 

1- 3 Ways Warnings


2) Activate your emergency hurricane plan.

Now is the time to put your hurricane plan into action. By planning ahead, you know what to do now that a storm is approaching. 

  • Keep your phone and devices charged. 
  • Charge a rechargeable battery pack.  
  • Refresh your emergency supply kit.  
  • Begin last-minute home preparations. 
chargers and mobile phones on the table, technoliji charging system.

3) Install your hurricane shutters.

Shutters can protect your windows from flying debris and help keep out damaging winds.  

  • Place hurricane shutters over all the windows.  
  • Plywood should only be used in place of shutters as a last-minute resort when tropical weather is imminent. If plywood must be used, be sure it’s at least ¾ inch thick. Additionally, taping windows provides no protection and should NOT be done. 
Hurricane protection corrugated metal panels installed on tropical home

4) Gather loose items from your yard.

Outdoor items on the lawn or patio could become flying debris and damage your home. 

  • Move outdoor items such as patio furniture, toys, planters, grills, and any other loose items in your yard or on your patio into a garage or shed. 
  • Place pool furniture inside or into the pool so it won’t be blown away. 
details from a style,sh balcony and garden arrangements

5) Check and clear your gutters and downspouts.

Water that does not properly drain off the roof and away from your home can leak into your home or seep into the basement. Clogged gutters can back up and allow water to damage roof decking and fascia.  

  • Ensure gutters and downspouts are secured to the home with gutter straps. 
  • Clean all gutters, downspouts, and drains free of tree debris. 
  • Ensure downspouts divert water at least 3 feet away from the foundation. 
grey aluminium gutter system corner house facade

6) Close all garage doors, doors and windows, including interior doors.

Leaving a garage door or windows open during a hurricane leaves your building more vulnerable to structural damage by inviting the wind inside, where pressure can build up on the roof and walls. If a window is broken, air rapidly fills your structure, causing a dangerous increase in the forces pushing up on your roof. Scientific wind testing at the IBHS Research Center reveals that closing interior doors helps compartmentalize the pressure inside a building into smaller areas, reducing the force on the roof by as much as 30%, and giving your roof a better chance of staying intact. 

  • Close the garage doors all the way.  
    • Initiate wind locks if available. 
  • Close all exterior windows and doors to keep the wind and rain out.  
  • Close all interior doors to compartmentalize pressure from the wind if it gets inside your home. 
Men's hand opens and closes the door.


6) Evacuate, communicate, and stay safe.

  • Follow instructions and evacuate immediately if authorities tell you to do so. 
  • Let loved ones know where you plan to go. 
A sign leads hurricane evacuees to safety.

Annual Home Prep

"Beautiful, luxurious House with nice landscaping  in Florida"

These annual maintenance activities will help reduce potential property damage. 

Home Upgrades

0- Home Upgrades Header

If you’re renovating, re-roofing, or building new, consider these upgrades to make your home stronger against hurricanes. 

Crucial Steps Before a Hurricane

Storm clouds roll in from behind a house that gleams with late afternoon sunshine on Barbados.

When a storm appears to be approaching landfall, follow these last-minute steps to help reduce damage to your home. 

After a Damaging Hurricane

Home destroyed on FMB

These steps will guide you through the process to recover quickly.