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Home Upgrades for Further Resilience Against Hurricanes

Just one landfalling hurricane can cause billions of dollars of insured property damage. Home upgrades using modern building codes can better withstand hurricanes by reducing home damage and limiting disruption and displacement caused by these storms. 

Start Building Upgrades!

If you’re renovating, re-roofing, or building new, consider these upgrades to make your home stronger against hurricanes. Upgrade now and be Hurricane Ready!

Home Hurricane Prep & Upgrades
Annual maintenance tips and upgrades to protect your home.

1. Strengthen your roof against severe weather.

Your roof is your first line of defense against severe weather. Hurricane winds can damage your roof cover and lead to roof leaks that can destroy your home and belongings 

  • Replace your roof with a FORTIFIED Roof that is designed to prevent wind and water damage with just a few additional methods and materials. Decades of IBHS research have gone into developing this roofing standard that can help keep your roof on and water out during severe weather.  
    • Here’s how a FORTIFIED Roof works: 
      • Better roof deck attachment using ring-shank nails in an enhanced nailing pattern helps keep the roof deck attached to your home.  
      • Stronger roof edges reinforce your roof where it is most vulnerable to uplift during powerful winds. 
      • A sealed roof deck keeps rain from seeping through the cracks of the roof deck boards even when your roof cover is lifted or blown off. 
      • Impact-resistant skylights to withstand water intrusion and large impacts. 
    • Find a professional to install a FORTIFIED Roof. This process includes an intensive inspection by an independent, third-party evaluator so you can be confident it meets the requirements shown to reduce storm damage.  
    • Having a designated FORTIFIED Roof may qualify you for an insurance discount so be sure to ask your insurance agent for available incentives! 
1- Strengthen your roof

2) Upgrade to a wind-rated garage door.

A garage door is one of the most vulnerable areas of your home during a hurricane because it is the largest opening. High winds in a hurricane can push a garage door inward, allowing pressure to build inside the garage and push up on the roof and surrounding walls—often resulting in more significant structural damage to your home. Wind-rated garage doors that have been tested to withstand these pressures are available and can help protect your home. 

  • Check for a wind rating label on your garage door. 
    • While modern building codes require garage doors to be wind-rated, without a label, it’s difficult to know which doors are rated and which aren’t. Additionally, prior to 2006, there were no requirements for wind-rated doors for homes built outside of Florida, and even today, some areas have not yet adopted a modern building code with a garage door requirement. 
      • Look for a label inside the garage door that shows it’s rated for wind pressures in positive and negative PSF (pounds per square foot) values. Wind-rated garage doors labeled with PSF values have been tested to withstand wind pressures. 
      • If there is no label or the current label is missing this information, it may not be wind-rated, and it is best to purchase a new garage door.  
  • Purchase a wind-rated garage door. 
    • Consult your local building code department or a local garage door dealer to find out the wind rating required for garage doors in your area.  
    • Look for doors tested to one of these standards: 
      • ASTM E330 
      • ANSI/DASMA 108 
      • Florida Building Code TAS 202 
    • Once the garage door is installed, ensure it shows a label with the wind rating. Remember, don’t peel off the label! 


2 - wind rated garage door

3) Upgrade to impact-rated windows & doors with glass.

Typical windows and doors with glass can be shattered by high winds and flying debris during a hurricane.

  • Purchase windows and doors with glass labeled as impact resistant. 
3 - Impact Rated Window

4) Purchase hurricane shutters.

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

  • Purchase hurricane shutters (code-conforming aluminum paneling) to cover your windows before an approaching hurricane. 
    • Note: 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 used. 
A small turquoise cottage in Florida has hurricane shutters on the front windows and door to secure the home during a Hurricane warning.

5) Invest in a whole-home generator.

High winds and falling trees can cause power outages during a hurricane. Having a whole-home generator can help prevent food spoilage, provide a way to work from home, supply well water if you have a well pump, power a sump pump and more.

  • Purchase a whole–home generator to keep your power on. 
Residential house natural gas backup generator. Choosing a location for house standby generator.

Want a stronger house?

When building (or re-building) a new home, enhance its structural integrity with FORTIFIED Gold, a beyond code construction method developed based on decades of IBHS research. It includes a stronger roof and garage doors, anchored carports and porches, and reinforced chimneys and gable-ends to help keep your home intact during a severe weather event. The standard also requires an engineered continuous load path, which is a plan that specifies how your roof should be connected to your walls and how the walls should be anchored to the foundation. Having a FORTIFIED designation may qualify you for an insurance discount, too! 


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.