Updated IBHS Hurricane Ready guide with new checklist simplifies preparing home to better withstand powerful winds and heavy rain
Connie Bryant Breedlove
Senior Director of Communications
Public Affairs Manager
Richburg, S.C., April 26, 2021 – Ahead of National Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 9-15), the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) has released an update to its Hurricane Ready guide adding a downloadable checklist to better help homeowners prepare during the run up to this year’s hurricane season.
Hurricane Ready translates years of insights from IBHS field and lab research into a series of projects designed to be tackled ahead of the season, as well as last-minute actions to take when a storm nears. To ensure projects can be completed by June 1, the traditional start to hurricane season, IBHS encourages homeowners to begin preparations now.
“Now is the right time to take on projects around the house to strengthen your home ahead of hurricane season. From your roof to garage doors, yard maintenance and seasonal planning, take the time now to prepare your home for high winds and heavy rain so you’ll be ready whenever a tropical system threatens and can reduce the impact of storms throughout the season,” explains Dr. Anne Cope, chief engineer at IBHS. “The entire hurricane coast felt the impact of the 2020 hurricane season, and many families are still displaced from damaged homes or dealing with costly repairs. That’s an important reminder to us all of why preparing to give your home the best opportunity to withstand the storm is so important.”
The Hurricane Ready guide provides recommendations for strengthening the roof, as well as seven additional projects to prepare a home to perform better during a tropical storm or hurricane.
IBHS researchers recommend prioritizing a roof inspection, because the roof is the first line of defense against severe weather and repairs may take longer and require a professional. For homeowners who need to replace an aging or already damaged roof ahead of the season’s peak, now is the time to act. Homes along the hurricane coast, as well as inland areas that may experience high winds, should be reroofed to the FORTIFIED Roof™ standard. This is a roofing method shown in lab studies and during real-world events to provide much-needed protection against high winds up to 130 mph, a Category 3 hurricane, to keep the roof on, as well as a sealed roof deck and locked down edges to prevent the cascade of damage that often starts with roof cover loss and results in water inside the home causing extensive damage and costly repairs.
Next, several intermediate home repairs, upgrades and preparations can also help prevent storm damage, including trimming trees, installing wind-rated garage doors and purchasing hurricane shutters before the season begins.
Finally, Hurricane Ready also includes smaller, last-minute actions to take in the event a hurricane nears, including closing interior doors before evacuating and bringing in loose items from the yard or patio.
“The larger investments, like installing a FORTIFIED Roof or a wind-rated garage door are hurricane preparations that will better prepare your family for many hurricane seasons to come while others, like trimming trees, are ongoing maintenance projects that must be refreshed often,” adds Dr. Cope. New this year, the downloadable checklist helps homeowners more easily schedule and keep track of tasks to ensure all preparations are completed. The checklist and Hurricane Ready guide are available at disastersafety.org/hurricaneready. For small business owners, the companion Hurricane Ready—Business guide, also found on disastersafety.org, is available to guide preparations unique to commercial properties and business operations.
About FORTIFIED Home
Please visit fortifiedhome.org to learn more about the IBHS FORTIFIED Home program, including the designation process, how to identify a certified FORTIFIED evaluator and other valuable resources.
About the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)
The IBHS mission is to conduct objective, scientific research to identify and promote effective actions that strengthen homes, businesses and communities against natural disasters and other causes of loss. Learn more about IBHS at DisasterSafety.org.