Follow these recommendations to prepare your home for tropical storms and hurricanes, ideally before the start of hurricane season.
Consider stronger windows and exterior doors
Consider replacing windows and exterior doors with pressure- and impact-rated versions. Unlike shutters, these provide 24/7 protection and do not need to be activated before a storm.
Install hardware for shutters
If replacing windows and exterior doors is not feasible, install the hardware needed to put up shutters to protect windows and exterior doors, including garage doors. Ensure all shutter panels are labeled and ready for quick installation if a storm threatens your area. Find what’s right for your home with the IBHS Opening Protection Guide.
- Note: Plywood should only be used in place of shutters as a last-minute resort when tropical weather is imminent. Additionally, taping windows provides no protection and wastes time.
Inspect and repair your roof
Make sure caulking around windows and doors is in good shape and not cracked, broken, or missing, and fill any holes or gaps around pipes or wires that enter your building. This will reduce the risk of leaks from wind-driven rain.
Inspect carports and other attached structures
- Have porches, carports, entryway canopies, and storage sheds inspected to make sure they are firmly attached and in sound structural condition.
- Consider the following repairs to improve strength:
- Replace any small, weak, or damaged posts, and strengthen post connections to the foundation/carport slab using appropriate brackets, bolts, and anchors.
- Supplement attachments of roof pans fastened with corroded fasteners, or fasteners without washers, by adding larger-size fasteners that use combination metal/neoprene washers—and install fasteners no more than 4 inches apart across each panel.
- Install posts and a support beam near the side of the home, and attach roof pans to this beam (unless the home included specific anchorage designed to support the roof of the attached structure).
Learn more about retrofitting, purchasing, and installing carports with the IBHS Consumer Safety Guide to Carports & Other Attached Structures.