Reduce Hurricane Damage to Homes

An important part of emergency preparedness is knowing how to prepare your home for a hurricane. Use these hurricane safety tips when preparing for a hurricane. Importantly, don’t wait until the last minute to gather all of the emergency essentials on your hurricane supply list.

Hurricane Preparation


Install the hardware needed to put up shutters or pre-cut plywood to protect windows and doors now. This will allow for easier installation if the storm threatens your area.

Shut the Doors on Hurricane Damage

Coastal storm approaching? Close all interior doors, in addition to all windows and exterior doors, to reduce damage risks.

High winds place homes under intense pressure. Wind entering the home through an open or broken window, can create strong upward pressure on the roof. Rigorous scientific wind testing on a full-scale, 1,400-square-foot single-story home at the IBHS Research Center reveals closing interior doors helps compartmentalize the pressure inside a home into smaller areas reducing the overall force on the roof structure, which gives the roof a better chance of staying intact.


Bring in any loose items, such as garbage cans and lawn furniture, and pick up any debris in the yard that can act as a projectile during high winds, before a storm arrives.


Trim your risk of damage by cutting weak tree branches, along with branches that are positioned over structures, which could be broken off by high winds and cause property damage. Learn more about reducing tree damage.


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.


Inspect your roof and overhang to look for signs of wear or damage. Have your roof inspected to make sure the roof sheathing is well-connected. Learn more about how to strengthen your roof against high winds and wind-driven rains.

Attached Structures

Have porches, carports, entryway canopies and storage sheds inspected to make sure they are firmly attached and in sound structural condition.

Sump Pumps & Drains

Inspect sump pumps and drains to ensure proper operation. If a sump pump has a battery backup, make sure the batteries are fresh or replace the batteries.


Prepare and test your generator BEFORE a storm strikes.

Having an up-to-date home inventory will help you get your insurance claim settled faster. (iii)

Additional Resources

Hurricane Checklist

Shutter Guide

Roofing the Right Way – Hurricane

Reducing Hurricane Risk

Reducing Hurricane Risk (En Español)

Reducing Tree Damage