This hurricane season began slower than usual—not since 1941 have we experienced zero tropical storms from July 3 to Aug. 30. Then, in September, Tropical Storm Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, and Ian struck in rapid succession. Ian and Fiona were both classified as Category 4 storms. Since hurricane season lasts until the end of November, one question is at the top of everyone’s mind: What can I do to prepare? Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself and your home from needing costly repairs. Disclaimer: While performing any type of home inspection, please take every safety precaution possible. USA Roofing and Exteriors is not liable for any damage or injuries sustained should you decide to perform a DIY roof inspection. For ideas of how to best protect yourself, here’s an easy-to-follow safety checklist.  

Steps to Prepare Your Home

  1. Review your insurance policy.

    Request a copy of your full policy and review exactly what’s covered should you experience excessive water or wind damage. Many policies have exclusions to certain coverages that require endorsements to obtain coverage. Also review your deductibles, as there may be separate deductibles for different coverages. Take time to speak with your insurance company to find out if you need additional coverage.
  2. Consider flood insurance.

    Flooding is generally not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. If you live in a hurricane zone, flood insurance could benefit you. Costs vary by state, and it’s important to speak with your insurance company to help decide if it’s right for you. These policies cannot be purchased last minute. Generally, there’s a 30-day waiting period before your policy goes into effect. Additionally, insurance companies will typically issue a moratorium—or a halt of new policy sales or additional coverage when a hurricane is announced.  
  3. Secure and seal your roof.

    Before a hurricane starts, have your roof inspected by an experienced and qualified team. One option is to install truss tie-downs, also known as hurricane straps, to fortify your roof against high winds. Also, consider conducting a routine roof inspection, as we outlined in our blog.
  4. Shield your doors and windows.

    During high winds, doors and windows are at greater risk of damage than any other parts of your home. Installing storm shutters before hurricane season begins is one of the most effective ways to reduce storm damage. A less expensive option is affixing sheets of plywood over your windows and doors before a hurricane to help seal these areas. Do not tape windows or glass doors. According to NOAA, placing a tape X on glass surfaces will not keep them from shattering and is a waste of valuable time, 
  5. Secure outdoor structures and furnishings.

    Don’t let your patio furniture become cannon balls against your windows. Patio furniture, potted plants, barbeque grills, and decorations should be brought inside or otherwise anchored. Also, remember to anchor structures like carports and tool sheds.
  6. Trim your trees

    Cut back your trees so they aren’t close enough to strike the house in high winds and clear the trimmings away from the house before the storm. Remember, we don’t want cannon balls.
  7. Make an evacuation plan.

    If local authorities advise it, you might need to evacuate the property during a hurricane. Having a plan is crucial. Plan where you will go, what you’ll take, how you’ll get there, and how to ensure your family members are safe. It’s better to have a plan than to be caught unprepared. Don’t forget your pets!
  Giving yourself time to prepare for hurricane season is critical. Taking steps to secure your home and having a plan for yourself and your family can make a huge difference when the storm comes. If you have any questions about a home inspection or would like to schedule one with an experienced agent, call today at 210-573-5236. Or email us at