During this year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season (June 1st - November 30th), the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) urges homeowners to protect their property from strong winds, damaging rains, and flooding that hurricanes or tropical storms can bring to New England.
Here are some examples of how to protect your property:
- Learn the particular hurricane risks for your area:
- Citizens in coastal community can view the Hurricane Inundation Maps for their community to determine risk of potential inundation for personal and family planning and preparedness. Those who live or work in inundation areas should plan for and be prepared to evacuate during a hurricane and should listen to local public safety officials and weather forecasts before and during a hurricane for evacuation information.
- Visit www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-888-379-9531 to learn more about flood risks, flood maps, flood zones, and flood insurance. Consider buying flood insurance, even if your property is not in a flood zone. Flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
- Talk to your local emergency management director about the risks in your community and neighborhood.
- Homeowners in coastal communities can prepare their homes for hurricanes and other coastal hazards be reading the MA Homeowner's Handbook to Prepare for Coastal Hazards file size 13MB
- Make a record of your personal property for insurance purposes. Take photos or a video of the interior and exterior of your home. Include personal belongings in your inventory. Keep an itemized list of your furniture, clothing and valuables to assist adjusters in case of a claim and support the list with photos or video.
- If you do not have them, obtain property, health and life. Review your existing policies for the amount and extent of coverage to ensure that what you have in place is what is required for you and your family for all possible hazards. Store important documents such as insurance policies, deeds, property records and other important papers in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box away from your home. Many people also keep a copy in a watertight box in their home and in their Emergency Kit . Many people back up important documents online.
- Keep trees and shrubbery around your home trimmed. Remove diseased or damaged tree limbs that could be blown down, causing damage, during a storm.
- Clear clogged rain gutters. Hurricanes/tropical storms often bring torrential rain. Providing clear drainage will help prevent misdirected flooding.
- Make sure storage sheds, children’s playhouses or other outbuildings are securely anchored, either to a permanent foundation or with straps and ground anchors.
- Make temporary plywood covers to protect windows and sliding doors. Drill holes for screws or lag bolts in each cover and around each window. To save time, use a numbering or lettering system that shows which cover goes with which window. Store the mounting screws or lag bolts with the covers in a place where they are readily accessible. Note: Taping of windows does not prevent them from breaking.
- Make a list of outdoor items to bring inside in case of a storm, such as lawn furniture, trash barrels, hanging plants, toys and awnings. A list will help you more quickly identify anything that can be broken or could cause damage if hurled through the air by strong winds.
- Learn where gas pilots and water mains are located and how to safely shut off all utilities.
- Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This can reduce roof damage.
- Consider installing a generator in case the storm brings Power Outages During Warm Weather
- Lock doors and windows to ensure that they are closed tight to help protect against strong winds and rain.