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5 ways to hurricane proof your home

Installing the right kind of windows will protect your home during a hurricane and other storms better than many temporary measures like taping window panes before a storm hits.

Hurricanes are one of the most destructive forces on the planet and can cause billions of dollars of damage when they strike shore, especially in heavily populated areas. Protect your property by building for worst-case scenarios when it comes to damage from wind, rain and flooding. Here are a few tips on how:

1. Check local building codes

Many cities have minimum standards when it comes to new construction in areas where hurricanes occur. Before building or even planning a new house, find out what the city requirements are. Often, these are a good starting place.

2. Think flooding

Hurricanes are defined by their wind speed, but don’t overlook the water associated with these beasts. When building in hurricane areas, remember that flooding can cause as much if not more damage than high winds. Consider building an elevated structure and use materials that repel water. And when elevating things, keep in mind that your A/C and electrical components should be protected as well.

3. Protect your doors and windows

Flying debris shatters windows, so consider adding shutters or use impact-resistant glass. A shutter system that uses a track or similar design can make installing the shutters much easier.

4. Protect your roof

While high winds often tear shingles off the roof, it’s the wind that comes up from below the roof that can rip it clean off. Use additional fastening methods for your roof including lateral anchors, tie downs and embedded connectors. The local building code might spell out what you need. As part of this problem, remember to install garage doors that are reinforced to withstand higher winds because these tend to be weak spots in your home. If the winds tear off the garage door, the winds can whip around inside and take off the roof.

5. Look out for flying objects

High winds can transform backyard buildings such as storage sheds and gazebos into flying objects, which can pack devastating punches. When building outdoor structures, make them strong enough to withstand high winds or construct them in a way you can take them down and secure them indoors.

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