Prepare Surroundings for Hurricane Season

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Prepare Surroundings: Evaluate

  • Do you have lawn chairs or other furniture outside? Do you have lightweight yard structures or other types of decorative items on the lawn? If so, any of these items could easily be picked up by high winds. Once airborne, these items can smash into the side of your home, business or a neighboring property and damage siding and windows.

  • Do you have large trees near your home or business? If so, keep the trees trimmed. Weak and low-hanging branches can easily be damaged in high winds and strike anything in the surrounding area. Heavy rains also can weaken tree roots, causing large trees to topple over onto your property. Consult an arborist for detailed instruction on protecting your trees in hurricane-prone areas.

Prepare the Yard: Trim Trees 

  • Weakened sections of trees and shrubbery can easily be blown around during a hurricane, causing extensive damage to structures, knocking down utility lines and blocking roads and drains. Take action now to reduce the risks of property damage caused by tree limbs and shrubbery.

  • Cut weak branches that could easily be thrown against a structure due to high winds. Also, reduce the chances of branches becoming weak by not allowing any to become more than 5 feet in length and by removing the amount of Spanish moss growing on limbs.

  • Remove any branches that are positioned over a structure that could easily cause damage by breaking off.

  • Trim away any limbs close to utility lines that could potentially pull down lines or even entire polls. It is important to never touch a wire and trimming should usually be done by a contractor or the local utility company itself.

  • Remove yard debris promptly in order to reduce the risks of flying debris during a hurricane’s strong winds. It is also important to place yard debris in an area that could not cause the debris to go into streets and eventually clog drains.

Advice for Flowerbeds and Walkways

  • Rocks used for flowerbeds, walkways and driveways may be aesthetically pleasing, but in hurricane-force winds can become flying debris. In past strong hurricanes, gravel has even been found in mail boxes and has shredded vinyl siding.

  • Replace gravel/rock walkways with shredded bark or wood chips.

  • If you live in a hurricane-prone area that also faces a wildfire risk, considering using a non-combustible material to fill flower beds and other areas.

  • Remove rock from driveways and use dirt as an inexpensive alternative, or pave the entire driveway for a better solution.

Secure Yard Objects

  • High winds can quickly pick up any yard object that isn’t well anchored or heavy enough to resist the uplift forces. These objects have the potential to cause significant damage to anything in the surrounding areas.

  • When a hurricane is threatening, move yard furniture, garden spheres or gnomes, signs, garbage cans, and potted plants into a covered area.

  • Before a hurricane threatens, secure the parts of a fence that appear weakened or loose. Hurricane-force winds can easily dislodge boards and pieces from a fence creating flying debris.

  • Anchor heavier yard objects deep into the ground.