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Hurricane Preparedness Week in the U.S.

Rain falling and leaking off of gutters.

NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory published the full record of hurricanes that have made landfall on the U.S. coastline since 1851. To date, there have been 298 recorded hurricanes, with 92 classified as major hurricanes, rated as Category 3 or higher, with winds exceeding 111 mph.

Out of the nearly 300 hurricanes, 40 percent have pummeled Florida. Of the major hurricanes, 88 percent hit either Florida or Texas. If you live in these states, there’s a strong possibility you’ll see another hurricane this season. Any state along the Gulf or Atlantic coast has a good chance of being in a hurricane’s path.

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. Fortunately, there’s still time to prepare, so let’s get started. 

How to Prepare Your House for a Hurricane

Your home can provide shelter from most weather conditions, but in extreme cases, it’s wise to evacuate. Here’s a list of tasks for preparing your home and family for a hurricane. 

  • Review home insurance.

Homeowners insurance typically covers flood damage caused by burst pipes, overflowing tubs, and leaking appliances. However, it doesn’t cover floods from hurricanes and storms. Check with your insurance agent or the National Flood Insurance Program for available coverage in your region.

  • Set up weather notifications.

Monitor NOAA weather radio or use a weather smartphone app to set Monitor NOAA weather radio or use a weather smartphone app to set up alerts for dangerous weather. The FEMA mobile app is also an excellent resource for alert updates and local shelter availability.

  • Trim trees.

Trim trees to remove dead branches and prevent any branches from extending over your home. During a hurricane’s strong winds, these branches can break off, gather wind speed, and damage your property.

  • Maintain your roof.

Repair loose or missing shingles and damaged roof vents to prevent rain leaks in the attic, ceilings, and walls.

  • Keep gutters clear.

Gutters and downspouts should also be cleaned and repaired. They guide rain from the roof and away from the foundation. Water pooling around the foundation, particularly if the ground is saturated, can cause basement and crawl space flooding.

  • Check the foundation drainage system.

Waterproof your basement or crawl space using adequate drainage systems. A sump pump with battery backup is essential during power outages.

  • Add an emergency generator.

A small emergency generator keeps appliances running during extended power outages. Before the hurricane hits, test the generator to ensure it’s working properly, and you know how to start it. Have extension cords ready, and never run a generator indoors, as it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Keep backup fuel on hand.

Several days of fuel will be needed to keep the generator running. Propane is also useful for an outdoor grill. A chainsaw can help remove downed trees and large branches, so ensure you have enough gasoline.

  • Move vehicles.

Move your cars, trucks, or other vehicles to the garage or another covered or protected area. Fill gas tanks in case fuel is unavailable after the hurricane. Ensure you know how to open the garage door manually since power may be lost.

  • Secure outdoor furniture.

Move lawn chairs and patio furniture into storage. In high winds, they may become airborne and damage your home or your neighbors’ homes.

  • Cover windows and secure doors.

Nail plywood or hurricane shutters over your home’s windows to prevent shattered glass, rain, and wind from entering. Install a wind-load garage door to prevent wind pressure on the walls and roof.

  • Set up an emergency family shelter.

Designate an interior room without windows as a family emergency shelter. Stock it with emergency supplies, such as bottled water, medications, a first aid kit, food, flashlights, batteries, and blankets, and ensure your family understands where to meet.

  • Stock emergency supplies.

Hurricanes devastate power lines, trees, and buildings, shutting down everything for several days to weeks. You could be in your shelter for that duration. Stock it with food, water, first-aid supplies, a flashlight, prescription medications, and other essentials. provides a checklist to build your own basic disaster supplies kit.

How to Protect Your Family During a Hurricane

While you’re preparing your home for hurricanes, it’s important to also prepare your family. Here’s a list of steps to take now.

  • Write a family emergency plan.

This document addresses what to do in the case of a major disaster such as a hurricane. It should have information not only about actions to take at home but also about what to do if you’re away from home. has a superb family emergency plan as a starting point.

  • Add school and work plans.

It’s also important to be aware of what’s happening at work and at school. Review those plans and add the highlights to your own emergency plan. This will help everyone in your family be prepared wherever they are when a storm or hurricane hits.

  • Read the community hurricane response plan.

Your community’s hurricane response plan contains important details about notification methods, evacuation plans, and shelter locations. It should be included in your family plan.

  • Set up family emergency contact numbers.

Incorporate everyone’s contact numbers in your emergency plan. This should include workplace and school numbers. It should also be on your smartphone. This document will serve as a backup in case something happens to your phone.

  • Set up family emergency contact numbers.

Incorporate everyone’s contact numbers in your emergency plan. This should include workplace and school numbers. It should also be on your smartphone. This document will serve as a backup in case something happens to your phone.

  • Establish an emergency meeting location.

Your family may get separated due to sheltering in place wherever they may be. It’s wise to set up an emergency meeting location should your home be damaged or access to it restricted. It would also be prudent to set up backup meeting locations as well.

  • Practice your plan together.

Plans often fall apart when put into action. It’s wise to conduct a briefing or practice session. This communication allows input from other family members who might catch things you’ve missed, enabling you to make those corrections before the hurricane.

8 Ways to Protect Your Foundation During a Hurricane

Cracked brick wall.

Protecting your home’s foundation during a hurricane is crucial to ensure the stability and safety of your property. Here are a few steps homeowners can take to safeguard their foundation:

1. Inspect and Repair Cracks

Regularly check your foundation for any cracks or damage. Small cracks can quickly become larger problems during a hurricane. Use a concrete patch or epoxy to seal any gaps you find.

2. Improve Drainage Around Your Home

Ensure that water drains away from your foundation. Clean out gutters and downspouts to prevent blockages, and extend downspouts at least five feet away from your home. If you have a basement or crawl space, consider installing an interior drain or sump pump to handle excess water.

3. Grade the Landscape

The ground around your home should slope away from the foundation. A slope of at least six inches over ten feet is recommended. This helps prevent water from pooling around your foundation.

4. Install a Vapor Barrier

Install a crawl space vapor barrier to reduce moisture buildup. This approach prevents water seepage into your foundation and subsequent damage.

5. Use Sandbags

Place sandbags around the perimeter of your home to divert water away from the foundation. This is especially useful before a hurricane.

6. Elevate Utilities

If possible, elevate utilities like air conditioning units, generators, and other equipment above the expected flood level. This measure may help prevent water damage and safeguard their functionality.

7. Seal Basement Windows and Doors

Use a waterproof sealant to secure openings, such as basement windows and doors. This sealing prevents water from entering your home and causing foundation damage.

8. Check for Tree Roots

Tree roots can cause significant damage to foundations. Ensure that large trees are planted a safe distance from your home, and consider removing any that pose a risk.

By taking these proactive steps, you can better protect your home’s foundation during a hurricane and minimize potential damage. Remember, regular maintenance and preparation are key to safeguarding your property against extreme weather conditions.

Prepare for Evacuation

Hurricanes are devastating and unpredictable. Your area may be required to evacuate, so be prepared.

Community hurricane response plans provide shelter location information and safe driving evacuation routes. Store backup emergency supplies in your vehicle in case of mandatory evacuation.

Consider Working With Groundworks to Protect Your Home!

Groundworks installers placing piers on a house.

As we approach hurricane season, it’s vital to ensure your home and family are prepared for the potential impact of severe weather. By taking proactive measures to reinforce your home’s structure, securing adequate insurance, and having a well-thought-out emergency plan, you can significantly reduce the risks associated with hurricanes.

Remember, preparation is key to safeguarding your property and loved ones. For more detailed information and expert advice, consider working with Groundworks. Stay safe and prepared this hurricane season!

Find out how Groundworks experts are helping homeowners protect their properties from hurricanes and flooding.


Basements commonly experience water intrusion after heavy rain, but it shouldn’t be accepted as normal. Persistent water issues are best addressed with professional water management solutions to keep your basement dry and your home safe.

Some homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for hurricane and storm damage, including foundation repairs, but others may not. While Groundworks can provide documentation needed for your insurance provider, we encourage you to check your policy’s specifics with your insurance agent.

Untreated foundation damage can worsen over time, especially with subsequent rains or temperature changes. This is why it’s crucial to address any issues promptly with proper repairs to prevent further deterioration.

Ted Dryce

Ted Dryce

Content Writer

Ted is an SEO Content Writer who has been with Groundworks since 2021. He’s covered home repair topics ranging from crawl space encapsulation to regional soil conditions. When he’s not working, Ted is performing improv comedy and working on his own creative projects.