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How to protect your home from a hurricane

August 8, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Tropical Storm Emily didn't turn out to be much of a threat, but the storm still serves as a warning of what may come during the rest of hurricane season.In particular, it's a reminder for homeowners to make sure their houses are fit to handle a storm.

Six major hurricanes are predicted to occur this season, so homeowners are urged to take critical steps to ensure their homes are protected before a storm approaches.

Tuesday on Carolina in the Morning, Experts from PURE Insurance gave homeowners some ideas and suggestions for what they could do.
Every window needs to boarded up, either with wood or aluminum panels. Doors should have extra hinges on them to ensure that they do not fly open.
The garage, often overlooked, is one of the most important areas that needs be protected.
Strong winds can create suction and can pull the door out, which harms the home's structure and causes roofs to collapse.
Garage door braces are available at home improvement stores or you can get a professional installation.
The patio should cleared of all furniture, plants, or paintings. Remove anything that could become airborne.
Secure items that cannot be removed, and don't forget to inspect your home's shingles, gutters and other exterior fixtures for solid attachment.

Ten Small Things Everyone Can Do to Prevent Big Losses
1. Replace rubber washing machine hoses with steel braided hoses.
2. Make sure you have an overflow pan underneath your washing machine.
3. Ensure that your gutters are free of debris.
4. Have your fireplace or wood stove cleaned & inspected on a yearly basis.
5. Ensure caulking at the doors, windows and other exterior penetrations are in good condition.
6. If you have a sump pump, make sure you have a back-up power supply for the pump.
7. Maintain trees that are in close proximity to your home.
8. Ensure that there are no gaps in the grout in your shower and tub enclosures.
9. Periodically visually inspect the water supply lines to the dishwasher and ice maker to ensure they are not leaking.
10. Don't forget to change your batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you change your clocks.