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Preparing Your Home for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is officially here! Check out some of these tips to prepare your home (and yourself) for a hurricane.

- Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.

-Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.

- Use hurricane straps or clips to fasten your home's roof to the frame of the house, reducing roof damage.

-Caulk around doors and windows. Wind-driven rain can cause moisture damage in your home, even when the structure remains intact.

- Replace gravel with shredded bark. When it's time to refresh your gravel paths or drive, consider replacing gravel with bark, because windblown gravel can damage structures.

- Tie down small trees and shrubs to prevent uprooting.

- Put together a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate.

- If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days, and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.

- Have a plan for moving outdoor furnishings out of the wind and into your home.

-Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.

- Inventory your home and possessions. Document the contents of your home and the home itself, inside and out with video or photos. If you make an insurance claim, you'll want evidence to support the claim and recover the maximum amount.

- Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay.

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