Prepare for Natural Disasters

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Know How to Protect Your Property from Damage Caused by Natural Disasters

The following are some preventative steps communities, businesses and homeowners can take to reduce property and casualty loss caused by natural disasters. Identifying potential hazards ahead of time can reduce the dangers of serious injury or loss.


  • Elevate homes in flood-prone areas.
  • Elevate the main breaker or fuse box, and any heating, ventilating, and cooling equipment.
  • Install and check valves in building sewer traps to prevent water from backing up in sewer drains.
  • Anchor the legs of your fuel tank into a large concrete slab.


  • Build a safe room in your house. For information on building a safe room, visit and request a copy of “Taking Shelter from the Storm, Building a Safe Room Inside Your House.”
  • Determine if your home uses connections between the roof, walls and foundation.
  • Use devices like anchors, clips and straps to secure wood frame buildings.
  • Properly brace the end wall of gabled roofs to reduce lift loads.
  • Reinforce or retrofit garage doors for strength.


  • Create a 25’ safety zone to separate the home from combustible plants and vegetation. Stone walls can act as heat shields and deflect flames. Swimming pools and patios can be a safety zone.
  • Prune all branches around the residence to a height of 8 to 10 feet. Keep trees adjacent to buildings free of dead or dying wood and moss.
  • Remove all dead limb, needles, and debris from rain gutters.
  • Store combustible or flammable materials in approved safety containers and keep them away from the house.


  • Install storm shutters on windows.
  • Reinforce your roof with hurricane straps and bracing.
  • Reinforce garage doors.
  • Ensure double doors are secured at the top and bottom, adding bolts or pins where needed.

Know the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning. 

hurricane watch means there is the threat of a hurricane. Listen to news reports, bring in outdoor furniture, remove outside antennas, board-up windows and review an evacuation plan.

hurricane warning means a hurricane is expected within 24 hours. Turn off utilities, move furniture to upper levels of the house if you are in a storm surge area and store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container.


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