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Getting started: 9 ways to hurricane-proof your home

Having and sticking to a plan for hurricane-proofing your home is the best way to prevent damage to your property (and keep your insurance costs down!) during Bermuda's hurricane season. Here are some of BF&M's best tips for hurricane-proofing your home.

Well before a storm:

1. Be ready in case of a long-term power outage
Consider purchasing and installing a generator to provide power should a hurricane knock out power to your home for several days.

2. Give your windows some TLC
Install permanent storm shutters on windows or replace glass windows and doors with hurricane glass.

3. Reinforce your roof
Your home's roof is put under a lot of stress during a storm, and can even be be lifted by strong wind; using a commercial construction adhesive, reinforce the seam where you roof meets your house. You may also want to consider having a professional install hurricane clips.

4. Secure your garage
High winds and flying debris can pierce garage doors or cause them to buckle. Make sure your garage door is hurricane-proof or impact-resistant. Either way, make sure to reinforce your garage door with a bracing kit.

When a storm first threatens:

5. Secure doors and windows
Cover glass windows and doors with shutters, siding, or plywood. Don't forget about sliding patio doors.

6. Clear your yard of loose objects
Take any patio furniture, garbage cans, planters, etc. indoors. Clean up any loose debris (branches, rocks, etc.) Make sure to check trees near you for loose/dead branches, but be sure to take any trimmings inside as well. Don't forget to secure your satellite dish or TV antenna.

7. Clean your rain gutters
Make sure gutters are clean and free of debris so water can run off instead of pooling on your roof.

8. Prepare your pool
Add extra chlorine to your pool to prevent contamination by storm water.

9. Don't forget about indoors
Secure anything inside your home that can be thrown around by the wind should a window break. Tape or tie cabinets shut. Remove items from window sills, counter and table tops. Securely close closet doors.

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