Protect Your Home

Bring Things Indoors
Lawn furniture, trash cans, children's toys, garden equipment, clotheslines, hanging plants, and any other objects that may fly around and damage property should be brought indoors.

Leave Trees & Shrubs
If you did not cut away dead or diseased branches or limbs from trees and shrubs, leave them alone. Local rubbish collection services will not have time before the storm to pick anything up.

Look For Hazards
Look for coconuts, unripened fruit, and other objects in trees around your property that could blow or break off and fly around in high winds. Cut them off and store them indoors until the storm is over.

Turn Off Utilities
Turn off electricity at the main fuse or breaker, and turn off water at the main valve.

Leave Natural Gas On
Unless local officials advise otherwise, leave natural gas on because you will need it for heating and cooking when you return home. If you turn gas off, a licensed professional is required to turn it back on, and it may take weeks for a professional to respond.

Turn Off All Propane
Propane tanks often become dislodged in disasters.

Cover Windows
If high winds are expected, cover the outside of all windows of your home. Use shutters that are rated to provide significant protection from windblown debris, or fit plywood coverings over all windows.

Remember, houses do not explode due to air pressure differences. Damage happens when wind gets inside a home through a broken window, door, or damaged roof. Cover the outside of windows with shutters or plywood. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking. All tape does is prevent windows from shattering. Using tape on windows is not recommended.

Sand Bags
If flooding is expected, consider using sand bags to keep water away from your home. It takes two people about one hour to fill and place 100 sandbags, giving you a wall one foot high and 20 feet long. Make sure you have enough sand, burlap or plastic bags, shovels, strong helpers, and time to place them properly.