How to Flood-Proof Your Home During Hurricane Season

Sean Jackson
Sean Jackson
Contributing Writer

Hurricane season is in full swing with a busy end predicted

The 2020 hurricane season has been unusually busy, and NOAA predicts as many as 11 more hurricanes could form before the end of the year. This means that homeowners living in or near coastal areas could be at risk of incurring property damage resulting from winds, rain, and storm surge. 

To help homeowners minimize loss if a hurricane occurs, this guide will help you flood-proof your home using expert tips. In addition, having the right insurance coverages in place before the storm hits ensures you have the financial protection you need to reduce out of pocket expenses. 

A higher risk of hurricanes to end 2020 season

2020 has been historic due to the high cyclone activity outside of the peak time in hurricane season. As an illustration, Hurricane Laura is the fourth storm to make landfall in the United States to date; the fourth hurricane to hit land would be September 21st. And the activity doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasted a very busy end to the hurricane season which normally runs until November 30th. This includes the latest storm, Hurricane Laura, which could cause as much as $30 billion dollars in damage, according to AccuWeather estimates.

How to flood-proof your home

Because of the high-level of activity to end the hurricane season, it means those living in or near coastal areas need to prepare now for the flood damage that could come from storm surges and rain. 

“While many believe that the roof is the weakest link in the house, actually windows are the most vulnerable during a hurricane,” remarks Albert Lee, founder of the Home Living Lab. “The most effective way to hurricane proof your windows is to install storm shutters which are permanently attached to the window. This beats installing plywood boards everytime a storm approaches. Another way to further improve the performance of the window is to consider impact resistant windows. These are special windows made with tempered glass to withstand high impact and will not shatter like normal glass when met with flying debris. With a combination of these two alterations, your windows should be flood proof and hurricane proof!”

Along with windows, your home’s roof should also be a primary consideration. It’s smart to have an inspection done on your roof before and after hurricane season every year. This allows the inspector to find and address any problems they encounter, so your roof is in its best condition for when you need it the most. 

You can also protect your home from a flood by:

  • Keeping your gutters clean.
  • Sealing any cracks in your home’s foundation.
  • Adjusting your home’s landscaping to move water away from the property.
  • Elevating your house’s water heater, air conditioner and furnace by moving it to a higher floor (if possible).
  • Installing waterproof shields in doorways.

Have the right insurance coverages in place 

While working on flood-proofing your home, it’s also important to reevaluate your insurance policies before a storm hits. 

Having homeowner’s insurance covers you in some weather related events. In the case of a hurricane, it offers financial protection from any damage done from rain or wind. That said, it won’t cover any damage caused by flooding from storm surges. Because of this, it’s wise to buy flood insurance.

Flood insurance covers any water damage done to a dwelling, which is very common in storm surges from a hurricane. The coverage doesn’t cost much–only a few hundred dollars per year–yet it provides the financial protection you need so you don’t have to pay out of pocket to repair your home.

One often overlooked part of preparing your home for flood insurance is documentation. “By simply taking photos or videos with your phone of everything in your home, zooming in on items of special monetary or sentimental value, then making sure it is uploaded to a cloud server (iCloud, Google photos, Carbonite, etc.) you will have created a video inventory of what you have in case of loss,” states Ann Zannon, a Certified Professional Organizer for A2Z Organizing Solutions, LLC. 

Too long, didn’t read?

Overall, the hurricane season has been busier than normal and it won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Homeowners need to take steps now to flood-proof their home. In addition, by having flood insurance on hand, you’ll be doing everything you can to protect your property physically and financially if a hurricane strikes your area.

About the Authors

Sean Jackson

Sean Jackson Contributing Writer

Sean Jackson is a freelance journalist who has covered insurance, internet, home services and other topics for, ESPN, CBS, and the San Francisco Chronicle.