Hurricane season is here, and it’s time to prepare.
On average, there have been 17 named tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean over the last three years. These severe storms can cause significant damage. Lowes.com has you covered with a bevy of “How To” articles and videos to help you ready your home before a storm hits, or start your cleanup journey after it’s over.
Flash floods associated with tropical storms can occur within only a few hours of heavy rainfall. Using sandbags, or products that act as sandbags, is an effective way to help divert and stop water from getting inside vulnerable doors.
Quick Dam flood bags expand when they come in contact with water.
This video shows how to use a self-inflating “Quick Dam” flood barrier in front of a garage door. This product creates an instant water dam because it contains a non-toxic, super absorbent powder that expands when it comes in contact with water.
If you live in a hurricane-prone area, protecting your windows and doors is vital. Lowe’s has videos that demonstrate the proper way to install plywood storm shutters or clear polycarbonate storm shutters. There’s even a third option for metal storm shutters.
Plywood is a good option because it’s economical and widely available.
Clear polycarbonate hurricane shutters are extremely strong and still allow light in, which is ideal in the event of a power outage or if you’re installing them days in advance.
Left: Clear polycarbonate shutters. Right: Metal storm shutters.
Power outages are common after a severe storm and having a generator can help keep your family comfortable until electricity is restored. This video provides tips to help you pick the generator that’s right for you and operate it safely.
Emergency generators should be used outdoors on a level surface.
For instance, before purchasing your generator, make a list of the items you want to keep running, such as the refrigerator, lights or a TV. Check the owner’s manuals to look up the rated wattage for each item. Rated wattage is the amount of power it takes to run the item. For larger items, such as your fridge, look up the surge wattage as well. Surge wattage is the amount of power it takes to start the item. Add up the rated wattage for all the items and add in the highest surge wattage. This total will be how much wattage the generator needs to supply. If you need help, try using Lowe’s Wattage Worksheet.
If your roof is damaged in a storm, it’s critical to address leaks to prevent water damage. The techniques explained in this video can help you tarp your roof before and after a storm.
Remove all debris from your roof before you start covering with a tarp.
One useful tip is to use a tarp that has at least three feet of excess around each side of the hole you want to cover. Make sure you cover the peak of your roof by at least four feet. If you don’t cover the peak of your roof, water can easily drain and get underneath the tarp.
After a storm, you might find significant debris and trees covering your property. Having a chainsaw can be useful for cleanup if you know how to safely operate one. If you’re less experienced, this tutorial shows you everything you need to know about using a chainsaw.
Chainsaws with a bar length of 20 inches work well for cutting larger trees.
When cutting, keep the action at waist level and to the side for the most stability. Also, be sure to keep your cuts away from the end of the saw, otherwise known as the bar tip. Cutting at the bar tip is likely to result in unsafe kickbacks.
For a full content list on how to prepare for an impending storm, and begin clean up following a storm, visit Lowes.com. Then, look through a full list of supplies to help you find what you need to stay safe or start rebuilding.