If you live in an area where hurricanes are a risk to your home, you have probably already thought about your hurricane disaster plan: how to evacuate your family, how to reduce damage to your property, and so on. But many people forget that their front and back yards contain a lot of potential hazards in the event of a hurricane. Ordinary items like potted plants, mailboxes, and lawn chairs can become dangerous projectiles in high winds. We’ve collected the following five tips to help you hurricane-proof your yard.
- Take care of your trees. Trees are one of the biggest sources of property damage and personal injury during hurricanes.
- If you have a dead tree, have it removed before it falls through your roof.
- Trim loose, flimsy, or dying branches well ahead of time. If you think a normal storm could knock it down, it has to go.
- Tie down young trees that aren’t strong enough to withstand high winds and might become uprooted.
- If you have trees near power lines, have them trimmed back or removed professionally, because you could be electrocuted if you try it yourself.
- Always secure your garbage and recycling bins. This usually means bringing in them promptly, to minimize the chances of them being outside and blown blocks away.
- Keep container plants indoors during hurricane season. If your potted plants need to be outside lay them on their sides with something heavy, like bricks or stones, holding them in place. You can also tie them down.
- Don’t forget your lawn furniture. If you have lawn chairs and/or tables, bring them in during bad storms, or tie them securely down. Bigger fixtures like kids’ play yards or trampolines might need to be dismantled in preparation for a hurricane, unless they can be bolted or otherwise secured.
- Keep yard art to a minimum. Garden lighting, political signs, gnome statues and pink flamingos can all become flying missiles in hurricane weather, and because these things are usually small, they tend to both (a) be forgotten during hurricane preparations and (b) be difficult to secure. Therefore, your best bet is to simply reduce the amount of yard art your yard features at any given time. Flowers provide plenty of color and your windows will thank you.
For the safety of your family and your home, make sure to hurricane proof your yard whenever a heavy storm approaches.