Purchasing a home is a major investment, and you need to do everything in your power to protect that investment from natural disasters. A hurricane can sweep over your home and cause a tremendous amount of damage in a matter of seconds if you aren’t adequately prepared. Here are a few steps that you can take to protect your home and family from a catastrophic storm.

Secure the Doors and Windows

Your doors and windows are your home’s weakest points, and that is why you might want to consider reinforcing them. For the windows, you need to install heavy-duty storm shutters that can easily be closed and locked by anyone in your family. Every door should have an extra bolt on the top and bottom to stop high winds and flying objects. You can also caulk around your doors and windows to reduce your risk of water damage.

Carefully Inspect Your Yards

Any object in your yard could turn into a flying projectile if the winds are strong enough. That includes posts that are cemented into the ground and old trees with deep roots. At the very least, you should trim the large trees on your property and tie down the smaller trees. You might also want to consider replacing any gravel that is on your property with a lighter material such as bark.

Repair Your Roof and Tie It down

Hiring a roof company to tie down your roof is another great way to protect your home from storm damage. In addition to replacing old shingles and rain gutters, a roofing contractor will also be able to anchor your roof to the foundation of your home with clamps and straps. It is important for every homeowner to remember that their roof is their first line of defense against high winds and water damage.

Reinforce Your Garage Door

If our garage door collapses, then the winds could lift the roof completely off your garage. The most effective way to secure a garage door is to add a vertical door brace. You can also install horizontal wood braces on the inside of the door to prevent it from flexing and blending. Once you have reinforced the door, you should then go through your garage and seal up any holes that you can find with all-purpose caulking.

Put an Emergency Kit Together

During a hurricane or the aftermath of the storm, you might end up having to relocate to a shelter. If you end up staying home, you probably won’t be able to go to the grocery store too soon. Because of this, an emergency kit is essential.

In your kit, you’ll want to have first aid stuff, a pair of clothes, and emergency survival items—like fire starters, a flare gun, and survival blankets. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, it would be a good idea to keep life jackets near your emergency kits. You should have enough for your entire household. If you have children, make sure that their jackets fit them. If you have pets, there are life jackets that are specially made for animal use.

No matter what steps you take to protect your home, you will most likely have to deal with at least some damage if a hurricane blows through. That is why you need to have a comprehensive insurance policy that covers water damage and natural disasters.