How to prepare your home for stormy weather

Stormy weather can bring a host of challenges, from heavy rains and strong winds to potential flooding and power outages. Proper preparation can help mitigate damage and ensure the safety of your home and family. In this guide, we will explore how to prepare your home for stormy weather with practical tips and expert advice.

Assess Your Property’s Vulnerability

The first step in how to prepare your home for stormy weather is to assess your property’s vulnerability. Identify areas that are prone to flooding, such as basements and low-lying sections of your yard. Check the condition of your roof, windows, and doors, as these are common entry points for water and wind.

Reinforce Your Roof

A robust roof is your first line of defense against storm damage. Inspect your roof for loose or missing shingles and repair them promptly. Consider reinforcing your roof with hurricane straps or clips, which can help secure it to the walls of your home. This extra measure can be particularly valuable in regions prone to high winds and hurricanes.

Secure Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are susceptible to breakage during storms. To protect them, install storm shutters or use plywood to cover them. Ensure that all windows and doors are properly sealed to prevent water from seeping in. For added protection, consider installing impact-resistant windows and doors.

Clean Gutters and Downspouts

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to prepare for stormy weather is to clean your gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters can lead to water overflow, which can damage your roof, walls, and foundation. Make sure that your downspouts direct water away from your home to prevent flooding around your foundation.

Trim Trees and Shrubs

Overhanging branches and overgrown shrubs can pose significant risks during a storm. Trim any trees and shrubs that are close to your home to reduce the likelihood of them falling and causing damage. Remove any dead or weakened branches that could be easily broken by strong winds.

Secure Outdoor Items

Loose outdoor items can become dangerous projectiles during a storm. Secure patio furniture, grills, and garden tools by storing them indoors or anchoring them firmly to the ground. For larger items that cannot be moved, such as trampolines or playsets, use straps or anchors to keep them in place.

Check and Maintain Your Sump Pump

If your home has a basement, a sump pump is an essential piece of equipment for preventing flooding. Check your sump pump regularly to ensure it is in good working condition. Consider installing a battery backup system to keep the pump operational during power outages.

Create a Home Emergency Kit

An emergency kit is a crucial component of how to prepare your home for stormy weather. Your kit should include essentials such as:

  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Non-perishable food and bottled water
  • First aid supplies
  • Prescription medications
  • Important documents (in a waterproof container)
  • Portable phone charger
  • Basic tools and supplies (e.g., duct tape, rope, multi-tool)

Store your emergency kit in an easily accessible location and make sure all family members know where it is.

Develop an Emergency Plan

Having a well-thought-out emergency plan is vital for ensuring your family’s safety during a storm. Your plan should include:

  • Evacuation routes and a designated meeting place
  • Contact information for family members, neighbors, and emergency services
  • Procedures for shutting off utilities (water, gas, electricity)
  • Plans for pets (including food, carriers, and any necessary medications)

Practice your emergency plan regularly to ensure everyone knows what to do in the event of a storm.

Inspect and Maintain Your Foundation

A strong foundation is critical for withstanding stormy weather. Inspect your foundation for cracks or signs of water damage and repair them as needed. Ensure that the grading around your home slopes away from the foundation to prevent water from pooling.

Install a Backup Generator

Power outages are common during storms, and a backup generator can be a lifesaver. Choose a generator that is capable of powering essential appliances, such as your refrigerator, sump pump, and lights. Make sure you know how to operate the generator safely and keep extra fuel on hand.

Consider Flood Insurance

Standard homeowners insurance typically does not cover flood damage. If you live in a flood-prone area, consider purchasing flood insurance to protect your home and belongings. Review your policy regularly to ensure you have adequate coverage.

Strengthen Garage Doors

Garage doors are often overlooked when preparing for storms, but they can be a weak point in your home’s defense. Reinforce your garage door with bracing kits or consider installing a wind-rated door. This can help prevent the door from being blown in by strong winds, which could lead to significant structural damage.

Seal Cracks and Openings

Water can find its way into your home through even the smallest cracks and openings. Seal any gaps around windows, doors, and pipes with caulk or weatherstripping. This will help keep water out and maintain the integrity of your home’s envelope.

Stay Informed

Staying informed about weather conditions is an essential part of how to prepare your home for stormy weather. Sign up for weather alerts from trusted sources, such as the National Weather Service or your local news station. Pay attention to storm warnings and advisories, and be prepared to take action if necessary.


By following these comprehensive steps on how to prepare your home for stormy weather, you can significantly reduce the risk of damage and ensure the safety of your home and family. From reinforcing your roof and securing windows to creating an emergency kit and developing a plan, proactive measures are key. Remember, preparation is your best defense against the unpredictable nature of stormy weather. Stay safe and stay prepared!