Hurricane preparedness
How to Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane

Key Steps to Protect Your Property

Preparing your home for a major storm is no easy feat, but there are steps you can follow and tools to make the job easier. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to storm prep. This is especially true for those of us living in the Cayman Islands. Our land mass is at sea level and extensive damage can happen even during minor storms.

To help keep you, your family and pets safe, we have put together a list of how to prepare your home for a hurricane.

Purchase Home Insurance

  1. If you haven’t already, purchase insurance. Consider adding additional coverage to cover the costs of living expenses in case your home becomes uninhabitable after a storm.
  2. Document the contents of your home, inside and out. This list will help your insurance company ensure you have enough coverage to replace any damaged items after the storm. The easiest way to do this is to take photos or shoot videos. Be sure to get images from every angle and distance. There are a number of free phone or computer apps that can help with this process.
  3. Be sure to store important documents (including the ones listed above), in sealed plastic bags and store in a “go” bag that is easy to grab if you have to move from your home quickly.
  4. Scan or photograph as many documents as you can and store in a cloud-based storage such as Google Drive or iCloud.

Protect the Exterior of Your Home from Storm Damage

  1. If your home is equipped with hurricane shutters, ensure they are in working order before hurricane season starts. If your home does not have hurricane shutters, purchase and store ¾” plywood for each window. Be sure to install anchors and pre-drilled holes so you can put them up quickly. If you need help you reach second story windows and beyond, we offer in a variety of sizes.
  2. Install head and foot bolts on doors for extra protection.
  3. Most new homes will have used proper building code for construction. Check to ensure that hurricane straps are present on your roof joists. If any are missing or are rusted/damaged install hurricane straps or clips to help hold the roof of your home to its walls.
  4. Keep up with garden landscaping throughout hurricane season. Any rotten or damaged tree limbs can become hazards in high-winds and should be removed promptly. You can have a lawn care company do this for you, or do it yourself with our lawn and gardening tools for rent.
  5. Check all gutters and drains to be sure they are clear of leaves and other debris.
  6. If you have a cistern, ensure that it is cleaned out at the start of the hurricane season so it is in the best possible condition for use after a hurricane. Prior to a storm ensure that the cistern is topped off with city water or bring in a water tanker to fill it to the top. Disconnect any gutters to avoid wind-blown debris getting into the cistern. Always boil your cistern water for twenty minutes before using for drinking water.
  7. If you have propane tanks, keep them above 50% during hurricane season, as supply may be difficult immediately after the storm. Prior to a storm you should top off your propane tanks or have additional tanks delivered.

Prepare the Interior of Your Home

  1. Stock your emergency supply kit with basic survival items. Your kit should include a supply of water (one gallon per person per day for three to five days) and non-perishable food for every family member, including your pets. Other items to add to your list may include:
    • Battery-powered or hand crank radio
    • Flashlight with extra batteries
    • First aid kit
    • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
    • Multi-tool knife
    • Manual can opener
    • Personal hygiene items
    • Change of clothing for every family member
    • Pillows, blankets and sleeping bags
    • Plastic tarp for repairs
  2. Designate a safe room in your home that can withstand high winds, flying debris and flooding. If there is none you should consider evacuating to a designated hurricane shelter.
  3. Develop an evacuation plan. Figure out where you’d go and how you would get there if told to evacuate. If you do not have a friend or family member you are able to take shelter with, the Cayman Islands Government offers several . Be sure to account for the safety of your pets, as most local shelters do not permit them.

Need tools to prepare your home? We offer ladders rentals to help you board up, home to keep the power on and a number of yard tool rentals to clean up debris. In the unfortunate event of a major storm, we have heavy equipment and machine rentals to help repair damages afterwards.

Massive Equipment is here for you before and after a storm. From helping you prepare for an impending storm to cleaning up afterwards – you can count on us.