Experts provide hurricane preparedness tips for homeowners

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) – Experts say with hurricane season comes the triple threat of storm surge, flooding and wind damage. Now is the time to prepare your home for those hazards.

“Not only during storm season is it important to be proactive about drainage and wind damage, looking at your foundation, looking at cracks around the house, looking at possible settlement sinking issues,” said Damien Enright, President of Structural Systems Inc. “If we do get a hurricane, if we do get hit by a storm, that can just accelerate shifting and sinking so let’s look at those issues now and be proactive now to prevent a big big problem or issue later.”

When it comes to flooding, Structural Systems suggests looking around your house for any problem areas.

“Drainage is a big one that’s the first place to start. Make sure the soil around your house is sloping away from your home to get that water away so that minimizes that chances of flooding.” Enright said.

To prevent wind damage, there are simple tasks you can do that won’t cost you anything.

“You want to make sure around your yard it’s clear of any junk or clutter,” said Dennis Hwang a faculty member of the UH Sea Grant College Program. “Do that year around but it’s going to be helpful during hurricane season because that will reduce the wind risk. You don’t want flying wind borne debris flying around the house.”

Hwang suggests investing in hurricane clips if your home was built before 1988.

“A hurricane clip ties the roof to the wall, this is the weakest part of the house. When Iniki hit Kauai, thousands of houses roofs were blowing off and it could be even worse on Oahu because Oahu has eight times more structures than Kauai.”

You can install them yourselves, but you should consult with a licensed architect first. The clips cost up to a dollar each and can save your home from major damage down the road.

“It’s very important to do these preventative measures because say you put in your hurricane clips, you may spend two or three Saturdays doing that, it may prevent your roof from blowing off. If your roof blows off you’re talking about dealing with a problem that will take five to ten years to recover from.”

You can watch the Natural Hazards Preparedness webinar on June 4th at 5 p.m. It will be hosted by the UH Sea Grant program and county emergency managers. Click here for more information.

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