Preparing Your Home for Hurricane Earl

Sep 02, 2010

Hurricane Earl is barreling toward the Eastern Seaboard Thursday with winds swirling at around 145 mph. Forecasters issued watches and warnings along the Atlantic coast for most of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and part of Massachusetts, alerting residents that hurricane and tropical storm conditions were possible within 36 to 48 hours.

image (220)

Evacuations continued early Thursday on the North Carolina coast, with residents and visitors leaving a barrier island in Carteret County. Officials in Dare County, N.C., expanded evacuations Thursday, issuing a mandatory evacuation order for all visitors in the county, NBC News reported.

Many people are taking a wait-and-see approach, making simple preparations like stocking up on food or attaching hurricane shutters to their houses. But with the likelihood that the storm's ultimate path will become clear on Thursday, officials expect planning to shift into high gear.

image (221)

Disaster prevention includes modifying your home to strengthen it against storms so that you can be as safe as possible. It also includes having the supplies on hand to weather the storm. The National Hurricane Preparedness web site provides more details on the at

According to the site, disaster prevention should include:

  • DEVELOPING A FAMILY PLAN - Your family's plan should be based on your vulnerability to the Hurricane Hazards.
  • CREATING A DISASTER SUPPLY KIT - There are certain items you need to have when you evacuate as well as making you as safe as possible in your home.
  • SECURING YOUR HOME - There are specific steps you can do to make your home more secure and able to withstand stronger storms.

Special Considerations for Securing Garage Doors in a Storm

Because of their size, garage doors are more susceptible to wind damage than other exterior openings – especially two-car garage doors. Unless you have a tested, hurricane resistant door installed, high winds can force it out of the roller track.

According to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Association), the loss of a garage door during a hurricane can lead to an uncontrolled buildup of internal pressure resulting in a blowout of the roof and supporting walls. 

If you have a Clopay WindCode garage door installed it does not require additional supports (i.e. posts) to secure the door. Reinforcement is contained within the structure of the door and is engaged by simply locking it, a timesaving convenience in the event of a sudden evacuation notice.

image (222)

Plan Ahead to Avoid Garage Door Lock-In During a Power Outage

Most people do not even think about their garage door opener not working during a power outage. We just expect it to faithfully go up and down when we press the button. If the power goes out, you may need to disconnect the electric opener to manually open the garage door. Here’s how:

  1. Disconnect the garage door opener when the garage is in the closed position, not when it’s open. Otherwise, if the springs aren’t balanced, the door could suddenly drop to the ground and cause injury.
  2. If the springs are properly balanced, the door will open easily with the lift handles. If it is difficult to open, have a professional garage door service technician check the door as soon as possible to avoid further damage or safety risks.
  3. Lock the door. When the automatic opener is disconnected the door is not securely shut until you manually slide the lock bar.
  4. Reconnect the opener when the power comes back on. Make sure the door is unlocked when the opener is reconnected. Electrically opening the garage door with the lock bar in place can cause major damage.

image (223)

image (224)

For more information on Hurricane Earl and storm preparedness visit:



hurricane shuttersHurricane HazardsHurricane EarlDISASTER SUPPLY KITDisaster prevention

Houzz 2021 Design Award
Best of Houzz 2020 Design
Best of Houzz 2019
2018 Best of Houzz Design Badge
2017 Best of Houzz Design Badge

Category list