Preparing Your Landscaping for a Hurricane

Posted on October 16, 2023


Frances Badayos | author

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ICHQ | Site Author

Homes along the coasts may have their surrounding property battered by hurricane winds.

Flying debris can cause damage to homes and personal property. Water can damage the home and cause erosion. But there are steps you can take to minimize the chance of damage.

Insurance Claim HQ’s homeowners insurance claim lawyers explain how to prepare your landscaping for a hurricane.

8 Steps to Prepare Your Landscaping for a Hurricane

1. Design with hurricanes in mind

Long before a hurricane approaches, you can prepare your landscape to resist wind. Falling and blowing branches pose a significant danger in a hurricane. Plant large trees away from the home, power lines and sheds.

Choose trees that resist wind like the sabal palm, live oak, southern magnolia, gumbo limbo, sweetgum and spruce pine. Planting trees in groups can help them work together to resist wind.

2. Prune trees and remove dying limbs

Keep trees pruned. Remove dying limbs. Limbs that are weak and fragile are the most likely to break and cause harm during a hurricane.

If the storm is already on its way, and you don’t have a way to remove or secure branches following removal, don’t prune the trees. Leaving limbs on the ground as the storm approaches is too dangerous. It’s best to take care of pruning and limb removal in advance of a hurricane.

3. Clear storm drains and gutters

When storm drains and gutters are clogged, water can back up, causing damage and erosion.

Clear drains of debris, leaves, clippings and trash that may prevent water drainage. Secure gutters, pointing them away from the home. Make sure gutters are clear of debris.

4. Minimize erosion

In areas that are especially prone to erosion, pavers can minimize runoff.

5. Secure objects

Remove and secure:

  • Patio furniture, umbrellas
  • Garden equipment, wheelbarrows and tools
  • Lawn ornaments
  • Hanging baskets
  • Potted plants
  • Grills
  • Flags, banners and signs

6. Stop irrigation

There’s always plenty of water during a hurricane. Shut off your irrigation system until after the storm.

7. Secure rain barrels

If you have rain barrels, secure them. If you can’t move them, fill them so they won’t move.

Leave spigots open. Allow the barrel to overflow from the top rather than having water backup into the gutter.

8. Don’t fertilize

Fertilizer that’s applied right before a hurricane will wash away. Wait until later to apply fertilizer if a hurricane is on the way.

Other tips to protect landscaping after a hurricane

Once the hurricane has passed, proceed with caution. Be especially careful of downed power lines. Don’t approach them or touch them. Assess trees for pruning that may be necessary.

Replace mulch and address soil erosion. Remember that insects may be on the move following a hurricane, so watch out for pests in your home.

Talk to a Lawyer

Even when you are diligent about preparing your property for a hurricane, damage may still occur. If you have suffered hurricane damage, we invite you to contact Insurance Claim HQ. We are a team of attorneys serving New Orleans and beyond who help people with home insurance claims. Call or message us for your consultation.