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Get The Dirt: Hurricane Season Is Heading Our Way

A backyard with a curved pool and potted plants near a house.

May 31, 2024 

By: Lynn Barber

Hurricane season starts on June 1. The time to put your hurricane preparation plan together is now. This way, you can minimize issues during and after the storm.

An important first step is to walk around your house, lanai, porch and landscape. Identify what can become flying objects in strong winds. Think about flowerpots, bird feeders, lawn furniture, plant hangers, garden hoses, metal yard art and much more.

The second step is to implement your ‘relocation’ strategy. What items can be relocated to your garage, storage shed, inside your home or possibly under or behind shrubs near your house? If you have potted plants on your front porch, you could lay them down horizontally behind the shrubs. If you stand the pots upright, they will fill with rainwater that, over a few days, could damage the plant. Now that you have identified what can be moved, start the relocation process. It may well take more time than you anticipate, so starting sooner than later is better.

Purchasing the materials you need to protect your home is the third step. If you have several doors on your lanai, consider purchasing large sections of heavy-duty plastic and bags of mulch to absorb rainwater. Duct-tape the heavy-duty plastic to your sliding glass and other doors leaving space if there is a drain by the doors. You do not want to cover the drain. Place the bags of mulch on top of the plastic. Even though the mulch is in a bag, it can absorb rainwater. If you have a drain between the screened lanai and covered area, stack bags of mulch on the house side of the drain. The benefit of using bags of mulch versus sandbags is that you can reuse the mulch in your landscape beds after hurricane season.

Another important detail is to remove dead trees and branches. If you are not able to do that yourself, hire an arborist to evaluate the situation and make recommendations. Safety first!

If you have a debris pile, put the yard waste in garbage cans for weekly pickup. Act now so your landscape debris is not at the end of your driveway when high winds arrive. A pile of debris can also end up in the stormwater drain, which can become clogged.

Keep an eye on the water level in your swimming pool. If the water level is above the recommended level, drain water to the recommended level.

Be safe!

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