Be Ready for Hurricanes & Other Storms

June is nearly here, which means hurricane season is approaching quickly. From the start of June until the end of November, the area around the Northern Atlantic Ocean experiences a peak in storm activity. Hurricanes are common at this time of year, and they can do a lot of damage to your landscape, even if you do not experience one at peak strength. Use the following tips to prepare your landscape for hurricane season.

Check Your Drainage Systems

French Drain Construction
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Heavy rain is a common occurrence during hurricane season, so your drainage system will be working overtime. This is why you need to make sure the system is in good working condition so you can get effectively get rid of excess stormwater. Test your systems to make sure water is being diverted away from your house, because your yard could flood the water cannot be moved away.

Check your gutter and nearby drain openings, and clear out debris so they do not get clogged up. This is really important later in the fall, since the leaves falling from the trees can easily block up your drainage system. Finally, if something seems off about your system, call someone for maintenance as soon as you can to have the problem dealt with before any storms arrive.

Do this well in advance to prevent any issues when a storm does arrive.

What to Do With Trees & Plants

Ground View of Trees

Preparation for hurricane season is especially important if you have trees in your backyard. Check your trees for dead branches, since they could easily snap off from the strong gusts and heavy rainfall that hurricanes can bring. If you see that one of your trees has died, it would be wise to have it taken down so you do not have to worry about it toppling over.

It would also be a good idea to stake any new trees you have planted, since their roots may not be developed enough to help them stay in the ground. Also, if you want to plant a garden during the summer, try keeping all the flowers close together. Their roots will grow together, allowing them to stay firmly planted in the ground throughout a storm’s duration.

What to Do With Your Pool

Pool owners also have to be mindful of hurricanes, since the large amount of stormwater could cause your pool to overflow. If you have an above ground pool, only drain a little bit of the water, and never risk trying to empty the entire thing before a storm hits. Without water to hold it into place, the pool could possibly lose its foundation and start floating if the storm is particularly bad.

Before the storm hits, make sure you turn off all the corresponding pool equipment so nothing shorts out. Excess stormwater and falling debris can also contaminate the pool water, so it might be a good idea to add an extra amount of chlorine ahead of time. Do not let your pool suffer from serious damage during a potentially dangerous storm.

Final Preparations

Outdoor Patio

As the storm draws closer, it would be wise to do the following things a day or two before the harsh weather hits. First, make sure you turn off the irrigation system in your yard so do not risk a flood in your yard. Besides damaging your yard, excess water can also kill plants that you have been raising through overwatering.

In addition, you should move potted plants, outdoor furniture, and any other items indoors so they do not get damaged in the ensuing storm. Since hurricanes are frequently associated with strong winds, anything that is not planted in the ground could possibly get blown away. These items are dangerous if they start flying around, so keep them inside to prevent additional damage.

Need help prepping your landscape for hurricane season? Hillsborough Irrigation and Landscape Services can help you set up a drainage system if you do not have one yet.