Preparing Your Lowcountry Yard for Hurricane Season: 10 Essential Tips

June 26, 2024

There are many benefits to living in the Lowcountry: picturesque landscapes, a rich history, and a vibrant community. It also means being prepared for hurricane season, which can bring unpredictable weather and potential risks to your home and yard.

With hurricane season kicking off this month, it's crucial to take proactive steps to safeguard your property, starting with your yard. Here are some essential tips to help you prepare your Lowcountry yard for hurricane season:

  1. Clear Potential Debris: Begin by assessing your yard for any potential debris that could become hazardous in high winds. Trim back overhanging branches, especially those near your house, and remove dead or weak trees and limbs. Secure outdoor furniture, grills, and decorations that could become airborne during a storm.
  2. Reinforce Trees and Shrubs: In the Lowcountry, trees and shrubs are not only part of your landscape but also serve as windbreaks. Inspect them for signs of disease or weakness and trim them if necessary. Consider hiring a professional arborist to assess larger trees and ensure they are structurally sound.
  3. Maintain Your Drainage Systems: Effective drainage is crucial during heavy rains and storms to prevent flooding around your home. Clear gutters and downspouts of debris regularly, and ensure they direct water away from your foundation. Check that your yard's grading encourages water to flow away from your house.
  4. Protect Your Lawn and Garden Structures: If you have delicate plants or garden structures, consider reinforcing them before hurricane season. Stake tall plants, secure trellises, and consider installing windbreaks such as temporary barriers or screens to protect vulnerable areas.
  5. Store Emergency Supplies: Create an emergency kit that includes essentials such as water, non-perishable food, flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies, and important documents. Store these items in a safe, easily accessible location, and make sure everyone in your household knows where to find them.
  6. Plan for Clean-Up: Have a plan in place for post-storm clean-up. Familiarize yourself with local waste disposal guidelines for storm debris and consider having tools like chainsaws, rakes, and tarps on hand to aid in cleaning up your yard safely.
  7. Stay Informed: Stay informed about weather updates and hurricane forecasts throughout the season. Sign up for local emergency alerts and have a reliable weather radio or app to receive notifications promptly.
  8. Reinforce Structures: Inspect and reinforce outdoor structures such as sheds, fences, and gazebos. Ensure they are securely anchored and repair any damage well before hurricane season begins.
  9. Consider Native and Wind-Resistant Plants: When landscaping or replacing plants, consider native species and those known to withstand high winds. These plants are often better adapted to the local climate and can offer additional protection to your yard.
  10. Review Your Insurance Coverage: Review your homeowner's insurance policy to understand what is covered in the event of storm damage. Consider additional coverage if necessary, such as flood insurance, which may be separate from standard policies.

By taking these proactive measures, you can help protect your Lowcountry yard and home during hurricane season. Preparation is key to minimizing damage and ensuring the safety of your family and property. Embrace the natural beauty of the Lowcountry while being mindful of its unique weather challenges, and you'll be better equipped to weather any storm that comes your way.