June marks the start of summertime when school breaks for many across the country and vacations are in sight. However, many people may not realize June also marks the hurricane season, which lasts through November. And while many of us are planning to go on a fun vacation, planning for a hurricane may seem far from focus.

According to the National Hurricane Center, lack of hurricane awareness and preparation is common among all major hurricane disasters. Being aware of what to do before and during a storm can help reduce hazards from a hurricane’s disastrous effects, which range from storm surges, heavy rainfall, flooding, high winds, tornadoes, and rip currents.

As history has shown, the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are susceptible to hurricanes; however, each year parts of the Southwest and the Pacific Coast also experience heavy rains and floods from hurricanes off of Mexico. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season actually began in May and ends in late November. In Atlantic areas, the season peaks in mid-August to late October.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA)’s readiness website has a wealth of information on hurricane preparedness at home and in your community.

Homeowners living in hurricane-prone areas shouldn’t underestimate the potential for storm damage. Georgia-Pacific offers a few tips for home preparedness this hurricane season:

  • First pre-measure the windows and doors you want to protect. Don’t forget to consider openings, such as roof and gable vents, skylights and garage doors. Eighty percent of residential hurricane damage starts with wind entry through garage doors.
  • To help your home withstand wind and debris, look for exterior grade plywood at least five-eighths of an inch thick. Plan to have a four inch overlap on each opening.
  • Wearing the proper safety gear, apply fasteners every four inches to secure plywood panels. For the right type of plywood and other supplies you may need, ask the experts at your local home improvement store.
  • For a step-by-step video on protecting your home before a storm, click here, and for additional hurricane preparedness resources visit www.gpplywood.com.