The 2021 hurricane season begins June 1st and lasts until November 30th. The 2021 forecast from Colorado State University predicts seventeen named storms could form, with eight becoming hurricanes and four becoming major hurricanes—meaning Category 3 or higher. We never really know what’s ahead. It could be a Category 4 hurricane or a tropical storm, but we can be proactive and prepare. With a season that lasts nearly half a year, storm preparation should be something that we keep up all year long. Here are a few things you can do to get your landscape ready.

Prepare trees. Inspect trees and shrubs for dead branches. Be sure to have dead branches removed as a storm can turn them into projectiles and hurl them at homes, vehicles and other structures. Tree branches close to windows should be pruned or removed. Mature trees should be inspected by a certified arborist every few years to ensure they are heathy and not a liability. Palms should have hanging or dead palm fronds, seed pods or coconuts removed. Make sure any debris or wood removed is taken away from the property immediately.

Keep drainage clear. This is likely the most important task for doing your part to keep stormwater from causing floods. Keep the stormwater systems clean by picking up grass clippings, leaves and other yard debris that could clog storm drains.

Pause irrigation. All irrigation systems should be shut off during the week of a storm. With all the rain, the last thing needed is more water.

The best method of preparing the landscape for a hurricane is to keep it well-maintained and healthy year-round. Healthy trees and shrubs are better able to withstand potential damage and will recover more quickly than neglected ones.