It’s important to know the basic steps to prepare your pool for a hurricane or tropical storm if you live in an area affected by these major weather events. Some simple precautions improve safety and help protect your equipment from damage and prevent undue difficulties and expenses after the storm passes.
You undoubtedly have a process for getting ready for an oncoming hurricane, including things like stocking up on water, food, batteries, flashlights, and other items, and shuttering or boarding up your windows, removing loose items from the yard, and so on. Make pool prep a part of this process.
How to Prepare Your Pool for a Hurricane
- Move lawn chairs, lounge chairs, and other outdoor furniture into your shed, garage, or home. Do the same with tables, sun umbrellas, and other pieces. If necessary, put waterproof furniture in the pool, being gentle to avoid damaging the pool walls, floor, or finish. Flying objects increase the chances of damage to your windows, roof, or other parts of your home, and they pose a danger to people, vehicles, and your pool as well.
- Put all pool toys, floats, nets and other cleaning items, pool chemicals, and other accessories inside somewhere, too.
- Clear your yard as well as you can of sticks and other significant debris that can damage the pool equipment. If possible, trim weak branches off nearby trees.
- Screw skimmer lids securely into place.
- Do not drain your pool. The weight of the water protects the pool’s structural integrity, including its foundation and sides. This applies to above-ground and in-ground pools; the latter can be ripped up from their foundation due to forces of lift created by high-speed winds.
- Assuming your pool has proper drainage and skimmers, there’s no need to lower the water level. However, if there are surrounding structures that can be damaged by water that doesn’t run off, it might be a good idea to lower the water level one to two feet.
- Shock the pool to super chlorinate it and run the filter for a few hours before the hurricane or tropical storm is due to hit.
- Turn off power to all electrical equipment at the circuit breaker for the duration of the storm. Tightly cover all electrical equipment with sturdy plastic wrapping. If the equipment is at risk of sitting in flood waters, disconnect and remove it, and store it safely indoors. Pool pumps are particularly vulnerable to being ruined if they become submerged.
- Don’t cover your pool. You might think it’s a good idea, but mostly it just creates the risk of damage to the cover.
- After the hurricane or tropical storm passes, inspect your pool and all electrical equipment closely for damage before restarting it. Clean all debris out of the pool and balance the pool chemicals. It’s a good idea to shock the pool again, too. Closely monitor the performance of the pool equipment for a few days after the storm to make sure everything’s working properly.