Storm season is here, and with it comes increased opportunity for home damage, both major and minor. Whether you have to deal with hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, or hail, preparation is key for securing your personal safety and assets against the ravages of inclement weather. Protect your family and home this spring and summer by following these ten tips.
Protect your Home
Prior to storm season, get a licensed contractor to inspect your roof for missing shingles and possible leaks. Think about putting in impact-resistant roofing as a heightened buffer against hail and heavy winds. For extra insulation, apply roofing cement to the edges of shingles with a caulking gun.
To protect your windows during severe storms, install shutters to prevent pane breakage from flying debris. Make sure to stay away from windows during storms; injuries from broken glass are some of the most common during dangerous weather.
Make a detailed list of all personal possessions and back it up with photos or video footage. If your property gets damaged as a result of severe weather, you'll have ample proof of its prior condition when you file an insurance claim.
Inspect Trees and Shrubs
Fallen branches can cause serious damage to your home and property. Keep your trees trimmed, and, if possible, hire an ISA-certified arborist to inspect the trees around your house for rotting roots and other non-obvious signs of danger.
Protect Your Basement
Keep your gutters clear of debris, and make sure downspouts are positioned away from your home's foundation. This is one of the simplest ways to prevent basement flooding, but there are also professional security companies, like Frontpoint, Livewatch, and some local ADT security plans, that offer flood detection services which can alert homeowners to danger before it happens.
Protect Your Family
Have Evacuation Plan
Be aware of your community's severe-weather warning system, as well as evacuation routes and shelter locations. A home emergency plan is also important - preferably you would have multiple to deal with various harsh weather scenarios. Rehearse and review these plans with your family on a regular basis.
Flash Flood Safety Measures
If you reside in a low-lying area, or near a body of water, head to the highest level of your house when heavy rains occur. If you live on the the ground floor, find refuge in a community storm shelter.
Hurricane Safety Measures
Stay indoors and seek shelter in an interior, windowless room, preferably at the lowest level of your home, since winds are stronger at higher altitudes. Make sure to bring food, water, a light source, as well as a cell phone. Wait for official confirmation that the storm has passed before emerging from your safe room.
Prepare for Blackouts
Stock flashlights, batteries, candles, and matches, as well as some sort of manually chargeable radio and cell phone dock.Think about purchasing a backup generator in case of a prolonged blackout.
Keep extra water and non-perishable foods on hand at all times, enough to sustain you and your family for a minimum of three days.