The summer season can bring warmer weather, but it can also bring harsh weather conditions, sometimes resulting in severe storms. There is only so much we can do to prevent natural disasters. However, we can certainly take some precautionary measures before the storm begins to protect ourselves and our belongings the best we can.
We have listed basic guidelines for preparing your home for a storm. Let’s check these out.
- Evaluate Your Risks
Hurricanes are most devastating to coastal communities. Storm surges combined with high winds and rain can result in serious flooding and damage. However, storms are not only prone to these areas; heavy rains and high winds can cause flooding further inland.
To prepare your home for hurricane season, you should first assess the risks posed to your area. Start by searching for hurricane data online and tracking current storms. Many resources are available to help you decide what preparations you must make and how to develop an evacuation plan in case of a disaster.
- Take A Cue From Those Who Have Already Dealt With This Issue
Follow in the footsteps of people living in some of the world’s stormiest cities. People living in Alberta know the safety risks caused by storms. They have invested in storm-related equipment. Some have storage secured in their basements, while some have rented storage units.
No matter which part of the city you live in, you can always find a nearby option with a quick internet search. For instance, if you live in Grand Prairie, typing storage units Grande Prairie can land you on reputable sites that can help you right away.
- Put Surge Protection In Place
Storms can cause power surges that harm appliances and electronic equipment instantly. Use power strips that come with surge protectors to safeguard your property and electrical panel. It may also be necessary to protect your heater and air conditioner.
- Prune The Trees And Clear The Limbs
Storms can result in dead tree limbs getting loose, damaging a home’s exterior, or shattering a window. During heavy rains, trees with shallow root systems may also come loose. It would be best to cut the branches that could enter your house and pose a life risk. You can also chop off tall trees if their tops are at risk of falling over.
- Make Sure The Critical Areas Of The House Are Protected
Fences and patio furniture have a high chance of losing ground and breaking into your home. Ensure that your fences are properly secured, and your patio furniture is tucked safely inside so that heavy winds do not lift them and cause them to smash against your house.
Consequently, roofs, windows, and doors are all at risk from the wind. Installing storm shutters prior to the hurricane season is one of the most effective ways to protect your home from damage. You can also install plywood – as a cheaper substitute – to help seal these vulnerable areas. Moreover, you can hire a contractor to strengthen the doors and seal the roof for a professional job.
- Check Your Gutters And Drains
Be sure that your downspouts drain away from your house and the debris in your gutters stays clean. It will prevent damage to your home and keep the clutter away.
- Keep Your Valuables Safe
Place your valuables like pictures, phones and other household stuff in a water-proof container. In addition, store important documents, such as insurance policies or mortgage papers, in a safe deposit box or fireproof container. You can also keep the inventory in your rented storage units or send them over to relatives who live outside your region for safekeeping.
It is also helpful to identify the approximate purchase price of each item to claim the coverage if you lose them.
- Stock Up On An Emergency Kit
You may lose basic services during an emergency, such as electricity, water, gas, and sewage. It can be for a few hours or even a few days. Stock up on food, water, and supplies for your family’s emergency kit so you can survive at least three days. Later, when the crisis is over, replenish the kit. Make sure your kit includes:
- Water per person for drinking and sanitation
- At least three days’ worth of food supply per person
- An old-fashioned or battery-operated radio to keep you updated with the news
- Flashlights and emergency first aid supplies
- Power banks, chargers, maps
- Prepare An Emergency Plan For Your Family
The importance of staying connected during an emergency cannot be overstated. When local phone lines are down, have a family member or friend from out of town check on you. Ensure that everyone in your family has everyone’s contact number and means of reaching them.
If your family members get separated during an emergency, and your home is unsafe, pick a local place where they can meet.
- Learn About Your Policy
Reading and understanding your policy is essential. Before filing a claim, make sure you know what is covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. Many exclusions are required to obtain certain coverages. You also need to ensure your property is not a liability or physical hazard.
Contact your agent or insurance company in advance of hurricane season. Request quotes for additional coverage to get the coverage you need.
What Are The Preventive Measures You Can Take After The Storm Has Passed?
Storms cause a great deal of damage, but not all of it is visible. The damage you think you’re seeing is just the tip of the iceberg. Even if your home doesn’t suffer damage, storms tend to create dangerous conditions best avoided.
When storms hit, follow these instructions:
- In case you have evacuated the home, make sure it’s safe before you return back.
- Avoid stepping into the standing water as it may contain loose power lines and dangerous bacteria.
- Hurricane debris could potentially pose a health risk, so it’s best to keep away from it.
- Make sure you’re doing all you can to keep everyone safe. Check for additional hazards, like carbon monoxide entering your house, and turn off all gas lines.
- The city’s water filters and the pipes that carry it to your home are powered by electricity, which is unsafe for consumption, cleaning, and cooking.
No matter if you live along the coast or inland, a powerful storm can cause significant damage. Therefore, you should prepare your house for the storm season before it begins. Do as much as you can to protect yourself from damage by evaluating risks. By taking these steps, you hope to minimize damage to your home, your family, and yourself.