You’ve just tuned into an important piece of advice on safeguarding your home from the unforeseen blows of severe weather. “What Steps Should I Take To Prepare My Home For Severe Weather?” Your curiosity about this vital precaution could be a lifesaver and a wallet-saver. This article will lay out easy, practical steps to help you protect your home and your loved ones from storms, heavy rains, blizzards, and all types of harsh weather conditions. Buckle up as we embark on this journey to offer you peace of mind when mother nature decides to express herself with unruly weather patterns.
Understanding Weather Warnings and Predictions
Weather predictions and warnings are instrumental in preventing damage from severe weather conditions. Understanding the difference between these terms can literally be a lifesaver.
Knowing the difference between a weather watch and a weather warning
A weather watch is an announcement made by the weather bureau to keep an eye out for possible extreme weather conditions that may develop, whereas a weather warning refers to impending severe weather conditions that have been spotted and could impact your area. Basically, a watch means that weather conditions are favorable for potentially dangerous weather, whereas a warning means that the dangerous conditions are expected or already occurring.
Keeping track of local weather forecasts
Local forecasts give you the most accurate information about weather conditions in your immediate area. They provide important information on upcoming changes in weather, allowing you to be better prepared for severe conditions. It’s important to make it a habit to regularly check the local weather, particularly if you live in an area prone to severe weather conditions.
Using weather apps for immediate updates
By installing a reliable weather app on your smartphone, you can get immediate and accurate updates about weather conditions. These apps typically offer minute-by-minute updates, emergency alerts, and many other features to help you stay abreast of the weather situation. Having one installed ensures you get immediate notification whenever there are significant weather changes.
Emergency Preparedness Measures
Being ready for emergencies can significantly reduce the stress and panic that can accompany critical weather situations. Having an emergency plan in place and ensuring that every family member is familiar with it is key.
Creating an emergency plan for your family
Devise an emergency plan with your family to make sure everyone knows what to do and where to go in case of severe weather. The plan should include safe evacuation routes, emergency contact numbers, and a designated meetup location after the danger has passed. This way, everyone is able to act quickly and decisively during an emergency.
Stocking up on emergency supplies
Always ensure that you have a stockpile of emergency supplies that can last for at least three days. The emergency supplies should include items such as water, non-perishable food, first aid kit, portable chargers, flashlights, and some personal items like medications and important documents. The supplies should be regularly checked and updated.
Ensuring all family members know the plan
Everyone in the family should be aware of the emergency plan. This ensures that every member can work together and ensure the safety of each other when in a critical situation. Regular discussions about the plan can also lead to improvement and updating of the plan when necessary.
Household Insurance Check
Revisiting your home insurance policy is another important step in severe weather preparation. This ensures that you have financial protection against weather-inflicted damages.
Confirming what your insurance covers
Review your insurance policy to get clear insight on what is covered by your insurance and what isn’t. This might include damages caused by wind, water, hail, and other related weather phenomena. Understanding your cover allows you to adjust appropriately and avoid any unpleasant financial surprises after a weather event.
Increase your coverage for weather-related damages if necessary
If your current insurance coverage is not adequate for weather damage that your house may potentially face, consider updating it. This can significantly help in repairing or rebuilding your home after an unfortunate weather event.
Document your possessions for insurance purposes
This includes taking pictures or video footage of your home and its contents. This can be valuable evidence when filing an insurance claim.
Secure Doors and Windows
Doors and windows are one of the most vulnerable points in your house during severe weather. Ensuring they are in good condition and properly secured can significantly reduce the chances of weather-related damage.
Checking the integrity of your doors and windows
Ensure that your doors and windows are solid and properly sealed. Any weak points can become entry points for wind, rain, or even debris picked up by the weather.
Investing in storm shutters
If you live in an area prone to severe weather, it might be worthwhile to consider installing storm shutters. These provide an extra layer of protection and can help prevent window breakage due to flying debris.
Applying weather-strip to gaps and cracks
Weather-stripping can prevent wind and water from sneaking in through gaps and cracks. It is a low-cost and effective measure to enhance the resilience of your doors and windows.
Roof Inspection and Repair
Your house roof can take a beating during severe weather. Regular inspection and repair can keep it in a good state to withstand harsh conditions.
Getting professional inspection of your roof
While you can do a cursory inspection yourself, it’s wise to get a professional inspection occasionally. They can check for any potential damages or weak spots that need immediate attention.
Repairing any potential leaks or weak spots
After the inspection, it’s crucial to repair any identified problems promptly. Ignoring a seemingly small leak or crack can lead to larger issues during a severe weather event.
Secure loose shingles or tiles
Loose or damaged shingles or tiles can easily get ripped off during strong winds, and even turn into projectiles that could cause additional damage. Make sure any loose shingles or tiles are firmly secured.
Outdoor Area Management
The immediate surrounding of your home can either protect your home or add to the potential damage during severe weather.
Clearing your lawn and driveway of potential projectiles
Items lying around in your lawn or driveway can get picked up during strong winds and cause damage. Regularly clear your outdoor areas of any such objects that can become potential projectiles.
Trimming overgrown trees and branches
Overgrown trees and branches pose a threat during severe weather as they can break off and cause damage. Keep trees near your home trimmed and remove dead or weak branches.
Securing outdoor furniture
Avoid leaving outdoor furniture unsecured. Secure them or move them indoors when severe weather warnings are issued.
Flood Prevention Measures
If you live in an area prone to flooding, taking some flood prevention measures can save you a lot of trouble down the line.
Installing a sump pump if your area is prone to flooding
A sump pump can help remove water that has entered your basement. This can be extremely helpful during heavy rains and floods.
Check and clear your gutters and drains
A congested gutter or drain can lead to water overflow and increase the risk of flooding. Regularly check and clear your gutters and drains to ensure smooth flow of water.
Raise your electrical components
Raising your electrical outlets, switches, and wiring can offer extra protection if your home is prone to flooding.
Securing Your Utilities
Your utilities can also be affected by severe weather, causing inconveniences and potential hazards.
Knowing how to turn off your utilities
In case of an emergency, you may need to turn off utilities like electricity, water, or gas. Ensuring that all family members know how and when to do this is critical.
Protecting your appliances from power surges
Power surges can damage sensitive electronic equipment. Using surge protectors can help protect your appliances from sudden voltage spikes.
Ensure your generator is working if you have one
Backup power during a power outage can offer a lot of conveniences. If you have a generator, make sure it is well-maintained and working properly.
Preparing Your Home’s Interior
Securing your home’s interior can help protect your family and your valuables from damage during severe weather.
Securing large items that could topple over
Large, heavy furniture or appliances can fall over during severe weather, causing injuries and damage. Make sure these items are securely anchored to the walls.
Identify a safe room where your family can gather
During severe weather, your family should stay in a safe, preferably windowless room like a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor. This room should be stocked with emergency supplies.
Store valuable items in a safe and dry spot
Keep your valuables and important documents in a waterproof, secure location. A secured safe or a waterproof box could do the trick.
Post-storm Inspection and Repair
After the storm has passed, you’ll need to inspect and repair any damage to your home.
Inspect your property for damages post-storm
Once it’s safe, conduct a thorough inspection of your property to identify any damage. This will help you know the extent of damage and how to prioritize repairs.
Contact your insurance company promptly
If your home suffered significant damage during severe weather, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim. This will speed up the compensation process.
Avoid scam repair companies
Unscrupulous repair companies may attempt to take advantage of your stressful situation. Always use reputable repair services and ask for recommendations if you’re unsure.
Preparing your home for severe weather is a continuous process that requires commitment and regular maintenance. But, by taking these steps, you can increase your home’s ability to withstand severe weather and help ensure the safety of you and your family.