Despite the snow we had just a few days ago, Spring is here! It's time for warmer weather! But, with that comes spring rain and storms. Storms can be fun and, of course, everyone loves the smell of rain. But, spring storms can also do damage. Here are a few tips on how to prepare your home for storms and how to prevent damage.
Prepare ahead of time
Part of being prepared is making a plan. We suggest creating a disaster plan and ensure that everyone in your household understands the plan. You can even rehearse it if needed. This plan is vital for disasters like tornados and fires. You can also map out the fastest route out of each room so that everyone knows how to leave the home as quickly as possible.
It is also important that everyone in the house knows and understands how to turn off utilities like the main breaker and gas and water lines. This will limit the damage if something goes wrong.
We also recommend having an emergency supply kit ready for any storm event. The kit should be somewhere that is easy to grab and go when needed.
If you live in an area that has any chance of flooding you should consider purchasing flood insurance. Flooding is not included in the standard home owner’s policy, and if your home does suffer flooding, you will have to pay for it out of your own pocket.
Create an inventory list of everything in your house. In the event of a storm or fire damaging your belongings, this will make the process much smoother.
Always keep your home properly maintained. Pay close attention to your roof and basement. Ensure that your shingles are in good condition and that your basement is waterproof.
Periodically walk around your home and prune back the plants and vegetation that may be hanging over your roof or right up against your home. This can cause serious issues to the roof and foundation of your home.
During the spring months, it is vital that you clean your gutters regularly. This will ensure that rainwater will drain off of your roof and away from the foundation of your home. If rainwater falls right off the roof and next to the house, it can create leaks in your basement and weaken the foundation.
By preparing for storms ahead of time, you can prevent damage. However, there are also steps you can take during a storm to protect your home.
During the storm
When you know a storm is coming, you should move any valuables out of your yard and move your vehicles to the highest point.
Never walk through standing water! This can be extremely dangerous. Even just a few inches of moving water can knock a person over. Plus, you never know how deep the water actually is. You may think it is only a few inches. But, part of a road could have eroded away and this would make the water much deeper then you expect.
If you are outside and in a low area, move to higher ground to remove the risk of getting caught in a flood.
Never drive through water. Even 2 feet of water is enough to move a large vehicle, it isn’t worth the risk.
Close the doors and windows of your house and make sure they are secure. If there is high wind, stay away from your windows. Storms create flying objects and if one of these hit a window it could cause it to break and glass could injure you.
If there is lightning, limit your use of wired electrical devices. If your house is struck electricity could travel through the wire and cause damage to anything that is plugged in.
Stay up to date on the weather conditions by listening to the radio, watching tv, or using your phone. If something more serious arises, you may need to take further action.
After the storm
Check to make sure everyone is okay and there aren’t any other weather hazards approaching.
If you think there is any damage to power lines or gas lines, call your utility company. If there are any branches or objects leaning against the power lines you should avoid these and wait for the utility company.
If your home suffered flooding or other serious damage you will need to contact the insurance company. Take pictures of any damage.
If your home has any water damage, call a professional water damage company to clean up the damage and fix any problems. You should not attempt to clean up flooding on your own as any moisture you miss could cause mold to grow to create an even bigger problem.