Spring is practically here, and with it comes flowers, bugs, and a multitude of storms. Depending on where you live, you may be at more danger than other homeowners to the elements. Tornadoes, hurricanes and floods all threaten the safety of homeowners across the U.S., however, and it’s important to safeguard your home against these dangers.
Although you likely have a homeowners insurance policy, preventing damage is important so you don’t have to file a claim, pay a deductible and risk raising your monthly rates. Taking certain preventative measures can protect you and your family for when a storm comes knocking.
Maintain and Repair
One of the best things you can do for your home is to keep up with maintenance and repair damage. Replace missing shingles, clear out the gutters and trim your trees. This can help prevent leaks, wind damage and flooding around your home, as well as prevent tree limbs from damaging the roof. Maintenance is especially important for homes with basements, which are more prone to flooding.
Seal Windows and Doors
Properly seal your doors and windows to protect against wind and water. Hard winds by a tornado could tear into small openings and damage the structure of the home. You can also use deadbolts to secure doors in place.
Invest in Your Roof
The roof is one of the most important areas of attention when it comes to storms. You can purchase hurricane straps to ensure your roof is steady and roofing cement to fix any loose tiles or shingles.
Keep an Emergency Kit
In case of a storm, you want to have everything you need handy so you can grab it and move to a safe place. First, it’s important to have a generator hooked up in case you lose power. This is helpful to keep your refrigerator and freezer running so your food doesn’t spoil in case you’re unable to leave your house for a period of time. In the emergency kit, you should also have:
- Drinkable water
- Extra batteries
- First Aid kit
If some family members have specific needs (such as medication), make sure these accommodations are available, as well. Be sure to have a detailed plan that every family member knows in case of an emergency. A battery-powered radio is extremely important to keep up to date with weather changes even after you lose power.
Inspect Attached and Unattached Structures
Essentially every part of your home, even if unattached, should be investigated for repairs. Porches and sheds should all be strengthened with bolts, anchors and support beams to ensure sound structure. If a large tornado sweeps in, high winds can destroy weak structures and send them flying—namely, into your home. You want to lower the chance of flying debris by making sure everything around your home (including fences and objects within the yard) to make sure they will remain on the ground. Don’t take shelter in an unattached structure from your home unless it is underground. The recommended areas to take shelter are within the home under a staircase, in a closet or in the bathroom.
Reinforce Garage Doors
Garage doors are actually one of the weakest parts of your home. Strong winds can create a lot of damage, so it’s important to have an inspector analyze your garage door and reinforce it with stiffeners if necessary.
Keeping your family safe is the most important thing in a disaster. Make sure to safeguard your home, make a plan and be prepared. It’s better to be over prepared than to be caught off guard.
Also Read:Protecting Your Family Before and After Flooding