9 Severe Weather Preparedness Tips to Help You Protect Your Home
Year in and year out the United States is lashed with severe weather. From hailstorms to hurricanes, major flooding, tornadoes, and blizzards America is no stranger to dramatic weather patterns.
While home insurance can help you recover after a storm, severe weather preparedness can make a big difference in the safety of you and your family.
Here’s how to prepare for the unexpected, because it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the weather!
Preparing for the Worst: 9 Severe Weather Preparedness Tips
Over the past two decades, the U.S. has experienced some of the worst weather known to man. This includes natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Michael, the Maryland flood disaster, Calfornia wildfires and more.
To add to this, an average of 3,000 hailstorms ravage the landscape, with some hailstones as large as a softball.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), tornados are recognized as the most violent storms. However, smaller storms can still cause major damage to your home if you’re unprepared.
Here’s how to prepare for severe weather:
1. Update Your Roofing Materials
The most vulnerable area of your home in severe weather is your roof. So this is the best place to start when storm-proofing your home.
If your roof is comprised of old or weakened shingles, it’s time for a replacement. Update your shingles with a rating by UL 2218 or FM 4473, or look for class 3 or 4 shingles. These are the best type of roof protectors against hail damage, strong winds, and more.
2. Prepare Your Rain Gutters
Rain gutters are also incredibly vulnerable to violent weather and can easily falter when they aren’t maintained properly. Your rain gutters help to protect the foundation of your home and direct heavy rain away from your siding, windows, and doors.
Make sure your gutters are kept clear and free of debris such as branches, leaves and bird nests so they can work at their optimum when a storm hits.
3. Protect Outdoor Electrical Outlets
It’s important to protect and seal all outdoor electrical outlets as water in any of these outlets could short-circuit the rest of your property. This could leave you without electricity for days.
A great way to safeguard your home is to use foam sealant around all electrical outlet and switch boxes to ensure water doesn’t seep in during a storm.
4. Maintain Your Shrubbery
Trees and shrubbery are also extremely vulnerable in any type of storm and can cause major damage to your property. In fact, most homeowners fail to recognize the dangers of having large trees in their yard.
If you have a large garden and plenty of trees or shrubbery close to the perimeter of your house, maintenance is essential. It’s important to regularly remove weak branches which could fall off and damage your roof or smash your windows.
Falling trees and blowing debris during a severe storm can often cause fatalities and massive structural damage to your home. So be prepared and maintain your shrubbery, year round.
5. Secure All Top-Heavy Furniture
If you live in a region that is prone to severe weather, all top-heavy furniture should have a way of being secured when news of storm hits.
This includes large items such as bookcases, TV units, standing shelves or wardrobes. If you have not installed a means to keep this furniture in place, the best thing you can do is to move it away from all doors and windows.
6. Board Up Your Windows if Needs Be
If you receive news of severe weather such as a hurricane or major hailstorm, it’s best to board up your windows where you can.
Storm shutters work great for protection, but you can also fashion your own out of marine plywood.
Go for 5/8 inch plywood and cut these board to size in advance. Keep them at-the-ready to slot into your window frames as soon as a storm comes down.
7. Identify Safe Places of Shelter
As soon as a severe storm begins to form, it’s important to identify the best places of safety for you and your family to wait out the weather.
The last place you want to be is outside or inside your car, so it’s best to pin down a safe place for shelter beforehand and have a plan-of-action.
Some of the best places inside your home include a small room without windows, such as a guest bathroom or under a staircase. If you have a basement, this is the best place to be. Otherwise, close all interior doors and place as many walls between you and the storm as possible.
8. Identify Local Evacuation Routes
In some cases, such as severe flooding or being in the direct path of a tornado or hurricane, you may need to evacuate your local area. This is why it’s best to identify the best possible escape routes before a storm hits.
Generally, local officials will provide this type of information, but it’s always better to become familiar with the route beforehand.
9. Build an Emergency Storm Kit
If the region you live in is prone to severe or unpredictable weather, it’s important to have a well-stocked emergency storm kit on-hand.
This kit should contain a three-day supply of water, non-perishable food for the entire family, first-aid supplies, portable radio, flashlight, and more.
Try to think of the things you will need most in an emergency. This would also include medications, important contact numbers, emergency documents, etc.
Looking For an Emergency Repair Service?
At RFD Repair Services, we specialize in transforming your home if your severe weather preparedness just wasn’t enough…
Just some of our services include residential roofing, siding, and window repair. As well as fire, flood, storm, and wind damage repair. Contact us today for all your home repair needs!