Although summer means warmer temperatures, it can also bring thunderstorms, with hail, rain, lightning, and strong winds. The following are some tips on preparing your home for harsh weather conditions and summer storms.
Clear Your Gutters and Check Your Roof
The exterior of your home is its first defense against interior damage. Clear and clean your gutters to direct water away from your home and avoid roof, wall, and basement flooding. Get your roof checked for shingles that need replacing or soft spots, and have any necessary repairs done.
Trim Trees and Clear Limbs
Dead tree limbs can come crashing down during a storm, causing considerable damage to your home and adjacent structures. Heavy rains can cause trees with shallow roots to pull from the ground and topple over. Trim tall trees close to your house and have them checked by a specialist to ensure they are stable. Trim weak and overhanging branches to reduce the risk of breakage and damage to your home.
Secure Outdoor Furniture & Structures
Items such as garbage cans, grills, and outdoor furniture can become deadly projectiles in a violent storm. Bring them into your garage or house to reduce the risk. If high winds are expected, have a drill, drill bits, and pre-cut wooden boards ready to secure your windows. Ensure your fences are properly secured to prevent them from being lifted and hurled against the house by heavy winds.
Prepare Your Basement
If your home has a basement as the lowest level, it is the first place likely to be damaged by precipitation. Protect your electronics, furniture, and valuables by moving them upstairs to higher ground. Unplug all electrical cords, as water and electricity can be deadly.
Get Ready for a Power Outage
When a storm is coming, turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting. Move as much food as possible to the freezer. If the power goes out, perishable foods will stay cool and will be safe to eat for longer. Unplug all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and creating a fire hazard when power is restored. If power outages are likely, plan for alternative power sources, such as a portable charger or power bank.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Keep an emergency kit stocked and ready in case of a storm. The kit should include the following at a minimum:
- Non-perishable foods
- Water (at least a gallon per day for each individual, plus what is needed for pets)
- Clean clothing
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid kit
- Any necessary medications
- Candles and matches in water-resistant packaging
In addition to the above preparations, meet with our knowledgeable agent to ensure you have sufficient homeowners insurance coverage. With storms becoming more intense, it may be a good idea to consider flood insurance as well, regardless of where you live.