How Your Household Can Prepare For Severe Storms
Severe storms can devastate your household, causing damage and putting you and your family in harm’s way. You can reduce these risks and damages by preparing your home for hurricanes, tornadoes, or thunderstorms. Remember that the aftermath of storms can be less disruptive if adequate preparations have been made.
Since you can’t prevent a storm from happening, the best thing to do is to prepare your home and all its occupants for inclement weather. With that being said, here are some ways to get your household prepared for severe storms:
1. Create A Plan
Create a household plan outlining everything that you must do in case of a severe storm. This plan will help every household occupant know what to do during a storm and reduce panic. Consider including the following in your outline:
- Evacuation routes: Identifying and establishing an evacuation route is crucial in preparing for a severe storm. Consult with local authorities and responders on the recommended evacuation route in an emergency. Use the information to plan your escape and ensure all the members of your household know the way.
- Safe zones: Identify and create safe zones in your home where everyone can shelter during the storm. Safe zones should be far from windows and on the lowest level of your home. Every member of your family should know where the safe zones are.
- Emergency contacts: Ensure you have an updated list of emergency contacts for emergency responders, friends, and family members who can assist during storm emergencies. This list should be kept in an open area to which all family members must have access.
This household plan must serve as a guide to help you and your family stay safe during a severe storm.
2. Prepare An Emergency Kit
During severe storms, you must have an emergency kit on hand. It should include backup power devices, such as portable batteries from Ecoflow. Aside from that, also include the following items:
- Water: You need sufficient drinking water during an emergency. Consider keeping a gallon of water per person daily for at least three to four days.
- Food: Consider stocking up on non-perishable and ready-to-eat food like canned goods, dried fruit, and energy bars. The quantity to stock up on depends on how many people you have in your household.
- First aid kit: A well-stocked first aid kit containing bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze, and painkillers is vital to have. Ensure that everything in the kit is sufficiently labeled.
- Radio: A portable radio is essential to inform you of the weather and emergency information, such as evacuation points and shelters.
- Blankets and warm clothing: Stock on enough blankets and warm clothing in case of power outages or heat loss during the storm.
- Cash: Have cash in hand in case of disruptions in the electronic payment systems.
You can include other items depending on your needs in the emergency kit. Once the kit is ready, place it where every household member has access.
3. Prepare Your Home
Several ways of preparing your home for severe storms include inspections and repairs. You can start by checking the roof and ensuring it’s in good condition. If there are any signs of damage, such as loose shingles, ensure they’re replaced immediately to avoid more damage during a storm.
As an added precaution, you should clear out the gutters and downspouts. Clearing the gutters of debris will allow all of the stormwater to flow from the roof. This stops water from collecting and potentially causing roof damage. Hire a professional to ensure the gutters are correctly secured to the house and can’t be ripped off by heavy winds during a storm.
Additionally, trim all the branches and trees that can fall during a storm and damage the house. Although most home insurances cover damage from fallen trees, filing an insurance claim and repairing your home can take longer. It would be best to hire a professional to remove the overhanging trees and branches to prevent this from happening.
It would help to properly seal your home windows before the storm begins. Installing storm shutters or impact-resistant windows can help secure your windows during severe storms. You can also hire a professional to help install window seals to survive a severe storm and keep your property and household members safe.
Investing in a backup generator for your home is also an excellent idea. The generator can power appliances such as refrigerators and sump pumps and provide lighting in case of a power outage caused by damage to the power lines.
4. Secure Outdoor Items
Loose outdoor items such as furniture, grills, and garbage cans can become projectiles during heavy storms and damage the house or injure someone. Properly secure heavy items such as grills and bring the furnishings inside. Considering the potential distance traveled by smaller objects like planters is crucial, as strong winds can carry them considerably.
5. Stay Informed
If you live in an area prone to severe storms, ensure you’re informed on weather patterns and when the storms will likely hit. You can gather information from weather forecasts, emergency alerts, and warnings from local authorities. This information can help prepare your family for the impending storm and ensure everything is in order.
You can also sign up to receive emergency alerts and notifications through a smartphone application or a weather radio. Consider getting an alternative method of communication, such as battery-powered radio, where you’ll receive information when there’s a power outage.
6. Check Your Insurance
Damages caused by severe storms are inevitable and expensive to repair after everything calms down. Therefore, if you have home insurance coverage, it would be best to check with the provider whether it covers severe storm damage.
You can also make any necessary updates, such as additional coverage, to ascertain compensation in case of damage to your home during the storm. The extra coverage can be for wind and flood damage and all other kinds of storm-related destruction.
Suppose you don’t have existing homeowner insurance; consider several providers to find one that suits your needs. You can focus on providers who specialize in coverage for severe storms or have experience with such cases, especially in your area.
When shopping for your insurance coverage, ask about discounts. Some providers give discounts to homeowners with other reinforcement measures in their homes, such as secured roofs, windows, and gutters. Consider picking a provider who offers discounts on insurance to save you money.
Further, ensure you’ve read the insurance policy and understood the terms of the coverage. This knowledge is crucial when claiming to repair damage caused by the storm. Pay attention to exclusion and limitation clauses in the coverage to avoid confusion when making a claim.
Severe storms can devastate your household, especially if it causes damage. You can prevent intensive damage to your property and ascertain the safety of family members by being prepared. Consider the tips mentioned above and ensure you have enough information regarding the impact of storms in your area.