Nothing devastates lives quite like a storm but having suitable storm protection can offset some of the potential damage and destruction. Merely wishing a storm will pass you by or waiting to take precautions until right before a storm’s arrival will put you at a disadvantage. According to the National Weather Service, removing yourself from the storm’s path is the smartest strategy for survival but prepping your property in advance is a good idea. When a dangerous system approaches, you want to focus on caring for your family, not battening down the hatches. Don’t forget to prepare your emergency kit too!
Take a Walk
At least a few days before the storm’s arrival take a walk around your property to make a list of the items that could become flying missiles during high winds. Keep the list handy, like on the refrigerator in case you have repeat storms. You can reuse the list to remind you to stash the lawn mower and any potted plants you have. Other items like lawn chairs, awnings and some garden statues (the lightweight type) need to be stowed away in a closed shed or building. A lean-to or open garage may not give your property the protection it needs. Remove limbs and trash before the storm-this may reduce some of the clutter afterwards.
Make Repairs Now
Get started immediately on finishing repairs to your home, especially any exterior issues. Flapping tiles or hanging siding may cause more damage than it originally costs to fix it. Replace broken pieces and hire a professional contractor if you need help. While you have your attention on your home, take a look at your roof and replace any missing shingles with the wind-resistant type. High winds can wreak havoc on an already weakened roof. Clean the gutters and make sure your attic fans work properly.
Landscaping and Yard
You can’t forget your yard during storm preparation. Trim tall bushes, especially those that are close to your home. You don’t want whipping branches to break windows. Remove any dead trees as they can fall over quite easy if the ground becomes saturated with precipitation. Make sure walk ways are clear.
Remember the Windows
Your first line of defense for your home is its windows. Consider investing in storm shutters and windows. You can “button up” windows before high winds approach with shutters. Storm windows provide double pane protection. The average, single-pane glass window is not wind resistant and won’t be able to stand up to flying debris.
Lastly, don’t forget to keep your home insurance up to date. A lapse in policy can effect your storm coverage. Also, remember to review your storm plans with your family. It’s important for everyone to know where to meet after the storm.
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