For many around the country, winter 2015 was a brutal one. Now that homes have thawed and spring has finally sprung, many homeowners are sighing in relief at the welcomed return of warmer temperatures. But not so fast.
Along with green grass and a shining sun come habitual thunderstorms that very well could wreak havoc on your home. Are you prepared for the high winds and influx of water that will test your home time and time again? Here are some important tips and need-to-knows so you can make sure your home can weather any storm.
Make sure your homeowners insurance covers storm damage. Nearly all homeowners carry some form of insurance on their home, as required by their mortgage lender. However, policies vary, and waiting until after the storm to find out your policy details is way too late and could leave you with a huge financial burden if you are underinsured.
When it’s time to renew your policy, take some time to read the fine details. If you make any improvements on the home, make sure to check in with your insurance provider. Most importantly, understand any exclusions, especially for weather-related incidents. Floor protection is almost always never included, and may require a separate rider. If a huge storm is rolling its way to your town, stay ahead of it by staying informed of your insurance policy.
Related: Living Smart After the Storm
Before a storm, do a quick check around the yard. Make sure bikes and other children’s toys are put away. Check shutters to make sure they are properly secured. Make sure umbrellas are down and chairs are stowed away or weighed down appropriately. With severe thunderstorms come high winds that could not only carry your beloved items away, but could also do some damage to your own home, or worse, a neighbor’s. If you know of any weakened doors or windows, secure them properly before the storm hits with some plywood shutters or masking tape to prevent breakage and flying shards of glass. A few extra preventative measures never hurt anyone.
Prepare for a power outage. If you are one of the lucky souls to be able to afford a generator, make sure you have enough gas to power it up. Test the generator before the spring season to make sure it’s running efficiently and properly. Never run a generator indoors and be sure to follow all of the safety precautions as indicated by the brand and model. In extreme circumstances, if the power goes out for days, you can still keep your family fed and happy with the extra electric juice.
Put together an emergency kit. This kit should include things like water (one gallon per person, per day), non-perishable food, a flashlight (with batteries), a first aid kit, a seven day supply of any necessary medications, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, and a fully charged cell phone. Though some of these items may be more necessary in the case of a more severe storm, like a hurricane, tornado or blizzard, they are vital to your family’s safety. You can never be over-prepared during any storm and if you find yourself in a position of need, you’ll be glad you took these extra steps.
As homeowners, we always hope that April showers will be just that – showers. But oftentimes, a steady rain can turn fierce, bringing lightning and turbulent winds that cause the most damage to our yards and homes. Heed these tips and don’t let yourself be caught ill-equipped.
Nick Caruso is the Senior Editor for RISMedia’s Housecall blog.