How to Get Your House Ready for Storm Season
It seems like storm season is getting worse and worse every year — making it harder to prepare for the rough weather. While it’s important to go through the regular motions of preparing for a storm — getting extra food, water, and battery-operated flashlights — it’s also essential to take a few a few precautions for your home.
Making sure your home is prepared for a storm can keep you and your family safe and give you an easier time dealing with any potential damage.
Before Storm Season
Keep Your Gutters Clean
How do you expect your gutters to do their job and clear water away from your home if they are clogged with leaves and other debris? Especially heading into and during storm season, make sure your gutters are empty of any debris so water can flow freely through them.
Get Rid of Nearby Tree Branches
If you notice that the branches from nearby trees are within ten feet of your home, have them trimmed so strong storm winds don’t knock them into your home and cause more damage.
Check Your Roof
Every so often, go out and take a good look at your roof. If you notice any shingles that are torn, raised, or missing, have them repaired or replaced so rain doesn’t leak through your roof and cause water damage.
Stay on Top of Insurance Policies
Always make sure your home, car, and, if you have it, flood insurance, will cover any potential damages that can happen during a storm, and update your policies if they won’t. A little extra coverage can go a long way.
As the Storm Approaches
Turn Off Your Utilities
If heavy winds and flooding interfere with your gas lines or power grid, you’ll want to have those utilities safely turned off until local officials give you the go-ahead to turn them back on. Just make sure you know how to properly turn them on and off.
Board Up Your Windows
Especially if the forecast is calling for strong winds, place thick pieces of exterior grade or marine plywood over the outside of your windows. This helps prevent harsh winds from blowing windows in and causing glass to go all over your home.
Put Away Outdoor Furniture
Take patio furniture, backyard decorations, pool toys, and any other loose objects outside and store them away in your garage or shed. High winds can easily knock those object into your home and cause damage.
Pile Up Sandbags
During large hurricanes, you can almost count on flooding, whether it be from ocean surges or heavy rain. Stock up on sandbags and place them in front of your doorways and garage doors. While they probably won’t totally prevent flooding, they can divert flood waters away from your home if you place them correctly.
Get Ready for Power Outages
It’s not at all uncommon for storms to knock out your home’s power, so make sure you’re ready to handle a blackout.
Turn Your Fridge to the Coldest Setting
If the power goes out, this will keep your fridge colder longer and your food safe. Just make sure to avoid opening your fridge unless you absolutely have to — that lets out the cold air.
Unplug Your Appliances
When the power does go back on, your appliances can get overloaded by the surge of electricity coming back to your home and burn out. Keep them unplugged until the power has been back on for a little while.
Raise Your Furniture
If you have time, raise your furniture to higher ground, perhaps a second floor where flood waters won’t reach it. However, only do this if you have enough time — there are other things to worry about as a storm approaches.
Important to Remember
Talk to Your Neighbors
There is strength in numbers, so reach out to your neighbors while you’re all preparing for the storm. See if any elderly residents need help making sure their home is safe or if the family down the street is using specific supplies you should maybe use too.
If you’re staying in your own home, try to keep in touch with your neighbors during the storm to make sure everyone is safe.
Evacuate When Needed
If you’ve been told to evacuate your home for a storm, do it. There’s no reason to risk your safety, and the safety of the first responders who would have to rescue you, just to stay and weather the storm from your living room. If officials say to leave, leave.
Before a store, the professionals at Air Treatment Company can set your home up with a standby generator to keep your power on and your family comfortable. And after a storm, we are here for all your heating, cooling, and water heater needs. We’re always here to help you get your home back to normal.
For more information or to schedule a service, give us a call at 703.270.0881.