Storm Preparation For Your Home

Storm Preparation For Your Home

Storm Preparation For Your Home

Spring and summer are short seasons, so people naturally want to make the most of them by traveling and engaging in other leisure-time pursuits. Unfortunately, severe weather events such as floods and tornadoes are more common during the spring and summer than any other time of year. Before you can take shelter from a storm, you need to know it is headed your way in the first place.

Enable Wireless Emergency Alerts

If you haven’t already done so, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends signing up for severe weather alerts on your smartphone. You'll receive a short text message from federal or state public safety officials or the National Weather Service when a strong storm approaches your area. The notification sound from your phone will be louder than usual and your phone will vibrate.

You can also hear severe weather alerts on your television or radio. State and federal public safety officials may use the national Emergency Alert System to notify residents of imminent danger from a severe storm.

Create a Disaster Supply Kit and Emergency Evacuation Plan

Many people struggle to stay calm in an emergency and might not maintain the clear thinking needed to get everyone to safety. To ensure that you have the food and supplies you will need if a storm touches down in your area, consider gathering several items and placing them in a labeled plastic bag. Your kit should include the following items at a minimum:

  • Cellphone with a backup battery
  • Dust masks for everyone
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Bottled water
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Grooming and hygiene supplies
  • Enough non-perishable food items for several days
  • Prescription medicine
  • Important documents like ID, health insurance cards, etc.

Be sure to place the bag containing these items in an accessible space within your line of vision.

When creating your emergency evacuation plan, it’s a good idea to discuss it with everyone who is old enough to understand the damage that storms can cause. Decide how you will account for everyone, where you will go, and the actions you must take to stay safe. After you put your plan in writing, place it with your emergency supplies kit for safekeeping.

Tips on Protecting Your Home During a Storm

The fiercest storms can produce wind speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. When you consider the force of the wind, it makes sense to secure outdoor items such as grills and outdoor furniture or bring them inside if possible. Keep in mind that standard garage doors are often unable to withstand the high winds and torrential rain that are common in severe storms. A garage door made from reinforced steel will do a better job of keeping your personal possessions safe.

Doors can blow open and windows can shatter within seconds during a major storm. The best way to protect your home and family is to install high-impact glass or storm shutters ahead of a storm. You also want to make sure that no rainwater can easily enter your home through cracks or gaps.

Also, remember that just completing routine maintenance around the home like pruning trees, sealing cracks in the foundation around windows, and/or testing a sump pump can help protect the home before the storm hits. They might seem like mundane or insignificant tasks but can mean a world of difference after the fact.