Prepare Your Home for Storm Season

As storm season approaches, taking proactive steps to secure your home can make a significant difference in how well you weather potential storms. Here’s a checklist to help you prepare:

Inspect and Repair Your Home:
  • Roof: Walk around your house to check for any signs of damage such as loose roofing materials, rotting wood, cracks in beams and columns, or leaks. Address these issues promptly.
  • Trees: Inspect trees around your property. Remove dead trees and trim dead branches to prevent them from becoming hazardous in high winds.
    Storm Shutters: If you have storm shutters, ensure they're operational. For homes using plywood boards, check if last year’s boards are still in good shape; replace them if necessary. Label each piece to identify the corresponding window easily.
  • Doors and Windows: Ensure exterior doors have at least three hinges and a deadbolt lock that extends at least one inch. Cover sliding glass doors, which are particularly vulnerable, with shutters or plywood.

Seal and Secure:
  • Seal Openings: Use high-quality urethane-based caulk to seal vents, outdoor electrical outlets, and other areas where pipes or cables enter your home to prevent water intrusion.
  • Gutters and Drainage: Clean out gutters and downspouts to ensure water can flow freely away from your home. If flooding is a concern, prepare with sandbags or improvised heavy-duty garbage bags filled with water for emergency barriers.
Safety and Documentation:
  • Home Inventory: Take photos of your property and belongings. Many insurance companies offer apps to help create a detailed home inventory.
  • Generators: If considering a generator, weigh options between portable and whole-house generators. Ensure it is in working order and understand how to use it safely.
  • Surge Protection: Install surge protectors to safeguard your electronics from voltage spikes.
  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Check smoke alarm batteries and consider installing a carbon monoxide detector, especially if using a generator post-storm.

Prepare for Emergency Conditions:
  • Secure Loose Items: Secure or store yard items such as decorations, furniture, and garbage bins that could be blown away by strong winds. Store bicycles, grills, and propane tanks in a secure location.
  • Water Storage: Fill clean containers with drinking water. You might also fill bathtubs and sinks with water for non-drinking purposes.

Taking these steps not only helps protect your property but also provides peace of mind as you prepare for the unpredictable nature of storm season. Be proactive and prepare early to ensure you and your family remain safe.