Unpredictable storms can wreak havoc on our homes and pose significant risks to our safety. Protecting your home from storm damage requires a combination of preventive measures and preparedness. Here are some steps you can take to safeguard your home:
Regular maintenance: Keep your home in good condition by performing regular maintenance. Check the roof, windows, doors, and siding for any signs of damage or wear and address issues promptly. Trim back any overhanging branches that could potentially fall and damage your home during a storm. You can hire someone to do the job for you if you are not physically able to do so.
Reinforce doors and windows: Install storm shutters or board up windows and glass doors with plywood when a storm is approaching. Reinforce entry doors with heavy-duty bolts and sturdy hinges. Secure all outdoor items that you may have. Bring in or secure outdoor furniture, toys, and other objects that could become projectiles during high winds.
Clear gutters and downspouts and foundation: Regularly clean your gutters and downspouts to ensure proper water drainage and prevent water damage to your home. Ensure your home's foundation is in good condition and free of cracks or vulnerabilities that could intensify by heavy rains or flooding.
Install a sump pump and elevate utilities: If your area is prone to flooding, consider installing a sump pump in your basement to help remove water and prevent flooding. Also, elevating electrical outlets, switches and appliances above the potential flood level to prevent electrical fires.
Invest in a generator/stay informed: Having a backup generator can provide power during electrical outages, keeping essential systems like refrigeration and sump pumps running. Monitor weather reports and stay alert to storm warnings issued by local authorities.
Create an emergency kit and plan: Put together an emergency kit that includes essential items such as flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, non-perishable food, water, and important documents. Have a family emergency plan in place that includes designated meeting places and communication methods. Know your area's evacuation routes and have a plan in place for quickly evacuating if necessary. Also, have a plan to contact a DKI Member if a storm does take place.
By taking these proactive steps and staying prepared, you can significantly reduce the risk of storm damage to your home and enhance the safety of your family during severe weather events.