Meteorologists must be feeling a lot of job security these days, given the uptick in severe weather. Even if your geographical location is typically not in the line of severe weather, there are steps every homeowner can and should take. Remember, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
There’s the obvious – be prepared. Dedicate a section in your pantry for bottled water, canned and freeze-dried food. A three-day supply seems to be the standard. If you have a baby or a senior living with you consider purchasing a small generator. You don’t need a mega power source to plug in the entire house, just something to keep the fridge and microwave going. If you have a sump pump in your basement you may want a generator dedicated for that as well.
BEFORE a disaster strikes is the time to sit down with your insurance company. Most policies do not include flood insurance.
If time is short and the forecast calls for a punishing storm, gather important paperwork, family items and fine-tune your shelter and evacuation route.
While boarding up windows is the go-to home prevention for extreme weather, a number of insurance experts suggest this is futile in the event of a major storm. What is recommended is installing window shutters, roof clips and garage braces. None of these items are cheap. Functional (not decorative) shutters can cost hundreds of dollars. Garage door braces typically run $200. Roof clips are less than a buck, but unless you’re a handyman you’ll want a professional to install them.
Tree care should always be a priority. If you’re unsure about a tree’s health consider hiring an arborist to check it out. Even if a tree is healthy you want to prune it, which allows the wind to pass through the tree without a lot of stress.
If you have outside pets bring them inside. Keep emergency pet supplies (food, water, treats) in the pantry along with your own supplies. A crate can provide a safe place for your pet during the storm. Microchip your pet and keep the contact information UPDATED on the website that monitors your pet.
Make time now to prepare your home, and your family.