Preparing Your Home for Storm Season
As a storm approaches, taking proactive steps to safeguard your home is crucial for your family's safety and the protection of your property. At SERVPRO®, we understand the devastating impact storms can have on homes, and we're here to help you prepare. In this blog, we'll share essential tips to ensure your home is ready to weather the storm season. By implementing these recommendations, you can reduce the risk of damage and minimize potential headaches in the aftermath.
1. Create an Emergency Kit
An emergency kit is your first line of defense during a storm. Here's what you should include:
Non-perishable Food and Water: Store at least a three-day supply for your family, including pets.
Flashlights and Batteries: Ensure you have working flashlights and spare batteries.
First Aid Supplies: Include bandages, antiseptic wipes, medications, and any specific medical supplies your family needs.
Important Documents: Safeguard your insurance policies, identification, and other critical documents in waterproof containers.
2. Secure Outdoor Items
High winds during storms can turn outdoor items into projectiles. Secure or store them to prevent damage:
Outdoor Furniture: Bring it inside or secure it to prevent it from blowing away.
Lawn Equipment: Store lawnmowers, trimmers, and other equipment in a safe place.
Trim Trees and Branches: Prune trees near your home to reduce the risk of falling limbs.
3. Reinforce Windows and Doors
Strong winds can damage or break windows and doors, leading to water intrusion. Here's how to reinforce them:
Install Storm Shutters: Invest in storm shutters to protect windows during severe weather.
Seal Gaps: Use weatherstripping to seal gaps around doors and windows to prevent drafts and leaks.
4. Clear Gutters and Downspouts
Blocked gutters can lead to water damage. Ensure they're clear of debris to channel rainwater away from your home. Clean gutters and downspouts at least twice a year, and more often if you're in an area prone to heavy rainfall.
5. Check Sump Pumps and Drains:
In areas prone to flooding, a functioning sump pump is essential. Inspect and maintain your pump regularly:
Test the Sump Pump: Pour water into the sump pit to ensure the pump activates.
Battery Backup: Consider installing a battery backup for your sump pump in case of power outages.
6. Know Your Insurance Coverage:
Review your homeowner's insurance policy to understand what is covered and what is not. If you're in a flood-prone area, consider purchasing flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
7. Develop a Family Emergency Plan
Ensure your family knows what to do during a storm:
Designate Safe Areas: Identify safe areas in your home and make sure everyone knows where to go.
Communication Plan: Establish a communication plan to stay in touch if family members are separated.
8. Stay Informed
Monitor weather alerts and news updates regularly. Consider weather apps and NOAA weather radios to stay informed about changing conditions and evacuation notices.
By following these essential storm preparation tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of damage to your home and protect your family during a storm. In case of storm-related damage, remember that SERVPRO® of Tarzana/Reseda is here to assist with storm damage restoration and cleanup. Stay safe, stay prepared, and be ready to weather any storm that comes your way.