Storm season is upon us and while we welcome the benefits that come from the rain, preparing for a storm is an important part of protecting your home, family and belongings from the damaging effects that can come from too much rain. The following are a few tips to prepare your home prior to a storm in order to help eliminate damages from a flood:
- Keep an eye on the weather forecast and pay attention to storm warnings; knowing what to expect is the first step in being prepared for a severe storm. There are two kinds of warnings; severe weather watch and severe weather warnings. Severe weather watch means that conditions are favorable for severe weather and that, while you can continue your normal day-to-day activity, you should be on the lookout for worsening weather conditions. Severe storm warnings mean that severe weather is upon you and to seek shelter immediately. In such situations, it is important to pay attention to television or radio updates as they will have specific information on what you should expect and if there are any further instructions such as evacuation.
- If a severe storm is on the horizon, it is important to protect your home to the best of your ability. This includes sediment control devices on drains and gutters, sand bags around doorways, window wells and other areas of the house, clearing gutters of excess debris and installing gutter extensions to guide the water away from the house, planking up windows if severe wind is in the forecast, etc. While these are not surefire ways to protect your home from water damage, they will definitely help reduce the possible risks of flooding.
- If severe flooding occurs, power and water may be cut off or you may be restricted from leaving your home. In such situations, it is important to have enough food and water supply to last your family for a few days. Food storage is something that you can begin assembling month-to-month in order to have an increasing amount of food on hand without a huge extra cost.
- Having an emergency preparedness kit assembled for each member of your family is a great way to be prepared for a storm and for any other severe weather or disaster. Kits should include food, extra clothing, first aid kits, hygiene items, makeshift shelter items, a flashlight, important documents, money, etc.