03 May 2016

No matter where you live, the weather can cause havoc to your home and property. Many remember the massive storm in 2010 that hit Perth and caused over a $1 billion in damages.

While many got reimbursed through state and provincial governments, money could never replace some of the personal items that were damaged and destroyed.

No matter where you live, the weather can cause havoc to your home and property. Many remember the massive storm in 2010 that hit Perth and caused over a $1 billion in damages. While many got reimbursed through state and provincial governments, money could never replace some of the personal items that were damaged and destroyed. With climate change, we can expect more and more strange and sudden storms to hit with more regularity. Protecting your home from a storm is vital to prevent damage to your home and property. Here are some ways that you can stormproof your home to keep your home and valuable belongings safe.

CHECK THE ROOF AND GUTTERS

Your roof and gutter system are important when preventing damage from storms. Do a walk around your house checking for any damage or problems with the roofing and the gutters. For the roof, you would be looking for loose or damaged shingles or anything up there that might get flushed down to the gutters and cause a blockage. Get up on a ladder and check the gutters for and obstructions, and clean them every six months. You do not want water backing up in your downspouts and causing problems. Those downspouts should also empty out at least 10 feet from your home to keep water well away and prevent flooding too close to your home.

PUT EVERYTHING AWAY

It may have been a beautiful day spent outside with nary a cloud in the sky, but everything you’ve used in your yard that isn’t fastened to something else should be put away. Lawn chairs and tables can become projectiles if the wind builds up, and you don’t want one crashing through your patio doors. If your propane tank is empty, even your barbecue may be too light to stand tall against the wind. Place it in a storage shed or fasten it the house or fence, of even weighed down with bags filled with sand.

TRIM BACK

Keep any hedges trimmed back, especially if they are close to your home. You’ll want to cut down branches as well that might smash into your home if they break off from the tree. If there are any dead trees near your home, then remove them completely. They are much easier to uproot than live ones, and can cause massive damage to your home or vehicles.

STORM SHUTTERS AND WINDOWS

Replace all your windows with storm windows, and have storm shutters installed as extra protection. Regular glass can break just with very high winds, so the double-paned variety is much better for storms. Shutters will protect against damage from projectiles and offer another layer of protecting against water getting in. You can also add a special window film to help keep in heat in case of extreme temperatures.

ELECTRICAL SAFETY

Hopefully, your electrical outlets are at least 12 inches above the ground to make it more difficult for them to be damaged by flooding. Since there is the risk of power surges from lightning strikes, all of your appliances should be plugged into surge protectors, or else they could get ruined or damaged. Despite that precaution, if you’re at home when the storm hits, it’s never a bad idea to unplug your appliances just in case.

Now that you’ve prepared your home for a storm, there are certain things you should do immediately before and while the storm is hitting.

BE INFORMED

Keep your eyes and ears on news sites and radio to hear any updates about the storm, and whether there is anything unusual about which to be worried. You never know when there might be an evacuation order. You should also know for sure when a storm is passed. You don’t want to go outside when you think it’s over, only to get blasted shortly after by the second wave.

SECURE YOUR PETS

Secure any pet doors you might have to the outside, and keep your pets safe inside. Try and prevent them from being anywhere that might get flooded, like the basement. Even if they might survive any flooding, you don’t want to risk yourself trying to rescue them. If you can, make sure to park your vehicles in a covered area like a garage or carport.

ESSENTIALS

There are certain essentials that every homeowner should have when a storm hits. Prepare a list of emergency contact numbers in case the power goes out and your phone dies. You should also have a kit with anything you might need, such as medications, baby food, and important documents. There should be a first-aid kit easily available, and a flashlight with extra batteries. Make sure to have non-perishable food and bottled water on hand as well.

Storms are going to happen. Follow these tips to make sure that you’re prepared the next time one threatens your home.