How To Prepare Your Home In Case Of A Major Storm Or Hurricane
It is hurricane season across many parts of the US. And then monsoon season still has some time left until it is over. All of this means that there is a high probability of being caught in a major storm.
Storms can wreak havoc on your routine, car, and even your home. Damage caused may not even be covered by insurance. And those damages that are can take years to get paid for. Prevention is the best medicine so taking measures to minimize damage when a storm is coming is the best way to go.
In this article, we will go over how you can protect your home and family in the event of a major storm.
Protect your power
We rely on heat, air conditioning and so many other necessary appliances that any disruption to our power supply can cause a lot of problems. If a winter storm hits and you are without heat for an extended amount of time then the situation becomes quite precarious.
Before any storm hits, it makes sense to make sure that you will have power. Take this time to evaluate your power needs and determine if your system is up to the job to stay on during the storm.
Much of the problems arise from power cutting out from the source which leaves millions of people without power. In this case, you need to have a backup power supply to get through this period.
A generator is essential to have. It is important to make sure that it is going to supply the energy you need according to the demand of your appliances. Every generator is rated for how many watts can be used at one time. Do an audit of the appliances that you will need the most during a power outage to understand if the generator is going to be sufficient.
Be ready for flooding
During a storm, there is so much water from rain that it can’t get away quickly enough. Flooding is a major issue and can happen very quickly. It is important to make sure the water doesn’t cause any injuries to you or your family.
The first thing to do is to make sure that your electrical panel is working properly so the breakers can trip if there is contact with water. Have an electrician test them to make sure they are all working properly and replace any that are not showing a reading on a multimeter with Zinsco breakers.
The best thing is to shut the power off yourself if you notice that there is water getting into the house. Use some sandbags to keep the water from getting in. Usually, if a big surge of water is expected then there will be a stockpile of sandbags for residents for everybody to help themselves to.
Board up the windows
It is very common for people to put tape over their windows in case of high winds to avoid them shattering. This is not the way to go as flying debris can rip right through the tape and glass and get into your home.
The best way to protect your home is to board up the windows. Use plywood and screws to secure the windows. The trick is to find the studs next to the window and screw the plywood sheets to the wall. You will see screws in the studs already for the window frame so use these as a guide.
The board should extend at least a couple of inches past the profile of the window. This will ensure that it doesn’t expose any glass that can still be broken. And the screws should also penetrate at least two inches into the studs to make sure they can’t be ripped off by the wind.
Prepare to leave
When a storm gains strength and takes on a more dangerous route, there will be a call to evacuate. For some, it can actually be too late or they are not totally prepared to get out in time.
The best thing to do is to have everything prepared in case this happens so you are ready at a moment’s notice. The first thing to do is to make sure that you have bags packed with warm clothes and rain gear. Don’t overpack as you don’t want to be burdened with a heavy load when you have to move quickly. Take enough to stay dry and that’s it. Then, make sure that your car has enough gas in it to get to a safe location. Check the tires for air pressure issues and have a spare tire in case of a puncture.
All essential paperwork should be packed in a folder and secured in a water-tight container that can be grabbed quickly. Although you hope for the best, when an evacuation occurs, there may not be a house to return to and collect your important papers.
Keep an eye on the progression of the storm and monitor emergency channels to be alerted in case the orders to evacuate come through. With the information coming in real-time, select a location to go to that is out of harm’s way.
If it is impossible for you to evacuate then select a shelter room in the house. It should be the room located in the most central area of the home. Preferable far from windows and doors to the outside. In this room, you should have some food to eat in case you will need to be there for a while as well as plenty of water. A first aid kit should also be handy in case somebody gets injured.
Being prepared for a once-in-a-lifetime storm may seem like overkill. However, these types of storms are becoming more frequent. It should be assumed that this type of storm will affect you at some point so it makes sense to be ready for it now. It doesn’t mean that you have to live in fear, but being prepared is the best way to make sure that you and your family stay safe.