Summer means warmer weather, but it can also bring a variety of harsh weather conditions, sometimes leading to severe storms. Taking just a few preventative measures now can save you from dealing with substantial damage later.
Here are a few tips to prepare for the stormy season ahead:
Clear Limbs and Trim Trees
Flying branches and falling trees are some of the most common -- and expensive -- causes of damage during storm season. During a storm, tree limbs can break from the tree and can cause damage to a home’s exterior and puncture windows. Heavy rain can also cause trees with shallow root systems to pull out of the ground.
Ensure that your fences are properly secured so to help prevent them from being lifted up and thrown against the house by heavy winds.
Check the Roof
Inspect your roof and make sure none of the shingles or tiles are damaged or missing. Check for leaks so wind-driven rain won’t enter your house. Inspect your roof for missing shingles and possible leaks and do any repair work if necessary. It’s also a good idea to inspect and reinforce any loose siding, which can quickly rip off during high winds.
Consider a Generator
Keeping the electricity running during a power outage can also help protect your home -- by powering your alarm system, sump pump and air conditioning.
Heavy winds can cause items like patio furniture and other large and/or heavy items to damage the exterior of your home. It’s a good idea to anchor outdoor furniture or bring it indoors before a storm hits.
Clear your gutters of debris and make sure they are tightly attached to your house. Help prevent damage inside your house by having downspouts drain away from your home to prevent basement flooding.
Get Coverage for Sewage Backups
It isn’t unusual for heavy rain to overwhelmed your sump pump causing water or sewage to back up into your house. The damage can be smelly and expensive. Call your insurance broker and see if your home owner’s insurance covers sewage backup.
Protect Your Valuables & Update your Home Inventory
If your house is destroyed, you may have trouble remembering everything you owned and may not be able to put your hands-on receipts for valuable items. Take the time now to create an up-to-date home inventory, or update one you already have. You can also send an inventory to a family member outside your region for safekeeping. Also, make sure important documents, such as an insurance policy or mortgage papers, are stored in a safe deposit or fire safe box.
Prepare a Disaster Kit
Put together an emergency kit that can help if you lose electricity during a storm. It should consist of a battery-operated radio and extra batteries, flashlights, some extra cash in case ATMs stop working temporarily, a phone charger, a three-day supply of food and water for everyone in your house, a first-aid kit and a seven-day supply of medications.
Know Your Policy
It’s critical to read and understand your insurance policy. Then, examine your property to ensure there are no physical or liability hazards.
If You Need to Make a Claim
Of course, sometimes careful prevention and planning can’t withstand the wrath of Mother Nature. If your home does sustain damage during a storm, contact your insurance broker.
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