Taking the time to prepare your home for severe weather is key to staying safe and minimizing damage. Don’t wait for the next storm to hit before you take action. Here are some tips to brace your home for blizzards, tornadoes and other storms.
Create a Plan: An emergency communications plan is crucial so that you and your loved ones are on the same page when a crisis hits. When a tornado is near, it’s important to know where your safe room is. This could be a basement, storm cellar, or interior room with no windows. Stock your cupboards and closets with anything you might need if you have to take shelter inside your house during a storm. Flashlights, batteries, extra blankets and canned non-perishable foods are good items to have stocked away.
Secure the Exterior: Keep branches trimmed near your house to prevent them from falling on your home or vehicles during a severe storm. Prior to tornado season, look into buying and installing an impact-resistant garage door, since those are frequently the first structural element of a house to fail. Use caulk to fill cracks in holes in your home’s exterior to prevent water from getting in and warmth from getting out. During a cold front, keeping sidewalks and entrances free from snow and ice can prevent slipping and falling, and removing any icicles hanging from the roof as soon as the weather allows can prevent future injury.
Brace the Cold: When severe winter weather strikes, it is important to keep your house heated properly. Some experts suggest setting the thermostat to a minimum of 65 degrees, because the temperature inside the walls where the pipes are located is substantially colder than the walls themselves. A temperature lower than 65 degrees might not keep the inside walls from freezing. Make sure to refresh your memory of where your main water shutoff is in case you need to use it. To prevent pipes from freezing, turn on faucets just enough to let them drip slowly. Keeping cabinet doors open will allow warm air to circulate around pipes, particularly those in the kitchen and bathrooms.
It is important to stay informed and consistently watch the weather forecast to properly prepare for severe weather. Taking precautions could be your saving grace in times of need. Reach out to your McGrew REALTOR® for more severe weather home preparation tips.