Thunderstorm safety tips to protect your property

Posted in Auto, Home

Piles of fallen trees and tree branches rest next to a backyard deck.

Spring and summer months can produce volatile weather in the Midwest, including strong winds, hail, torrential rain and tornadoes. This kind of weather has the potential to damage your home, car and other property that’s important to you.

While severe weather safety starts with protecting your family and pets, it’s important to take steps to reduce the risk of property damage. Here are 11 easy thunderstorm safety tips you can use to ensure your physical assets are protected:

1. Get a roof inspection

Have your roof inspected (preferably each spring) by a licensed roof inspector or contractor. If you need roof repairs, a professional can install new materials to help reduce the chance of home water damage from a leaky, worn-out roof.

2. Seal all windows and doors

Windows and exterior doors need good seals to keep rain outside your home. They also maintain temperature control inside. Inspect the exterior of your house every spring and pay close attention to the manufacturer warranty on your windows so you’re prepared to replace them when they’re worn.

3. Clear your yard of any debris

An easy way to get ahead of home or vehicle damage is to declutter your yard. This can help prevent items from being swept up during high-wind storms and hitting your property. Bring potted plants, outdoor furniture, flags and other light items inside the house or garage for safe storage.

4. Clean gutters often

Your gutters can play a large role in what kind of water damage your home has in the aftermath of a severe storm. Properly working gutters help control the flow of water, keeping your roof, foundation, interior and exterior of your home dry.

5. Keep a watchful eye on your sump pump

Confirm it’s working correctly and have a battery back-up sump pump as a precaution. As a safety precaution, add water backup coverage to your home insurance policy to ensure you’re protected if the sump pump does fail.

6. Inventory and document all items in your home

One of the most underestimated tips is to document all your assets for your insurance company. In the event of a covered loss, you can have peace of mind knowing your belongings are accounted for and will be easier to replace. Learn more about the importance of a home inventory list.

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7. If possible, park your vehicle in a sheltered area

When you park your car out in the open, hail damage to your car becomes a risk during severe weather. Fallen branches and other debris can also damage your vehicle. Park your vehicle in a garage, covered car port, parking garage or other shelter during a storm.

8. Close car windows

During warm spring and summer days, it can be easy to leave your car windows down and forget about them. Keep severe weather safety top of mind and your windows up when your car is parked. This way, you don’t have to worry about rain, hail and flying debris if a storm rushes in unexpectedly.

9. Designate a safe room or area in your home for your family to go to in case of a tornado

This area should be underground, such as a basement, and away from windows. If a basement is not an option, the next best area is the inner-most room of your home with no windows.  

Storm safety tip: A walk-in closet, half bathroom or small pantry on the first floor make great spots to take cover if you don’t have a basement.

10. Put together an emergency kit

Include food and water for at least three days, batteries, flashlights, blankets and a change of clothes. Take it one step further and create a Home Emergency Plan to keep your family organized and prepared for several different home emergencies.

11. Have emergency details on hand

Set up your mobile devices to get weather alerts via The Weather Channel or your favorite local news channel. Keep an eye on weather forecasts leading up to the storm. Plus, be sure you know:

  • Location of nearest hospital
  • Location of nearest veterinary clinic
  • Location of nearest pharmacy

These details can help you in the event of an emergency.

Preparing your family and your property is essential for severe weather this spring and summer. Make sure your home and auto are fully protected for any scenario. Contact your local independent agent today.

The Weather Channel
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