Mother Nature can be difficult to predict but there are many steps you can take ahead of time to prepare your home for spring storms, flooding and power outages. Minimizing damage to your home and keeping your family safe during inclement weather are huge priorities.
Power Outages – Sudden power outages can occur during strong storms which can be very frustrating. Some of the time power outages last for less than 2 hours. In these cases, loss of perishable foods isn’t as concerning. On the other hand, there are steps you should take to minimize loss and to keep all members of the household safe and comfortable during prolonged power outages.
Use These Tips to Prepare:
- Keep one or more Styrofoam coolers and ice on hand as well as a digital quick-response thermometer to keep your food from going bad and to ensure items are cold enough to eat.
- Make sure you have access to NOAA radio broadcasts either online or with a solar/dynamo radio.
- Have at least half a tank of gas in your car and fill any EPA approved gas containers you may have with fuel in case the supply in your area is limited.
- Consider purchasing a generator as a secondary power source to use on critical equipment during a blackout and make sure it’s rated for the power you think you’ll need.
- If you do have a generator, install carbon monoxide alarms to provide early warning of accumulation.
Flooding – Along with power outages, floods are among the most frequent issues faced with spring storms and several days of sustained rain. Flash floods are also a concern when water rapidly rises along a stream or low-lying area. There are many precautions you should take if extensive rain is forecasted or if your home lies in a floodplain.
Use These Tips to Prepare:
- Discuss and plan an evacuation procedure with your family if a flood watch or warning is issued.
- Find out if local streams or rivers flood easily and if you are located in a floodplain which is considered a Special Flood Hazard Area.
- Check with your city or county government to see if you are eligible for flood insurance.
- Keep important documents and other valuables in a water-tight safe-deposit box.
- Unplug electronics and move them to the highest level of your home.
- Check with a professional to raise your furnace, water heater and electric panel to floors that are less likely to be flooded.
- Install check valves in plumbing to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home.
- If permitted by local codes, construct barriers such as levees, berms, and floodwalls to stop floodwater from entering indoors.
- Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage through cracks.
Whatever Mother Nature has in store this spring, you can minimize any damage and keep your family safe. The above steps can help you feel prepared for the uncertainty of storm season.