Before you know it, we will be experiencing those hot, humid days of summer, which often bring intense rain and thunderstorms. Even if you don't live in an area that typically gets regular summer storms, it only takes one big one to move through and do some damage to your home and property. Before storm season starts, take some steps to get your home ready.
- Check out the health of your trees. One of the biggest problems is damage from falling limbs. Take a look at the tops of your trees. Are they well-covered in leaves, or do some branches look bare? Then look at the roots. Is the land uneven, causing some roots to come out of the ground? These could be signs of unhealthy trees that may be more likely to fall in a storm. If you're unsure, it may be worth calling an arborist to evaluate the health of your trees.
- Clean the gutters. Gutters filled up with leaves, twigs, and pine cones will not drain well, causing water to end up where you don't want it, along your foundation and in your basement. Water can also back up onto your roof causing damage to sub-roofing material.
- If your house tends to get water in the basement, make sure your sump pump is working well, and that you have some sort of backup power source in case of an outage.
- Have an emergency storm kit prepared. Flashlights, batteries, water, food, first aid supplies, and extra medicine are essentials to have on hand.
- Create an emergency plan including places your family will meet in the event of a severe storm.
Storms are unpredictable, and while you can do your best to be prepared, there are times when your home will sustain damage due to lightning, rain, or high winds. In addition to making sure your home is prepared, make sure you homeowners policy is prepared, as well:
- Ensure you have adequate coverage and deductibles that are reasonable for your needs.
- Put together an inventory of your home and belongings.
- Check your policy for “loss of use” or “additional expense” coverage to help pay for temporary housing if needed.
While staying safe, try to protect your property, salvage what you can, and closely inspect your property and cars for damage. Take notes and photos of damage to assist in settling claims.