- Clear limbs and trim trees: During a storm, dead tree limbs can get loose and cause damage to a home’s exterior or even puncture a window. Heavy rain can also cause trees with shallow root systems to pull out of the ground.
- Secure fences: Ensure that your fences are properly secured so to help prevent them from being lifted up and thrown against the house by heavy winds.
- Secure furniture: Heavy winds can cause items like patio furniture and large toys to damage the exterior of your home. It’s a good idea to anchor outdoor furniture or bring it indoors before a storm hits. You should also move anything in your yard that can become flying debris inside your house or garage.
- Check gutters: Help prevent damage inside your house by having downspouts drain away from your home and clear your gutters of any debris.
- Protect the critical areas: Wind is a major threat to your roof, windows, doors and garage doors. Either you or a building contractor can build and install temporary protection, such as approved wind shutters or plywood on windows and coverings for patio and entry doors, strengthen and stiffen garage doors, and install heavy-duty door hardware.
- Protect your valuables: Protect mementos in waterproof containers and/or take the items with you if you evacuate. Inventory valuables and contents in the home with pictures or video. Note the approximate value of each item and the date of purchase. 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.
- 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.
For more on how to prepare for a variety of severe weather situations, you can also visit the Insurance Institute for Better Homes & Safety website.