Summer Storm Prep 101: 5 Ways to Prepare Your Family

Safety

The Farmer’s Almanac just released its nationwide forecast for summer 2023 here in the U.S., and two notable projections stand out. First, temperatures around the country will be hotter than normal—at times, exceeding 100 degrees. Second, storms and heavy rains will sweep across the North, Midwest, and Southeast regions for most of June. 

These early summer monsoons can cause serious damage, so you’ll want to plan ahead over the next couple months to minimize your losses or repairs once those storms roll in. With this season just around the corner, now is the time to start storm proofing your home. Use the tips below to protect against storm-related issues and elevate peace of mind. 

Store an Emergency Kit in a Safe, Accessible Location.

From heavy rainfall that causes a power outage to a thunderstorm that spawns tornadoes, you never know when inclement weather might force you to shelter in place. But even though some weather extremes are unpredictable, you can still take proactive safety measures with the help of an at-home emergency kit. Place the following items in a durable, water-resistant container then store it in a location that’s secure but easy to access:

  • One gallon of water for each family member
  • Non-perishable food to last for several days
  • Manual can opener for the food items
  • Flashlight with a supply of extra batteries 
  • Duct tape and tarps for shelter if necessary
  • Insulated clothing and thermal blankets
  • Battery-powered NOAA weather alert radio
  • Wrench, pilers, or multi-tool to turn off utilities
  • Dust masks in the event of air contamination
  • First aid items in the event of any injuries 
  • Hygiene products for each family member
  • Emergency contact numbers and local maps
  • Back-up solar mobile phone charger
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Trim Down All Tree Limbs in Your Front and Backyard

Severe thunderstorm wind gusts can reach speeds over 70 miles per hour—in some cases, wreaking havoc on your home or the surrounding areas. Now combine that with a potential threat of lightning strikes, and the losses could be quite extensive. But there’s a simple way to protect your windows, roof, or structural siding from all this gale-force impact: do some routine landscape maintenance before the storm season arrives.  

Specifically evaluate the condition of large trees in the front or backyard. Powerful winds can snap tree branches—or even trunks—causing them to collapse on your house. This hazard is preventable, though. Just trim the branches and limbs of any trees in close enough proximity to inflict damage. Then, contact a professional lawn service to come remove any trees that look unstable, as these are often the first to topple over in a storm.

Consider Installing Storm Window Panels and Screens.

If you live in an area that’s vulnerable to extreme weather—such as hurricanes, tornadoes or intense monsoons—consider investing in storm windows. These reinforced panes are fitted with thick screens and aluminum frames to create a protective external barrier between the outdoor elements and the interior of your home. The average cost is $80–$185 for a typical 30×50-inch panel, and it installs right over your current window pane.

 

Not only are storm windows effective lines of defense against weather-related threats—they can also help to reduce your annual heating and cooling expenses. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that storm window with an Energy Star certification can save you around $350 per year. A practical safeguard for your home and serious cost-cutting benefits for your bank account? Now that’s a worthwhile return on investment.

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Keep Valuable Items Away from the Low Ground Areas.

Flooding is common in the aftermath of torrential rainfall, and it’s responsible for a significant portion of overall storm damage. This is especially true for slow-moving storms that block up sewer systems, causing the water levels to rise as a result. If you’re in a flood zone, be sure to store all valuables in the highest area of your home to prevent water from being able to reach them. Here are some items to be particularly cognizant of: 

  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Social security cards
  • Passports and other photo IDs
  • Tax financial statements
  • Emergency contact lists
  • School diplomas 
  • Living will documentation
  • Insurance policies 
  • Medical records 
  • Home and vehicle owner titles 
  • Retirement account numbers
  • Stock portfolio information
  • Username and password lists
  • Photo albums and family heirlooms

Hire a Restoration Service in Case Any Damage Occurs.

No matter how many strategic precautions you take on the front end, sometimes nature can still catch you off-guard. Without prior warning, the weather could escalate from a normal summer shower to a violent, monsoon-level downpour, leaving unforeseen destruction in its wake. But even if this occurs, it doesn’t have to ruin your whole summer. 

Enter: a storm remediation service to the rescue. These certified professional technicians can provide frontline emergency relief in the immediate aftermath of an extreme weather event, as well as thorough home cleanup and restoration––from structural damage to water residue—in the days or weeks that follow. They can also help you navigate insurance claims for a seamless, stress-free recovery process (under the circumstances, at least). 

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Plan Ahead for a Stormy Summer with these Safety Tips

Summer is still a couple months away, but the sooner you start planning for seasonal weather, the easier it will be to minimize potential storm damage. Thanks to these practical, actionable strategies, you can look forward to the summertime with excitement and anticipation instead of concern or trepidation. After all, that’s what this carefree season is about. 

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