(Family Features) Protecting your personal safety is the first priority when severe weather emerges with homes and personal property often running a close second. After all, the home is not only a place for comfort and sanctuary – it could be your single largest investment.
As temperatures soar, so do the chances for tumultuous weather. The Department of Energy reports that nearly 90 percent of major power outages are caused by severe storms. With these tips, you can help ensure that your home is ready for anything Mother Nature has to offer.
Maintain vegetation. Falling trees and branches can wreak considerable havoc on a home’s exterior, along with possessions like vehicles or patio furniture. Keep trees and shrubs well-pruned so strong winds are less likely to grab hold of a wayward branch. If necessary, consult with an expert to ensure trees are trimmed back away from the house adequately to minimize your risk.
Secure potential flight risks. There are plenty of items that can either become damaged or cause damage if they are swept up in a strong wind. Top-heavy items like grills can topple over, and patio furniture could blow out into the yard or even into your home. Don’t overlook smaller culprits, such as gravel or landscaping rock, which can be tossed around and cause serious destruction.
Make time for maintenance. Home repairs that seem minor can become much bigger problems if a storm exacerbates what’s broken. Loose roof shingles or shutters are especially susceptible to storm damage, as are ill-fitting screens. Regularly scanning your home for defects and taking immediate steps to fix them can help prevent relatively small issues from becoming major projects. Be sure to keep gutters and downspouts on your checklist; a heavy storm can produce enough standing water to flood your home in minutes if proper drainage is hampered.
Install backup systems. Power outages are one of the most common afflictions of storm season, but with the proper equipment you can avoid the danger and inconvenience. A premium standby generator like the Briggs & Stratton Fortress system delivers ultimate peace of mind. The system, which is permanently installed and runs on natural gas or liquid propane vapor, turns on automatically to power selected electrical circuits and appliances. The systems are also compatible with wireless monitoring apps that allow homeowners to verify the generator is ready before a storm strikes. Learn more at briggsandstratton.com.
Review insurance coverage. Revisiting your insurance coverage at least every six months can help ensure you know what exclusions exist and where you may need to add supplemental policies or increase your limits. This is also a good time to update an inventory list that documents all your major possessions and valuables; store the list in a safe place such as a weatherproof home safe or electronically via email or a cloud-based server.
In many parts of the country, storm season is inevitable, but taking the proper precautions can help ensure your family and home are ready to handle whatever the season brings.