There are a number of considerations in preventing storm damage, some very obvious, some less so, but a serious concern arises when there are multiple sources of storm damage: for example, a hurricane can present a number of storm events that can cause damage unique to their own aspect of the overall disaster. High winds, driving rain/hail, and flooding can all hit in the course of one such storm.
Some obvious steps to prepare for such an imminent dangerous event include boarding up windows, securing property and moving personal property and furnishings to higher levels of the home. But these steps, while only indicative of some preventive steps, may only be one part of the overall preparations you need to consider. For example, you can attach plywood over windows; but what if the plywood becomes broken, and the window behind it shatters? You may want to further reduce risk of injury or damage from flying glass by attaching heavy blankets or quilts over the interior of the windows.
While you will want to review items around the exterior of your home to assure they aren’t blown over or worse, it may be better to try to remove them entirely to a separate structure such as a garage, barn, storage unit or external building for the duration of the storm. Not only will you reduce risk of damage to the items but you can eliminate the danger that the items could become battering rams and missiles in high winds, smashing into the siding, windows, doors and roof of your home. Click here to learn more about the possibilities of storm damage. And a side effect of anticipating risk to your property moved from downstairs to a higher floor is the obstructing of other immediately needed items, such as a first aid kit or water bottles, by piling up chests and chairs in rooms already crowded.
So it is best to start well in advance of the oncoming storm, if possible, by segmenting each area of your home and property and plan what needs to be done to counter high winds, oncoming water, driving rain, etc.; work from the farthest exterior property points in each direction of your home and work toward the exterior walls. Look at each section from different directions, angles and points of view; you’ll be surprised what you may have over-looked or not foreseen. Then get a ladder, with help, and inspect the roof as best as you can see it without climbing up on the roof (assuming weather still reasonably permits even this). Check not only exterior structures, but those things that you may assume present no problem, such as a birdbath or a bird feeder.
Then after you have conducted your inspections, your removal and securing of personal property, and covering as many areas of potential damage as you can recognize (from windows, to seepage areas such as under doors), plan for the inevitable damage and what you have ready to deal with it. If there is a fire, are you ready? If flooding, do you have buckets, a water vac, a sump pump, mops, etc.; do you have not only trash bags, but garbage containers and boxes for disposing of broken glass and other such things?
Do you have gloves, boots, and whatever you need to protect yourself as you react to the damage that has occurred? For example, most people don’t think of having a hard hat as seen at construction sites, but you may find you are now standing in area just as dangerous. The immediate attention to storm damage once it has occurred can help ameliorate the damage and prevent it from getting worse.
November 16, 2019
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