With Fall rolling in and the weather taking a turn for the worse in many areas, we think it is important to talk about storm preparedness. Each area of the United States experiences different types of weather and different types of storms. The northern states often see a lot of ice and snow, while the southern states often face terrifying hurricanes and tropical storms. Each location may face diverse situations, however all can prepare in similar ways for worst case scenarios.
The first thing to do to prepare for extreme weather is to put a plan together for you and your loved ones. Spend some time creating a plan that includes knowing what exits to use in your home in case you need to leave quickly. With exiting the home comes the need to have a meeting place. If a tornado is going to touch down where your home is, pick a safe and durable location like a local YMCA to meet. Another aspect of creating a plan is to make sure you are covered in terms of insurance. Review your policy with your agent and make sure that you are covered in the event that something like a hurricane or snow storm heads your way. Do you have flood coverage? Sure, there is a real chance you will never need such coverages, however it is better to pay the extra couple of bucks per month (that is usually all it is), to have the protection than to need it and not have it.
Another important way to prepare is to create an emergency kit. This qualifies for any type of weather event. No matter where you are, this is something critical you can do to prepare for any event. First things first, find a waterproof box that can hold a large number of items. Things you will want in this box include extra clothes and shoes, a first aid kit including instant ice packs, flash lights, extra batteries, candles, lighters/matches, sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows. Other items that you should put in the box are a list of emergency phone numbers, and important documents you might need or do not want damaged. It is not a bad idea to place those documents in Ziploc baggies to keep them extra protected. It is also not a bad idea to have cell phone power packs charged and ready to go in case of an emergency that affects power. Of course, non-perishable foods and beverages are also a good thing to pack when you start receiving extreme weather warnings.
You can also prepare for extreme weather events by keeping your home updated and your insurance policy current. There are many things you can do to protect your home starting with checking the roof, gutters, and drains on a regular basis. If you know that a weather event is coming, secure all loose items outside. There is a chance that a loose item can be what ends up causing damage to you or your home so making sure that everything is tied up or locked in a shed or garage can be vital. Keeping any trees you have on your property pruned and healthy can also prevent further damage to your home. Keeping your insurance current might be the most important of them all. Making sure your policy is up to date for your home and belongings, that you have enough coverage, and maybe even adding some endorsements for flooding, or extreme weather. Adding additional endorsements can cost you minimally now and save you a fortune (and headaches) later.
While some or all of this can seem daunting, it is all worth the time, energy, and money if you experience extreme weather events. We encourage people to be as prepared as possible. When you are prepared, it makes the event not seem as scary. Devastating events will always have some fear associated with them but the more you can plan ahead the easier it will be to face it.