The combination of thunderstorms and flooding is spring’s recipe for disaster. If early storms come down while the snow on the ground hasn’t melted yet, or when the ground is still frozen, the potential for devastating floods increases. And because the weather is so unpredictable in spring, it’s essential to prepare for it ahead of time. Follow these spring storm preparedness tips to protect yourself, your family, and your property from severe spring weather:
Spring Storm Preparedness Tips
Before a Storm
- Create a disaster preparedness plan. Establish an outside meeting place and escape routes from each room in your house. Also, practice the plan with family members. Include your pets in the plan and make sure they wear an ID tag.
- Make sure you and your family know how to turn off utilities and how to use a fire extinguisher.
- Get flood insurance, which is not included in standard homeowners policies. Don’t wait – flood insurance policies take 30 days to go into effect.
- Make a home inventory in case you need to file an insurance claim. Also, secure critical information, such as documents, personal numbers, and insurance policies.
- Make sure your home is in good shape to withstand powerful storms. Tighten your roof shingles and waterproof your basement, windows, and doors.
- Prune the loose branches and remove the dead vegetation in your yard.
- Keep drains and gutters clean to ensure proper drainage. Make sure gutters are tightly attached to your house to guard them against strong winds.
Make an emergency supply kit containing these items:
- Bottled water and non-perishable food for 3 to 5 days.
- A first aid kit that may include scissors, tweezers, cloth tape, antibiotic ointment, adhesive bandages, non-latex gloves, etc.
- A battery-powered flashlight and radio with spare batteries, as well as 1 or 2 external batteries for cell phones, etc.
- A “crank device” that generates current to power up cell phones can be used as a flashlight, etc.
- Prescription medications, if necessary.
- Blankets and warm clothing.
- Personal hygiene items (toilet paper, tissue, toothbrushes, and toothpaste)
During a Storm
- When a storm is imminent, bring the valuables in your yard inside and move all vehicles and equipment to high ground.
- Don’t walk through moving water. Just a few inches of rapidly moving water can sweep you off your feet.
- If you’re outside, get to higher ground and avoid low lying areas that are likely to flood.
- Don’t drive through floodwater even if you have a large van. Two feet of moving water are enough to take it away.
- If you’re inside, make sure the doors and windows are securely shut. Stay away from windows to avoid the risk of getting struck by shattered glass. Take shelter in your basement if the storm is severe.
- Avoid using utilities and wired electrical equipment. Turn off utilities to mitigate potential damages in case of flooding or other disasters.
- Stay up to date on weather conditions and listen to local authorities if they tell you to evacuate your home.
After a Storm
- Ensure everyone is OK and check for damage to your home. Be aware of potential hazards.
- If you suspect damage to utilities, call local authorities and wait for their approval to turn them back on.
- If your home has been flooded:
- Avoid contact with floodwater, which is very likely contaminated.
- Make lists of the damaged or lost items, and take photos.
- File the flood insurance claim.
- All flood water is considered contaminated. Thus, if you have water damage, any absorbent materials that are contaminated should be removed and discarded (carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, etc.).
- Water damage must be remediated correctly and quickly. Otherwise, it will lead to mold contamination, which presents another host of concerns and problems.
- If you suspect damage to electric or gas lines, call for a professional inspection before using them.
- Hire a professional damage restoration company, such as PuroClean, to get your home back in order safely and efficiently.
Remember, spring doesn’t wait for you to get ready, so make a spring storm preparedness plan now before a thunderstorm or flood strikes your area. Call the PuroClean experts, who can determine the full extent of the damage and perform full restoration services following industry standards and best practices.