Floods are the most common natural disasters in the United States and also the most dangerous.
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Houston and surrounding cities experience a variety of weather conditions throughout the year. If you’re a homeowner, you know the importance of protecting your home from damages caused by severe thunderstorms, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes. These weather conditions often arise suddenly without warning and cause significant damages to your home’s roofing, siding, windows and doors, interior, and landscaping.
Since natural disasters commonly occur unexpectedly, it’s important to be prepared before they happen. Heavy thunderstorms, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes often cause major damages to a building’s exterior and interior components resulting in unsafe structures and expensive repair bills. Taking the time to prepare before disaster strikes, can protect your home from damages and your family from injuries. Take a look at some important ways to protect your home before, during, and after dangerous weather conditions.
In Houston, Spring weather brings lots of heavy rain, high winds, and severe thunderstorms. Before they arrive, you can protect your home by following some important tips:
Learn More: Are You Prepared for Spring Storms?
Floods and flash floods are common in low-lying Houston communities. The National Weather Service and local weather services issue watches, warnings, and advisories for floods and flash floods. It’s important to keep your radio or television on during severe storms and understand the differences between the warnings.
The first and mildest notification of a flood is a flood advisory. It indicates possible flooding due to weather conditions, however, flooding is expected to be mild if it does occur.
A flood watch indicates possible flooding in an area within 24 to 48 hours of the alert. While a flood watch does not mean flooding is imminent, it does mean that weather conditions are favorable for it. If you hear a flood watch for your area, be ready to move to higher ground and stay tuned in to local radio and TV stations for weather updates.
A flood warning means that a flood is likely or already occurring. A flood warning usually includes important safety information for homeowners that often includes protection and safety advice, evacuation procedures, and emergency shelter locations. If you’re ordered to evacuate, follow orders without delay since floods can happen quickly.
Flash floods are violent, strong surges of water that occur quickly, usually within a few hours after a warning alert. When a flash flood happens, you may have very little warning, so it’s important to get to higher ground immediately.
Tornadoes are common in Texas and Southeastern states. They can cause significant damage to buildings and homes, even flattening entire communities leaving nothing but rubble. Every year, the U.S. is hit with thousands of tornadoes that result in destruction and death. It’s essential to prepare for a tornado to keep your home and family safe.
Learn More: How to Stay Safe During a Tornado
Although hurricanes are not that common in Houston, they do happen. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and surrounding areas with wind speeds of a Category 4 hurricane. It caused over $125 billion in property damages to homes and businesses and thousands of injuries and fatalities in Texas.
Houston homeowners are more likely to suffer damages from storms, floods, and tornadoes than hurricanes, but it’s important to get separate flood insurance which can take 30 days to go into effect. Regular homeowner’s policies do not typically cover damage from flooding caused by natural disasters. Make sure you keep an inventory list of your personal belongings and valuables along with videos or photos of those items. You will need to provide evidence of damages to your insurer if you file an insurance claim.