Severe summer thunderstorms with heavy rain, strong winds, and hail can cause serious damage to your home, from flooding to power surges. Making advance preparations can help protect your property and keep your family safe. There’s usually a few days’ notice before a big storm hits, which is plenty of time to perform the following precautions on our Summer Storm Preparation Guide. Better to err on the side of caution than be caught unprepared.
- Bring any loose furniture or recreation equipment indoors so that objects cannot become airborne and cause damage. This includes trash cans, lawn and patio furniture, toys, and games such as badminton or bocce ball.
- Securely cover your swimming pool, if you have one.
- Trim trees and shrubbery of any loose branches that could be loosened or dislodged by the storm.
- Inspect your roof and make sure all shingles are secure and there are no leaks.
- Clear out your gutters and ensure that the spouts point a good distance away from your house so that they’re able to divert downpour safely away from the perimeter of your home, where it could risk seeping into the basement.
- Test your sump pump to verify that it is in good operating condition to minimize risk of flooding. If your lawn slopes or your home is in a flood plain, you might consider purchasing a battery-operated backup sump pump for emergencies.
- Stock up on essentials such as bottled water, nonperishable food items, batteries, and toiletries. Just in case, it’s better to be overstocked with important supplies.
- Verify that you’ve filled in any cracks in your basement walls and foundation to prevent water from seeping in and causing a flood.
- Install surge protectors on major appliances to prevent power surges during a lightning strike.
- Make sure that your septic tank has been recently inspected and cleaned. A clogged septic tank can cause a flood when inundated with water from a summer thunderstorm.
- Have a plan in place for how your family will respond to a power outage. That way everyone will know what to do if the power suddenly goes out, even if not everyone is home.
Finally: Don’t get caught by surprise! Severe storms can unleash their fury any time of year, but they are especially common in the spring and summer. Follow the forecast throughout the summer and take precautions if a storm is coming your way. It may amount to nothing more than a light shower by the time it reaches you, but it’s better to rest easy knowing you’re prepared for anything.