It’s on the weather channel, it’s a storm, and it’s headed your way. Is your home ready? Especially when it comes to nature, certain events can seem overwhelming and totally out of your control. While you may not be able to change the forecast, you can take measures to prepare your house. Handyman Matters has helpful insights for equipping your home for a storm.
- Step 1: Landscape
There should always be a clear path leading from the entrances and exits of your home. This means pruning trees and removing potentially problematic branches. It also means laying down some preparatory rock salt (if needed), and removing any potential obstacles. Additionally, check your gutters and downspouts to see that they’re functioning correctly – you don’t want water build up or any flooding.
- Step 2: Bunker
You don’t necessarily need a storm shelter, but you and your family do need to find a safe meeting spot within the home. An ideal safe spot would be on the lowest floor (preferably in the basement), with no windows, and without any shared walls with the outside. This will be the place where you wait out the storm.
- Step 3: Stock Up
Turn your safe space into a true bunker by stocking it with the emergency essentials. Think non-perishable foods; back up essentials like medications, batteries, and first aid; and lots of water. The ratio is one gallon per day per person. You also want to stash a change of clothing – layers in case it’s cold – and sturdy shoes. If you have any animals, remember to keep some of their basics in the room as well: food, leashes, and a carrier. Lastly, trash bags are a must to keep things from getting too gross.
- Step 4: Heating
Think about the heat sources in your house if you’re facing cold weather. More specifically, think about the heating that doesn’t require electricity to function. If you’re in a rural area, a backup generator may be a great investment for your home so you don’t have to worry. If you’re in a city, think smaller, less noisy, alternatives. Does your home have a wood burning stove or fireplace? If so, stock up on wood. If not, consider getting some battery powered space heaters to store in your safe room.
- Step 5: Lighting
Anything that does not require electricity will fulfill this need: candles (just have the fire extinguisher nearby), battery powered/solar/crank lanterns or flashlights. There’s a blackout light that’s especially handy in weather related scenarios because it’s a light that stays plugged in, and only turns on when the power is out. Place these around your home so you can easily navigate through the dark during a blackout.
- Step 6: Emergency Gear
The last items to consider keeping in your safe rooms are the ones that may come in handy in inclement conditions. Chainsaws may be necessary to cut apart fallen trees blocking exits. Shovels for the snow, a fire extinguisher for unexpected fires. Finally weatherseal tape is great for sealing cracks in your home as they happen during a specifically rough storm.
- Step 7: Reinforcements
When a storm hits, the last thing you want is a leak in your home. Reinforce your home by making sure it has a secure roof, sturdy walls, and sealed windows. If you have a crack – now is the time to fill it.
Handyman Matters is here to help you prepare for the everyday and the unexpected. Don’t wait until the day-of a storm to try and prepare your home, think ahead, and save yourself time and money. For help weather proofing your house, give us a call 866-FIX-MY-HOME.