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In the Eye of the Storm: How to Protect Your Property

In the Eye of the Storm: How to Protect Your Property

Protecting your property before and during storms can save you a lot of heartache after the storm has passed. Heavy winds can blow away priceless additions to your house, while unforgiving flood waters can destroy precious heirlooms in just minutes. If storms are common where you live, take a few steps to ensure your home is fully protected and ready for whatever the weather wants to throw at it.

In the Eye of the Storm: How to Protect Your Property

This picture is from a tornado hitting east of Denver on May 22, 2014. Photo Courtesy of CBS4 Denver.

Tornadoes

While there’s not much you can do to protect your house from a direct hit by a tornado, there are a few things you can do to lessen the damage from high winds caused by a tornado that’s merely passing by. Start by removing gravel and rock landscaping and replacing it with grass or bark. When 100+ mph winds come roaring through, you don’t want rocks flying into your house, shattering windows, and destroying your roof. Keep your trees and shrubs well groomed, removing dead branches and dying trees. If you’re in the market for new windows, invest in impact-resistant windows to increase your house’s chances for surviving high winds. Make sure your roof is storm ready, too. Replace damaged sheathing and check that existing sheathing is securely fastened in accordance with the building model set out for high-wind regions.

Flooding

Unfortunately, the safest thing for your house is elevation. It’s unlikely you’re relocating your entire house to a mountaintop, but there are still a few things you can do to mitigate potential flood damage. According to Taylor and Blair personal injury lawyers in Vancouver, you should keep your electrical systems safe by raising switches, sockets, and circuit breakers at least one foot above your area’s expected flood level. Make sure your furnace, water heater, and other anchored equipment is also above the area’s flood level. If you have a fuel tank outside, it’s critical to have this above the flood level lest it break free and contaminate ground water. Consult a contractor about altering the grade around your house so flood waters can be diverted away from your house as much as possible.

Forest Fires

We’ve all seen how destructive forest fires can truly be. Just last summer, some of the most damaging forest fires spread all over the American west. In these types of emergencies, hopefully you’ll have enough prep time to evacuate, but if not there are some things you can do to keep your family protected. Make sure your fire alarms are working and up to date. Educate the whole family on fire safety and make sure they know the proper procedure for getting out of a house and away from a fire. You can also protect your house by building with durable materials. Brick and stucco will take longer for a fire to destroy. Hopefully with a bit more durability, you’ll be able to prevent interior damage once the flames are controlled.

While you can’t completely protect your house from storm damage, you can do what you’re able to limit the damage. Research your area’s storm potential and converse with local experts on the most important steps to take to protect your house. Don’t be left standing unprepared as the dark clouds roll towards you; be proactive!

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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