We have been spared so far this winter, but it looks like there may be a winter storm heading our way this coming weekend. The following are some tips to prepare your home and family for weather emergencies that will help to keep your home and family safe and sound.
- Keeping up with routine maintenance on your home is critical to prepare for extreme weather events. Snow can get very heavy and create a lot of pressure on your home’s structure and roof. Check the roofing, insulation and walls for signs of leaks and damages. This will help to prevent floods and ice damming from snow melting and freezing.
- Melting snow will quickly find any weak spots in your roofing or siding so look out for leaks.
- Make sure your carbon monoxide detector battery is new and is working properly to prevent CO poisoning.
- Any outdoor furniture, loose outdoor items and planters should be tucked away either in a storage shed or inside the garage. If you don’t have somewhere to store them, make sure to stack them and tie down these items. Household items can become dangerous when high winds are involved. Prevent damages to your home by taking the time to stash them safely.
- During or after a storm, removing heavy snow from your roof can help you avoid damages or possible injuries from the house becoming inundated and the roof collapsing, so be prepared to clear heavy snowfall in excess of 12” deep.
- Everyone in the home should know how to shut off water and other utilities in case the need arises or it becomes necessary to do so. This can help to prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting.
- A very common occurrence is the loss of power, so a small generator is always a good investment to keep your home warm and prevent further damage from frozen pipes and loss of power.
- Keep wood on hand, and inside your garage or home, if you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace so you can avoid leaving the house to keep warm if power loss does occur.
- Of course, keeping your family safe and warm is only half the battle…you should be prepared to be housebound and have enough food and water (including water for sanitation) to keep you for 72 hours in case you and your family become trapped. Keep at least three days of essential prescription medications as well as flashlights and battery-operated lanterns on hand.
- Hypothermia can be deadly. Symptoms of hypothermia include exhaustion, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence and uncontrollable shivering.
- Make sure your neighbors know if you have any special needs.
- Keep a battery-operated radio on hand so you can tune into your local stations to get weather updates and critical advisories.
Make sure to follow these tips to stay safe and sound during a winter storm. Please give Berkely Brokerage Corp. a call with any questions you may have about the proper insurance coverage for your home, automobile and business. Stay warm!!!