The severe weather season has arrived in the Tennessee Valley region, and powerful storms that bring heavy rains and flooding can wreak havoc on your property. To help preserve one of your most important investments and your loved ones, consider taking the following proactive steps:
Seal doors and windows: Make sure the seals around your home’s windows and doors are not cracked. Over time, temperature changes can damage seals. Heavy storm winds will allow rain to easily seep through doors and windows if they are not properly sealed. Some hardware stores sell retrofit kits for garage doors to bolster their resistance.
Inspect your roof: Any damaged or exposed sections of your roof can further harm your home during a storm. You should also repair any holes, loose shingles or broken tiles. A qualified contractor can check the structural integrity of your roof. If needed, a contractor can install straps or clips to your roof to hold it in place during strong winds.
Clear your yard: Any item in the front or back of your home can instantly turn into a flying object and create more damage to your or your neighbor’s property. Patio furniture, grills or garden decorations should be stored indoors or securely fastened to the ground.
Unclog gutters: Conduct a simple visual inspection of your gutters and downspouts. If your gutters are poorly sloped or leaking, they will overflow and cause damage to your home’s exterior or foundation. Clearing your gutters will help improve their effectiveness and prevent unnecessary debris from accumulating during a heavy rain storm.
Create a disaster supply kit: An emergency supply kit will help you and your family with any type of natural disaster. You might lose power or need to evacuate your area, so it’s important to have essential items on hand. Your kit should contain some basic items:
• Water (1 gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation)
• Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
• Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
• First-aid kit
• Extra batteries
• Whistle to signal for help
You should also consider which unique items you may need for your family, such as supplies for seniors or pets. For additional ideas on creating an emergency supply kit, visit ready.gov.
Make a plan: When bad weather hits, you should have a plan in place to keep in touch with your family or loved ones. Ready.gov recommends putting a communication plan together with your family to know how you can contact one another and reconnect if separated.
Choose a family meeting place that is familiar and easy to find. Make sure to discuss the specific needs of your household when planning such as dietary needs, medical supplies and other items specific to your daily living needs and responsibilities.
For help protecting your home during severe storms or a natural disaster, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga’s online directory at HBAGC.net.