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Storms: The Befores , Durings And Afters

  • November 22, 2021

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After a storm, many people are faced with restoring their homes and picking up the pieces. But, what should you do before a storm hits? Homeowners can take a few steps to prepare for a storm and reduce the damage and potential risk to life. 

The first step is always to stay tuned in to the weather forecast. In case a storm or any other natural disaster is coming your way, you should be prepared to go without power for a while.

Here are some steps that you can take when a storm approaches:

1) Make sure everyone in the household knows where they will meet if they get separated during the storm, and make sure everyone has a copy of this information and has reviewed it with their family members.

2) Have provisions on hand for two weeks- food, water, batteries, blankets, cash etc. Make sure you have any necessary medications as well. 

3) Have emergency phone numbers handy such as emergency management office and family members etc.

You also need to make sure your roof is in good condition and does not have any holes or leaks. In addition, perform a home inspection for any loose wires or other issues that may cause damage during hurricane season. Also, it is essential to buy flood insurance if you are located in an area prone to flooding because even though it is not mandatory by law, it can help you recover from damages caused by flooding. Other ways you can protect your home from the storm include covering windows with shutters and unplugging all electrical devices, so they do not come into contact with water.

During the storm

  • Stay indoors and off the streets. If you do not have a storm cellar, there may be a public one you can go to or a school or sports center. If not, move to the middle of your home or basement, away from windows and glass doors. Try to take cover under a staircase or a heavy piece of furniture. 
  •  Keep your pets inside the house
  • Never go outside the safety of your home or shelter before it has been confirmed that the storm has passed the area. The storm's eye could create a temporary and deceptive break, with the very worst of the storm still to come.
  • Use a portable radio to listen to important storm updates, information and instructions.
  • If power is lost, keep the refrigerator closed to keep cold air trapped and delay spoilage of perishable food.
  • If you have a generator, make sure it is turned off before going outside.

After the storm has passed

  • Make sure your home is still standing
  • Check for gas leaks
  • Turn off the water
  •  Check for damage to your belongings
  • Identify if any animals need to be rescued
  • Clear any roads if safe to do so to allow emergency vehicles to move through the area.

It is essential to stay calm and clearheaded in the aftermath of a natural disaster, as it is easy to become overwhelmed by the magnitude of the damage

The aftermath of a storm can be devastating to the area, but many things can be done to help.

One of the most important is to ensure that people are evacuated from the area to prevent unnecessary injuries or even fatalities. This is especially true if there are any hazardous materials in the area.

It is important to stay safe and make sure your family and friends are safe as well. It is also important to clean up any debris that may be blocking the sidewalk or street. The following steps will depend on the severity of the storm and how much damage was done.

The first thing to do is to secure your property by shutting off power, gas, and water if necessary. If you live in an area prone to floods or heavy rainfall, you should be prepared with sandbags or other preparations beforehand. You should not open windows or doors until the electricity has been shut off and it is safe to do so. Remembering where your emergency phone line is located can help if the phone lines are down.

The next step is responding as needed for public safety services such as emergency services, road maintenance crews, animal shelters, police officers, etc.

After a storm has passed, there may be structural damage to your property. This could result in the need for repairs on your home. Check with your insurance company to determine whether you are covered for these repairs and how much coverage you have. Also, make sure to contact your local utility company before restoring power to damaged areas of your home.

It is advisable to inspect all doors, windows, ceilings and floors for any signs of water damage or mold growth after a storm passes through. If necessary, remove wet drywall and insulation from the affected area to dry out in a timely manner at least one inch from the ground. In addition, be cautious of problems that are a product of the storm, such as water due to flooding, sharp or broken objects, damaged tree branches or other structures that may have been damaged by high winds or water.

Once the safety risks have been addressed, you should start cleaning up the damage around your home. Take pictures before you start so that you know what needs to be repaired afterwards. This may also be necessary if and when you contact your insurance claim attorneys. Collect all the debris in one spot and keep it there until it can be removed later by a professional or picked up by your local government agency.

 If there are any broken windows or other structural damages, stop using those rooms until they have been fixed by a professional.  Protect your property from further damage by boarding up broken windows to help deter vandalism or additional weather damage. 

No one ever wants to be caught up in a severe storm, but with climate change and increased adverse weather hitting us all the more often, it is something that many of us are going to have to get used to in the future. These tips will help to keep you, your neighborhood and your home as safe as possible.