Spring technically hasn’t even sprung yet, and much of the country has already encountered severe storms in the early days of March this year. After spring officially begins on March 20, 2023, we’re likely to experience even more severe weather such as severe thunderstorms, hail, intense straight-line winds, flooding and tornadoes.
We want to help you be prepared for severe weather with common-sense strategies to keep your home and family safe.
Develop an Emergency Response Plan
Because severe storms can strike with little or no warning, devise and communicate a specific action plan with your family to help keep your household safe during inclement weather.
Have Emergency Supplies Ready
Your storm response plan should include the thoughtful gathering of supplies that you’ll need during a storm. Here’s a list of essential items that you should store in a secure place inside your home to deal with problems that can caused by severe weather.
- Flashlights with extra batteries and/or candles.
- Weather radio (battery-operated in case of a power outage).
- Bottled water.
- Non-perishable food and manual can opener.
- First-aid kit.
- Cash for essentials (in case of a wide-spread power outage preventing access to your bank).
- Emergency supply of necessary medicines.
- Pet supplies.
Your family may not need all of these supplies and you may also need additional items such as board games to avoid boredom. Choose the supplies that are right for your family. Examine and refresh your supplies at the beginning of spring every year.
Devise and Communicate the Emergency Action Plan
There are certain actions that you and your family should take during severe weather to help keep everyone safe. Listing and communicating these actions will help keep everyone calm and organized during a severe storm event.
- First, you’ll need to identify the safest room in your home to shelter in place during a severe wind storm or tornado (if your home doesn’t have a storm shelter). Use a structurally-sound, interior room without windows. It may be a bathroom or interior bedroom. Everyone in your household needs to know where that room is. They will need to head to that room when high winds or a tornado threaten your safety. If your home has a storm shelter, be sure that everyone knows how to get there and when to use it.
- Store the emergency supplies in the storm shelter or safe room – or where everyone knows where to find them when needed.
- Look at every possible exit from your home during fire or flooding and create a safe evacuation plan.
- Plan a safe evacuation route to a specific meeting place in your local area if flooding threatens your family’s safety.
- Devise and communicate the action plan for everyone to take when severe weather hits your area. Keep a written copy of the action plan in the emergency supply kit as a checklist to keep your family safe.
Your action plan should include these basic steps:
- Head indoors and go to the safe room when severe wind or a tornado is imminent.
- Check the contents of your emergency supply kit and have flashlights or candles ready to use in case of a power outage.
- Contact family members and friends to let them know of your situation.
- Stay away from windows when wind is blowing hard.
- Fill the bathtub with water (to use for flushing the toilet in case you lose the water supply).
- If safely possible, unplug electronic devices, TV’s and appliances with electronic controls. Electrical power surges during storms can damage control boards.
- Monitor weather conditions using your phone or a weather radio.
- Move vehicles inside or away from trees if time allows.
- Be ready to execute the evacuation plan in case of fire or flooding.
Your plan may include additional steps such as caring for pets during the storm.
Keep a copy of your emergency response plan in the emergency supply kit. You can also store a digital copy on your phone. Review the plan with the household yearly in early spring so everyone is ready to respond safely to storms.
Additional Steps to Help Keep Your Home Safe During Storms
Flying debris during storms can crash through windows and cause injuries. When possible, store lawn furniture, toys and other items that can be blown around by high winds during storms.
Do you need to make home improvements to prepare for storms?Schedule a free consultation with a home improvement expert.
Maintain Your Fence
Make sure that your privacy fence stays in good shape. Replace sections of fence or the entire fence if it won’t be able to withstand high winds. Cedar fence pickets can become deadly projectiles if loosed during a storm with high straight-line winds or tornadoes.
Trim the Trees
Keep trees properly trimmed to reduce the risk of window, siding and roofing. Cut down weak branches that overhang your home. Consider having an arborist professionally trim your trees.
Install a Whole Home Back-Up Generator
When you encounter a power outage during a storm, you’ll face numerous problems that you’ll wish you could avoid — unless you have a whole house back-up generator. You’ll enjoy these advantages during a power outage when you install a whole-house back-up generator:
- Uninterrupted power. You won’t need flashlights and foods in your refrigerator and freezer will stay fresh. Any refrigerated medications will also stay safe. You can scratch many steps off your emergency action plan when you have a back-up generator.
- The air conditioner or heater will still work. Stay comfortable during a power outage when you install a back-up generator. This can be a life-saver for young children or older family members with health issues.
- You’ll keep your water supply if you have a well pump. When you have a well water supply, a power outage can knock out your water supply. Keep your well pump running using a back-up generator. If you aren’t on a city water supply, you’ll likely use a septic tank system as well. Keep your septic system pump working during a power outage using a back-up generator.
- Keep your basement from flooding. Avoid expensive water damage to your home by installing a whole home generator to automatically kick in and keep the sump pump running when a storm knocks out power to your home.
Schedule a free appointment with a Sears Home Generator Expert to install a Cummins Whole Home Generator so that you’re well-prepared for power outages during severe storms.
Check Your Roof
Having a good roof on your house will help keep you safe during severe storms. Use these steps to check your roof for damage:
- Use binoculars to get a close look at the roof. Check for shingles that are curled, cracked, distorted, buckled or missing.
- Check gutters and the ground below downspouts for gritty granules worn from the surface of shingles. Shingles that have lost their protective granular coating deteriorate quickly.
- Look inside your attic and check for daylight coming through the roof.
If you find damage, schedule a free consultation with a Sears Roofing Expert to discuss options for replacing your roof.
If you live in a region plagued by frequent storms, consider installing [premium shingles that can withstand winds up to 130 mph]. Owens-Corning Duration premium shingles installed by Sears have a limited lifetime warranty and will help keep your home safe and secure during severe storms.
We offer special financing options for roofing and cover roof installation with our Sears Warranty and Satisfaction Guarantee. Trust Sears to help keep your home safe during storms with a new roof.
What to do After a Storm
Once the storm clears your area, check all areas of your home for damage. Contact your insurance company if you find damage covered by your policy. Immediately after contacting your insurance provider, we recommend that you also schedule a free in-home consultation with our Sears Home Improvement experts to get estimates on fixing damaged roofing, windows, siding and doors (including garage doors).
How to Detect Window Damage after a Storm
It’s obvious that you’ll need window repair when you see broken panes of glass. Some window damage isn’t that obvious. Even if window panes didn’t break, frames can get damaged by high winds and hail.
Look for these more subtle signs of window damage after a storm:
- Cracks or dents in window frames or flashing.
- Water seeping under window frames or soaking the walls next to windows.
- Moisture or fog in between the glass panes of windows.
When you find window damage, contact your insurance provider and set up a free consultation with a Sears Window Expert to begin replacing damaged windows.
How to Check Your Roof and Siding after a Storm
Look for missing or damaged shingles on your roof and cracked or dented siding on your home. Look for wet spots on the ceiling and walls inside your home that point to roof or siding damage. When you find damage, call your insurance company and schedule an appointment with a Sears Home Improvement Expert to begin the process of replacing damaged roofing and/or siding.
Trust Sears to help you quickly restore your home when it’s damaged by storms. We’ve been around for more than 30 years and we guarantee our work.