When you think of winter storms, you usually think of snow. But especially this winter, rainstorms have been more common than you’d think. As we head into spring (possible snow this weekend aside), rainstorms are going to get more and more common. Knowing how to handle and prevent damage from them is essential now that we’re headed into spring.
Before the Storm
When storm season first starts, make sure your home is ready. Don’t wait until a storm threatens – give yourself the time to get it right.
- Prepare an emergency storm kit. Get a flashlight, a battery powered weather radio, first aid supplies, food, and extra medicine.
- Know the difference between storm watch and warning. A storm watch means that weather is possible within the next two days. Storm warning means that the bad weather is happening right now, or very soon.
After the Storm
- Address emergencies. If you see a fire, before you do anything else, call the fire department.
- Carefully assess the damage. Never step in standing water and be alert for anything out of place, like the smell of gas or smoke. If you suspect a gas leak or a fire, evacuate your home immediately.
- Shut off electricity if your home has been damaged and you can reach the breaker box. Do not put yourself in danger to reach it, but turn off power if it’s accessible.
- Clear any flooded areas. Remove all furniture from any flooded area and provide good ventilation.
Call in the Professionals
- Storm damage is hard to handle on your own. Even something that seems minor can get a lot worse if not handled quickly and handled right.
- Every minute counts. The faster you get help on the way, the easier it is to clean and restore. This is especially true for floods or water damage.
- If there’s been a fire, don’t try to clean anything yourself. Common cleaning techniques can do more harm than good.