In February 2021, over 150 million Americans were under extreme weather advisories. Whether you’re preparing for a hurricane or a freak snowstorm, preparation is key.
When it comes to bad weather, it’s highly unpredictable. Sometimes, shelter-in-place turns into a mandatory evacuation order in a matter of hours. No matter what freak weather events you may be facing, though, you can always prepare.
There’s an old saying: pray for the best and prepare for the worst. That’s exactly what we’re here to help you do today with cautious storm preparation.
Caulk Around Windows and Doors
Whether you’re facing extreme cold or high temperatures, home preparations are important. When your central heating and cooling system puts the temperature at a certain point, you want to keep it there.
Caulking will preserve the home’s internal temperature, and keep heat or cold from seeping in from outside. This can make a huge difference, both for your temperature and for your electric bill!
This is especially important if the power goes out. This is especially true when it comes to extreme cold. You’ll want to be able to stay warm as long as possible.
Clean Your Gutters
This is an important to-do item seasonally, in order to prevent leaks or ice dams. Gutters often fill up, especially after fall if you live in a place where lots of leaves fall.
Whether it’s a stray baseball from the neighborhood kids or a bird’s nest, gutters can back up and cause trouble fast. Even if you keep your gutters clean regularly, be sure to check before a big storm comes in.
All that rain can flood and cause problems faster than you ever expected, especially if your gutters are filled.
Sweep Your Chimney
If you have a backup source of heat, make sure that you’re actually able to take advantage of it. If your electricity goes out and you’re unable to take advantage of your usual heating solutions, having a backup can be a lifesaver.
If you try to use your fireplace without proper preparation, though, it can be disastrous. If there has been too much creosote built up from past use, or if there’s a bird nest in it, this can cause smoke to flood back down into the room.
Or, if there’s too much creosote, this could cause a chimney fire. Getting your chimney swept regularly is a great way to ensure this backup option works when you actually need it.
Stock Up for Extreme Weather
Part of severe weather prep is making sure you don’t have to go somewhere once it actually hits. Roads are often dangerous, and going out on an unnecessary quest could result in an accident, and divert emergency resources from where they’re actually needed.
Preparation includes two parts. For starters, prep for the event itself. If a hurricane is coming, make sure your gas tank is full.
That way, if you need to evacuate, you’ll be ready. If a blizzard is predicted, stock up on salt.
You should also be prepared from an essentials perspective. Grocery shop for a week or two in advance, and get plenty of bottled water. Filling pitchers and your bathtub with water is also a good idea to accomplish a few hours before the event actually happens.
Before high winds hit, make sure that you’ve taken care of all your landscaping needs. When your shrubbery is cared for, it’s less likely to be uprooted by the wind.
When you cut off dead branches, there’s less of a chance that they will become flying missiles when the wind kicks up.
It’s also important to secure any loose items outdoors for the same reason. From lawn chairs to bikes, everything needs to be stored inside or tied down.
This can also save your items if the high wind is accompanied by flooding.
Tidying up applies to indoors, too. You should gather all valuables and place them in a central location. A windowless room, or in the center of a room with fewer windows, is the best option.
Don’t place these items on the floor, either. The kitchen table is a great place since this will help your items last longer in the case of a flood.
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to invest in a fireproof box. This is where you should store important documents, like social security cards and birth certificates.
Board Up the Windows
If you live in an area that’s prone to hurricanes, you should invest in some plywood now and keep it stored in your garage.
This can help save your windows, which in turn can protect your house from the elements. Prior to predictions of a big hurricane, there will be a run on things like plywood, drills, screws, and so forth.
If you stock up ahead of time, during the off-season, you’ll be ready to go.
Insulated Garage Doors
With an attached garage, you lose a lot of heat. This is especially true when you have rooms above or right next to the garage.
If you like to work in your garage, this heat loss can make it unbearable in the colder months. And if you’re trying to weatherproof your house against extreme weather, insulated garage doors are the way to go.
They are also more durable, too. This can help your garage door stand up against the weather, especially once debris starts flying around with high winds.
It’s also important to protect your garage because of storage purposes. Before an inclement weather event, you should store your car and loose objects inside.
With a sturdy door, you’ll be able to keep those items safer.
Protecting Yourself Against Extreme Weather
Preparation is important. Start by researching the kind of weather events that are most common in your area, and what specific recommendations government agencies make to prepare for them.
Once you’ve done that, make a list. You can start with simple tasks, like making a 72-hour emergency kit or installing an insulated garage door. The more you prepare, the better off you’ll be when extreme weather hits.
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