Spring weather can be highly dangerous as it brings storms that can cause severe damage and flooding, especially in early spring, when the soil is still frozen. Because the weather can be deadly in spring, it’s important to prepare for it ahead of time. Here ar estorm preparedness tips for homeowners:
Before a Storm:
- Create a disaster preparedness plan that includes an outside meeting place and escape routes from each room in the house. All household members should practice the plan together.
- Create an emergency supply kit.
- Make a home inventory that will help when filing an insurance claim. Important documents, personal numbers, and insurance policies need to be backed up and secured.
- Make sure the home is in proper shape to withstand powerful storms. Good things to do include tightening the roof shingles and waterproofing the basement, windows, and doors.
- Prune the loose branches and remove the dead vegetation in the yard.
- Keep drains and gutters clean to ensure proper drainage. The gutters should also be tightly attached to the house to guard against strong winds.
- Everyone in the family must know how to turn off utilities and how to use a fire extinguisher.
- Property owners should consider getting an Extended Water Coverage, as part of their home policy, to cover some types of sewer backups, which are one of the main causes of water damage during major storms.
- If there are missing shingles on the roof, a trained contractor must be contacted to replace them.
During a Storm:
- When a storm is imminent, bring the valuables in the yard inside and move all vehicles and equipment to high ground.
- Don’t walk through moving water. Just a few centimetres of rapidly moving water can sweep people off their feet.
- Don’t drive through floodwater, not even in a large van. Half a metre of moving water is enough to take it away.
- Avoid using utilities and wired electrical equipment and turn off utilities to mitigate potential damages in case of flooding or other disasters.
- Stay up to date on weather conditions and listen to local authorities for evacuation announcements.
- Those who are inside should: securely shut the doors and windows; stay away from windows to avoid the risk of getting struck by shattered glass; and take shelter in the basement if the storm is severe.
- Those who are outside should get to higher ground and avoid low lying areas that are likely to flood.
- Portable radios should be used to stay informed.
After a Storm:
- Ensure everyone is OK and check for damage to the home while being aware of potential hazards.
- The plumbing inside and outside the property should be inspected. The water supply to the home must be turned off at the main shutoff, if necessary. A professional should be hired if pipe damage is detected.
- Turn off other utilities if they are damaged. Also, call local authorities and wait for their approval to turn them back on.
- Appliances that have been exposed to water must be disconnected immediately. The main power source must be turned off. In case of damaged electrical wires, an electrician should be contacted.
- If there are missing shingles on the roof, a trained contractor must be contacted. Property owners are advised to not fix the roof themselves, as they would risk injuries and possible additional damage to the roof.
- The broken windows of damaged automobiles that appear salvageable should be covered. It’s important to list all damaged valuables in the car and call the insurance agent.
- Large fallen trees must be removed by a professional only.
- Work with reputable local contractors, as some companies try to take advantage of storms and natural disasters. A written contract detailing all the work to be performed, as well as a breakdown of the cost, should be obtained prior to any repairs.
- If the home has been flooded:
- Avoid contact with floodwater, which is likely contaminated.
- Make lists of the damaged or lost items and take photos.
- File the flood insurance claim.
- Hire a professional damage restoration company, such as PuroClean to get the home back in order safely and efficiently.
- Water damage must be remediated correctly and quickly. Otherwise, it will lead to mould contamination, which presents another host of concerns and problems.
For flood damage cleanup, call the PuroClean certified restoration experts
Spring flooding disasters can strike at any given time, so it’s essential to follow these storm preparedness tips. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.