Storm Proof Your Home

With summer on the way we have already experienced an introduction to the storm season over the past few weeks; and no doubt there’s plenty more to come.

Below are a few tips to help you storm-proof your home, minimising damage as well as reducing the likelihood of requiring emergency help in the aftermath of the havoc that summer storms can wreak!

  1. Survey the Area: ensure that any tree branches close to the home are trimmed back and you may even require an arborist to remove any trees that could be a danger if uprooted in a storm.
  2. Secure your Home: as soon as you hear the earliest warning, it’s time to take action and secure your home – put away any outdoor furniture and play equipment and remove any possible debris from the garden. It is also advised to park your car undercover if possible, hail can cause tremendous damage, plus you minimise the risk of a tree or branch falling on it. It is also important to ensure your doors and windows are strong and safe enough to withstand a storm.
  3. Roof Maintenance – prior to storm season it is highly recommended you examine the state of your roof, as the roof is one of the most vulnerable areas in the event of a storm. Clear the gutters too and check them for possible leaks.
  4. Fence Maintenance – just as with the roof, it is important to have your fence in the best state of repair as possible – unstable bases, damage/loose slats can cause serious problems in high winds if they come loose.
  5. Structural Damage – any damage caused by heavy storms can have serious implications to the structure of your home and make it more at risk of further damage or even collapse in the future. Following an extreme weather event, check for cracks in walls, windows or doors jamming, and any other sign that the structure of your home could be compromised; if you suspect this to be the case call in a qualified structural engineer to address these issues promptly.
  6. Emergency Kit – every home should have an emergency kit, it is not uncommon in an electrical storm to experience a blackout, and there’s no way of knowing how quickly (or not) power will be restored. This kit should contact a torch, candles, matches, first aid supplies, bottled water, and even canned food and a tin opener.
  7. Make a Plan – prepare a home emergency plan that covers the worst-case scenario including an evacuation plan. This plan should outline the safe exit points in your home, an agreed meeting point, and a way to stay in contact in the event of separation. It is also a good idea to have emergency evacuation bags with food, water, and clothes.
  8. Keep Calm – the more prepared you are the less likely you are to panic; regardless of the severity, most storms do pass quite quickly, and if you can remain as calm as possible throughout the event, it will not only assist in keeping those around you calmer, but also minmise the trauma at the time.