Preparation Is KeyBy the time the bad weather hits, it’s too late to prepare. When you know significant weather is coming, you can make extra preparations, but there are some preparations you can make now so you’re always ready.Despite the unique nature of summer versus winter storms, many of the preparations are similar. No matter which season you’re in, be ready for adverse weather with some of these tips:
- Have non-perishable food handy: Most storms don’t last long, but it never hurts to have some non-perishable food on hand. Keep your cupboards stocked with canned goods, dry foods and bottles of juice and baby formula if you have children. Remember to have a hand can opener available — an electric opener won’t work if the power goes off!
- Stock drinking water: It is always a good idea to have a sizeable stock of drinking water on hand. Storms, flooding and power outages can contaminate drinking water or affect your municipalities’ water delivery services. If a storm is approaching, you can also fill a bathtub, buckets and containers to have water available for cooking and washing until the regular supply comes back on.
- Prepare your home: In all seasons, you want to be sure the exterior of your home, your roof and your doors and windows are all in good repair. Make sure all shingles, siding and panels are well attached and that your doors and windows seal properly. In the case of a wind storm, secure all loose items — such as tables, chairs, umbrellas, etc. — or move them to a garage or basement.
What to Do When the Power Goes OutLosing power in a storm can be a big problem. Not only is it inconvenient, depending on the season, but a lack of power can be a major issue for you and your family. The problems can vary from winter to summer:
- Winter: The biggest risk during winter storms is being unable to heat your home. If the power goes out for more than a few hours, the temperature in your house can drop. This will affect your family and can also cause pipes to freeze if it gets cold enough. Snow buildup can block your doors, garage and driveway, which is why it’s important to continually remove snow as it falls and drifts. If a winter storm is severe enough, you may not be able to leave your home and get to the store for supplies for several days.
- Summer: Your home cooling system will not work, which can be an issue for small children, the elderly or the sick. You may need to move these members of your family to a cool, dry place such as a basement or high-ceilinged room if the temperature rises. Summer storms that bring a lot of rain can cause flooding in your home if you have an electric sump pump that doesn’t work. Wind and rain storms can cause serious damage to the exterior of your home as well, ripping off shingles, siding and eaves troughs.