Unless you have been avoiding the news, you have seen and heard about all the damage various storms have caused all over the state of Texas. While we welcome the rain to break the drought, we may have gotten more water than we bargained for. Following are some tips to prepare your home for the storm season this year.

Emergency Kit

The first tip to ensure your family and home are prepared for storms is to keep an updated emergency kit that includes: a first aid kit, flashlight, extra batteries, battery or hand-cranked radio, whistle, extra battery-powered chargers for cell phones, and a copy of your homeowners insurance policy. In addition to an emergency kit, your household should also have a plastic tub containing disaster supplies that include: bottled water, non-perishable food, prescription medications, blankets, moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation. This may seem unrealistic to some since it may not be possible to have extra prescription medication in case of an emergency. If this is the situation, keep a list of these items so if a bad storm hits your local area, you know exactly what prescriptions are needed for family members.

Stay Informed

The second emergency preparedness tip is to keep informed so there is time to prepare. Staying alert allows time to gather essentials to weather the storm in case you don’t keep a fully-stocked emergency kit. This means paying attention to the weather forecast, particularly severe weather alerts. If you do have an emergency kit, make sure it is current and not out-of-date. This is also the time to check with your insurance agent to double-check that you have the proper insurance in place for your home.

Prepare Early For Storms

The final tips for members of a household is one that will only be beneficial if you have ample time to prepare for a weather emergency such as a hurricane.

  • Bring in all outdoor furniture and anything else outdoors that isn’t tied down.

  • Cover or board all of the windows in the home.

  • Use a pipe wrench to turn off utilities to avoid a gas leak.

These tips can help avoid devastating damage to your home that could be prevented with early preparation. It is always important for several family members to know how to shut off all utilities in a house. Be sure your emergency preparedness plan is in place and that you have gone over the important items with your family, such as how to shut off utilities, where to go if there is a storm, and the location of your written emergency kit or list. You should also have a copy of your homeowners insurance policy in the emergency kit. You can always call your homeowner’s insurance company and ask for a copy if you don’t have one. This can be very helpful to have on hand in case a disaster should happen.

Although the things referenced above may seem like a very obvious part of emergency preparedness, many homeowners do not think they need to prepare for a storm because they live in an area that is not vulnerable to flooding or see many tornadoes or hurricanes. Do not leave your home or your family vulnerable to disaster. Make sure they are protected with proper homeowner’s insurance and a good emergency preparedness plan!

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