Friday, November 11, 2011

Storm Safety for Your Home and Its Inhabitants

One thing that HomeTeam Inspectors often find in the homes they inspect is damage caused by storms. In fact, contrary to popular belief, no part of this country is impervious to storm damage. Damage from a past hurricane, tornado, or flood can plague a home for years.


This is why it’s important to inspect the roofing, siding, and exterior railings for wind and water damage as well as defective repairs that homeowners may hastily make in their misinformed efforts to fix up the house. Also, be sure to inspect the drywall for water intrusion—otherwise you could face serious mold problems in the future. It’s always a good idea to call in a professional HomeTeam Inspector to swing by your house after any major storm, to take a look and let you know if anything’s been damaged in a way that could lead to bigger, more expensive problems later on.


Your local House Doctors Professional Handyman Service can help you either prepare your home for a storm or make the necessary repairs once damage is already done.


However, as we prepare to enter hurricane season, let’s consider some important safety precautions that can be taken ahead of time, in order to ensure the safety of both your home and the loved ones living inside.


1) Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system. A simple Google Search of your city’s name + “Emergency Warning System” should keep you informed.


2) Discuss thunderstorm safety with all members of your household. You can find all the information you need here: http://www.fema.gov/hazard/thunderstorm/index.shtm


3) Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm. This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail. You might try a basement, a storm cellar, a bathroom, a pantry, or even a large closet.


4) Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe storm, or make sure that expensive or priceless items are stored safely in your garage or cellar during storm season.


5) Make trees and shrubbery more wind-resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches, otherwise, heavy wind and rain could hurl these branches right into your house!


6) Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home. Your local House Doctor can build storm-resistant dog houses too!


7) Get trained in first aid and learn how to respond to emergencies. You can find your local Red Cross and sign up for classes here: http://www.redcross.org


8) Put together an emergency preparedness kit including:

  • Water - one gallon per person, per day
  • Food - non-perishable, easy-to-prepare
  • Flashlight - battery powered or handcrank
  • Radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation & personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family & emergency contact information
  • Extra cash

When in doubt, remember the words of Ben Franklin: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” But let’s leave the thunderstorm kite-flying to him!


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