As lovely as the coming of spring may be, it also brings an increase in severe weather across many regions of the country.
You may not be able to stop extreme weather from happening. But you can work to minimize its effects on you, your family, and your home. Read on to learn more about how to be well-prepared and protected.
What Severe Weather Can You Expect?
Severe weather events can hit anywhere. But there are regions where specific types of events are most common:
- The south and midwestern regions of the U.S. often see multiple tornadoes come through. Tornado season tends to start in late March or early April and run through the summer months. It is predicted to be more active than ever this year.
- In the east and southeast, hurricane season usually starts in June. But hurricanes can start to hit as early as April.
- In the west and southwest, hot and dry drought conditions often lead to fires. Fire season typically runs from June through September.
- Anywhere where melting snow pack, tropical storms, or extreme rain can make rivers, lakes or streams overflow their banks, flooding can take people by surprise. Flash floods are especially typical in the south and southeast with the coming of spring.
Prep Your Home’s Exterior
Prepare your yard and home’s exterior as much as possible for any severe weather or other extreme conditions common to your region. If fire danger exists, be sure to remove dry and dead vegetation. And create a large, defensible space around your home to prevent flames and sparks from touching your roof.
With the possibility of high winds, you should board up windows. Leave strategic gaps to prevent internal pressure build-up and blow-outs.
When it comes to flooding, your best defense is a high foundation. Otherwise, stockpile and place sandbags around your home’s perimeter to try to keep floodwaters at bay.
Make Sure Insurance is Up to Date
You don’t want to find out after the fact that you are not covered for losses incurred by severe weather. Insurance companies tend to market their products by region. And some insurance policies are required for buying or renting a property (say, if your home was built on a flood plain).
So you should be in the know when it comes to the insurance you should have. And hopefully, you have not let any required policy lapse. If so, be sure to get your premiums back to current. Not doing so could leave you in big financial pain should the worst occur.
Have a Contingency Plan in Place
Are you ready if the worst happens? Prepping your home and having current insurance is great. But they won’t necessarily keep you and your family safe while a severe weather event is in progress.
In that case, you should further prepare with a plan on where to go if and when an event occurs. Some events build up and move relatively slowly, which allows for evacuation protocols. Getting out and away from severe weather is the best way to ensure your family’s safety.
But in other cases where an event strikes suddenly and you can’t get away, you should also have emergency steps in place. You may need to take shelter down in a basement or hunker down in a bathtub should a tornado hit. Fill that bathtub with water or jump in the swimming pool to avoid injury from a firestorm. Etcetera.
Stay Calm in the Aftermath
As traumatic as a severe weather event may be, the process of cleaning up and trying to get things back to normal can be just about as stressful. And it could also potentially add up to even more damage to you and your finances.
It is unfortunate that some unscrupulous individuals see severe weather events and other similar disasters as a chance to get rich. These scammers may come through the neighborhood promising quick clean-up, with payment upfront, of course. Or they could present affordable temporary housing, which may not even exist.
As such, part of any aforementioned contingency plan should include creating a list of names and contact information for one or more legitimate clean-up crews, housing assistance, and so forth. Having that ready can help to keep you from falling victims to scammers.
Severe weather is just a part of life in the different regions of the U.S. Hopefully though, by taking certain precautions ahead of time, any damage or devastation will end up minor and short-lived.
Photo credit: Cammie Czuchnicki – www.shutterstock.com