Prepare your house before tornadoes, snowstorms, or more strike.

ByNashia Baker
December 18, 2020
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Credit: Getty / Westend61

当你继续洒在你家的内部the COVID-19 pandemic(whether it be for awork-from-home space,virtual get-togethers, or anything in between), it's also important to prepare your home for more serious matters, including extreme weather. This could mean snowstorms, tornadoes, or wildfires. Ahead, we rounded up advice from our experts on how to do just that, so you can be prepared for any weather event that heads your way.

Thoroughly examine your home.

Before inclementweather hits your area, check the landscape surrounding your home. Jenny Naughton, the executive vice president and risk consulting officer atChubb, an insurance company, says that you should do a physical walk through and around your property before each season tomake sure everything is intact。"Take note of tree limbs, landscaping, and any potential nesting that may have developed over the previous season," she shares, also noting that tree limbs in particular can cause damage to power lines or your home in the event of strong wind. "Pay close attention to your roof: Look for damaged or missing shingles and make sure the flashing around chimneys is in good condition." (These spots most commonly experience water damage during hurricanes.) Wind-resistant garage doors and hurricane shutters are helpful additions in the case of extreme wind, Patrick Causgrove, the vice president of property product management atallstate., says. At a minimum, also make sure you have any yard furniture tied down when high winds are expected.

In the event of a wildfire, it is important to check for anything around your home that might be flammable. "在您的家周围创建一个缓冲区by reducing flammable vegetation," Rebekah Nelson, a lead communications director atUSAA, says. "For example, remove branches that overhang the roof or come within 15 feet of the chimney, or place flammables like woodpiles, liquid propane gas tanks, and gas grills at least 30 feet from all structures." If at all possible, try usingfire-resistant materialswhen renovating or making repairs on your home—you can even go as far as building your home with fire-resistant wood if you're working towards a full remodel.

Clean out your gutters.

尼尔森指出,你应该clean out your guttersand any surrounding drains to make sure they can handle heavy snow or rain during storms. After you've tackled down this step, take note of your downspouts' directionality, Naughton says. "For example, are they positioned to take water away from your house without puddling up and saturating landscaping or walkways?" she adds. Continue them with agutter extension将任何雨水远离您的房子 - 如果您受到意想不到的雨水击中,可以减少洪水的机会 - 并将园林绿化岩石放在超越这段延伸,因此水可以在不同的方向上齐平。

Prepare the inside of your home.

Naughton also suggests tackling your interior ahead of cold weather or snowstorms. "In the cold-weather months, keep your thermostat at 65 degrees to prevent pipes in remote areas of your home from freezing," she says. "To protect against significant如果冷冻管道,水损坏破裂,安装一个整个家水关闭设备that would turn off the main water valve in the event of a leak." You will also need to make sure your attic space is ventilated and cool to avoid any possible damage from ice damming. She says that melting ice from the warmth of your attic is the reason moisture seeps under roof shingles and causes water rot. "If your home will be unoccupied in cold weather, turn off the water and drain your pipes," she adds. At the very least, having a generator will also come in handy to prepare for extreme weather patterns, Naughton says. You'll want to have a monthly and seasonal维护检查on this and all of your utilities to make sure everything is working properly.

Take inventory of your items.

"In case of an evacuation, think carefully about what items are easily replaceable by insurance and what items are not, like家庭传家宝,纪念品和图片," Causgrove says. He suggests making a quick recording of your possessions (including important documents, like bank and financial information, bills, checkbooks,insurance policies, birth certificates, and IDs) as you walk through your home, something that is important in the scope of your home insurance policy. "Start with a written inventory," Nelson says. "Store the inventory away from your house—such as in a safe-deposit box at a local bank—or online through mobile home inventory apps. Update the inventory at least once a year or whenever you make a major purchase."

查看您的保险单。

Make sure you understand your homeinsurance policiesso you know确切地what you could receive if damage due to a natural disaster does occur. "Evaluate your policiesregularly and note their dollar limits, what they cover, and the deductibles you would have to pay if you filed a claim," Nelson shares. "You should insure your home for at least the minimum estimated replacement cost recommended by your carrier." Plus, depending on where you live, you will want to take an extra look to make sure you are covered for the right type of extreme weather. "Please note that in some states, coastal homeowners may have insurance for wind and flood with a different company than their primary homeowners' insurance policy," Causgrove says. "Make sure to gather all information and policy numbers."

建立紧急基金和庇护所。

If extreme weather does strike and cause damage, you'll want tohave funds saved upto cover costs accrued from thistype of emergency。纳尔逊说:“在一个安全的地方,您可以在安全的地方节省至少三到六个月的持续费用,例如储蓄账户,”纳尔逊说。“撤回现金如果自然灾害抬头,并记得保存收据,了解任何与灾害有关的现金购买,因为您的保险公司可能会偿还您的一些费用。”如果您的财产允许,请考虑建立风暴避难所,Naughton Notes;除了标准的家庭建筑计划之外,这些尤为有助于保护来自风暴或龙卷风的家庭。尼尔森补充说,在建筑过程中,检查您的地下避难所或安全房间是否符合FEMA或ICC 500标准。

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