Nothing signals the slow transition from winter to spring quite like the strong winds of March and April. The gusts not only make the cold more biting and give us bad hair days, but also the pose huge risks of injury and property damage. Take precautions this year to make sure you are protecting your home and loved ones from potentially serious damage by following these five steps.
Keep everything grounded. Any item you have outside needs some sort of anchor or foundation to ensure it will stay in place during even the strongest of winds. This includes everything from smaller items like patio chairs and lawn ornaments to heavier things like a grills or tables. If you aren’t sure you can properly tether your item, store it in the garage or basement until the weather has settled.
Do a full perimeter check. While checking to make sure all of your outdoor items are secured, take a look for potential risks in the making. Things like loose branches, broken fence posts or detached gutters can become projectiles in a wind storm and destroy windows, doors or cause bodily harm.
Check your roof for weaknesses. Loose or damaged shingles can be completely torn off by high winds, leading to the exposed threat of more harmful damage to your home. Missing shingles can lead to water and mold damage, especially during the strong rains that spring brings. If you’re unsure how to safely inspect your roof, hire a professional to do this step for you. Safety first!
Doubled-check all windows and doors. Nothing will alert you of high wind faster than a storm door whipping open and slamming shut. Making sure every door and window in your house is firmly closed and secure can be a simple but major step towards avoiding damage. For further confidence, inspect the seals around your doors and windows to insure they are in place and secure.
In case of emergency… While the first four steps are good practice for even mild winds, it’s important to have an emergency plan in place in case of extreme wind storms. Keep are eye on the weather forecasts and prepared yourself for the most intense situations.
Board up windows. While you can do your best to keep your yard clear of debris, you can’t make sure your whole neighborhood will. Investing in steel or aluminum storm shutters for extreme circumstances can protect your windows from shattering.
Have an emergency supply kit on hand and up to date. If a storm makes leaving the home dangerous or even impossible, you’ll need an emergency supply kit at home. Water, nonperishable foods, flashlights, batteries, medications and first aid items are just some of the things you’ll need. To see a full recommended list, check here
Find a safe spot. Even with your windows and doors covered, there is no guarantee that projectiles can’t enter your home. Take your family, pets, valuables and emergency kit to the basement or an isolated interior room and bunker down. If you somehow find yourself outside during a wind storm, find a ditch, trench or any low point and lay face down with your hands protecting the back of your head.