Severe weather, whether it comes with a warning or not, can be inconvenient, if not terrifying. Secure your home by preparing a storm emergency kit, and shelter your home inside and out to give yourself and your family peace of mind.

Create a Storm Emergency Kit

Think about what you might need in the case of severe weather, put together a box of supplies, and identify a safe, interior space in the home to keep it in. What would be important to include?

In the event of a power outage, it’s vital to have flashlights, batteries, and a battery-operated radio. Include a first-aid kit and a small fire extinguisher, just in case. Have a communication plan in place with family members. Always keep a corded phone in your emergency kit, or a cellphone and a backup power source.

Store enough water for your family, about 3 gallons per person, and nonperishable food items, like peanut butter, crackers, and granola bars. Don’t forget food and water for pets, too. To keep children entertained or calm during a power outage, add some activities or toys, and pack any baby supplies needed for little ones.

In addition, include a digital camera with recent photos of the interior and exterior of your home in case you need to file a home insurance claim.

Prepare the Exterior of Your Home

Image via Flickr by Jorge CG

Regularly examining the outside of your home for potential hazards can make all the difference when severe weather strikes. Cut down and dispose of any dangerous tree branches. Check any posts or paneling on fences, securing any that might have broken or come loose. Along the same lines, be sure gutters are secure and clear of debris, so rain can drain away quickly. Don’t forget to check the cap on your chimney and flue protectors. Bring in any loose decor, furniture, or planters kept outside the house.

It’s also helpful to remind yourself how to access shut-off valves for water, gas, and electricity in the event of an emergency. Refresh your memory on how to operate garage doors manually, as electronic garage openers won’t work if the power goes out.

Prepare the Interior of Your Home

While much of the focus is on protecting your home from the outside, implementing protections from the inside can be just as important. Consider purchasing and installing surge protectors to keep your computers and appliances safe in the event of a lightning strike.

Look into investing in a generator if you anticipate being without power for a length of time. A generator can keep computers, air conditioners, medical equipment, or refrigerators up and running, minimizing the discomfort your family may experience.

Check on your HVAC system before and after severe weather. A routine inspection from a professional technician before severe weather strikes may keep your HVAC system running more efficiently or prevent malfunction altogether. Moreover, having your HVAC inspected after severe weather can quickly identify any weather-related damage for repair.

Finally, clear out or organize your garage to make room for your cars. Your garage is the safest place for your vehicles during severe storms.

Severe weather can be troublesome, but being prepared for inclement weather by implementing these tips helps keep your loved ones as safe and comfortable as possible.