Spring is almost here and with it comes the threat for severe weather.
Thunderstorms, heavy rain, flooding, lightning, hail and tornadoes are common during this time of year, and can cause significant damage to homes in minutes. Paul Davis of Delmarva, a leading provider of fire and water damage clean up and restoration services, offers consumers some safety measures to protect their family and property.
According to Frank Willing, Paul Davis office owner, every homeowner should have a disaster plan and a basic emergency kit for their family should a severe storm strike. A family disaster plan should include where to assemble in the house when the storm hits (i.e., sturdy interior room or basement) and the nearest designated storm shelter if you have time to evacuate.
The Basic Emergency Kit should include:
- Water – one gallon of water per person and pets per day for at least three days.
- Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food for adults, children, babies and pets, along with a can opener.
- Battery-powered or hand crank commercial radio and a NOAA Weather Radio.
- Cell Phone with charger.
- First aid kit – sterile dressings; antibiotic ointment; scissors; thermometer; non-prescription drugs such as pain relievers; prescription medications and supplies.
- Copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in waterproof container.
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
- Fire Extinguisher
Below are some valuable tips for protecting your property from severe weather.
- Secure major appliances to the wall studs or foundation of your home using “L” brackets.
- Inspect your roof and repair any loose shingles to prevent leakage from water and winds, and remove debris.
- Repair siding, awnings, gutters, downspouts and brackets if loose or damaged.
- Clear yard of loose articles and debris. Keep yard tools, patio furniture, grills, garbage cans and toys stored when not in use.
- Trim trees and shrubs to prevent branches from breaking off during high winds.
According to Willing, if damage to your home or business is significant, contact a properly licensed professional or company in the property loss restoration and emergency mitigation service industry. Look for certifications from The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).