Nothing is worse than when disaster strikes and you’re unprepared.
Be proactive and visit your local Valu Home Centers! Stock up on batteries, flashlights, extension cords, gas cans, and more before the weather hits. And check out our seven step prep for when you’re expecting high winds.
1: Make a plan
Wind damage comes from a variety of storms, some of which require unique preparation. Keep an eye on your local weather reports and decide ahead of time how to act should something go wrong.
2: Tidy up your yard
Almost anything can become a dangerous projectile when the wind is strong enough. Under high wind conditions, your backyard belongings could become airborne and deal significant damage to your home. If you’re notified of a “wind advisory,” — a warning that the area is expected to experience sustained winds of 31 to 39 mph for at least one hour or more— be sure to pick up loose outdoor belongings like lawn furniture, garden tools, grills, sports equipment, bicycles, fallen tree branches, and anything else that may present a hazard if it’s picked up by high winds. Be sure to store your belongings in a safe place like a garage or storage shed. Don’t forget to check your front yard for any potential hazards as well. If you’re a pool owner, check the user manual to see if the pump should be turned on or off during severe weather. You may want to consider laying a tarp over your pool to shield it from debris.
3: Inspect your trees
It’s crucial to inspect the trees on your property for loose or damaged branches. The last thing you want during a windstorm is for a wayward tree branch to crash through your window or roof. If it’s unsafe for you to remove compromised tree branches on your own, don’t be afraid to call a professional to get the job done.
4: Check your roof for weaknesses
High winds can completely tear up your roof and lead to more serious issues (like water damage) with your home’s structure and belongings. Your roof is even more vulnerable to damage if its maintenance isn’t up to date, which is why it’s important to routinely inspect your roof for things like loose or damaged shingles, debris pileups, bare spots, and more.
5: Ensure your emergency supply kit is ready to go
In addition to saving the day during other natural emergencies like tornadoes, for example, an emergency supply kit can be extremely helpful if sustained high winds make it impossible for you to safely leave your place. In general, it’s a good idea to have the following items in your kit:
- 3 days’ worth of water and nonperishable food for each member of your family
- Flashlights, extension cords, and extra batteries
- A fire extinguisher
- A manual can opener
- A hand-crank or battery-powered radio so you can stay up to date on advisories
- Food, water, and toys for your pets
- Infant formula and diapers, if necessary
- Entertainment such as books, magazines, and battery-power electronics
- Medications, a first-aid kit, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and trash bags Copies of important documents, like insurance policies, emergency contact info, and IDs
- A warm blanket or sleeping bag for everyone in the family
- At least one change of clothing
6: Turn down the temp on your fridge and freezer
If your area is expecting high winds, there’s a chance your power might get knocked out. Turning down the temperature on your fridge and freezer can save you time and help prevent food from spoiling as quickly.
7: Check weather stripping on doors and windows
Weather stripping is designed to keep the outside…well, outside. Make sure it’s in good condition on your home’s doors and windows. Intact weather stripping will help keep windy drafts from making their way into your place, and will also help ensure that cold or warm air isn’t escaping from your home — keeping you comfortable and saving you money!