Living in the Midwest, we’ve become accustomed to windstorms. However, no one ever expected to see the 140+ MPH winds the August 10, 2020 derecho brought. Although this was a difficult time for all, we did learn a lot from our experience last year on what steps to take after a large storm to help prevent future damage.
Tips for when you have damage:
- Make sure to dry out wet areas with wet/dry vacuums and fans to prevent mold.
- If your home is unsafe and you must vacate, make sure to secure your items properly to prevent theft.
- Cover any patches of roof that may have missing shingles or holes with tarp or plywood if possible.
- If you find water leaks, make sure to shut off your main water line to prevent further water damage and mold.
- Cover any broken windows there may be to help prevent from further water damage.
- If power is lost, make sure to unplug your electronics or appliances to protect from power surges when the electricity is turned back on.
- If you have any trees or limbs down, make sure to move them to a safer area to avoid any liability issues. Also make sure to trim any branches or limbs that may be broken and could easily fall.
- Clean up any debris on your property that could cause injuries if someone were to enter your property.
Tips to help prepare for future windstorms:
- Keep a few tarps on hand to cover any damage to your roof if there is any.
- In case of an electricity outage, keep things such as flashlights, batteries, non-perishable food, bottled water, cash, and portable cell phone chargers on hand.
- Having a couple small coolers will also come in handy to help keep any food in the refrigerator or freezer fresh.
- Regularly trim your trees and shrubs. The less dead limbs, branches, and sticks you have on your greenery, the less of a chance of them flying off and damaging other property.
- Make sure your roof is well maintained. Check for missing and loose shingles and patch any areas that may be of concern.
- Check your seals and insulation. Seal cracks around windows and doors to avoid high winds coming through them and causing more damage.
- If a windstorm is in the forecast, make sure to secure any outdoor furniture and other loose items. Also, if you have your car parked under a tree, see if there is another space you can park it.
- In case of a sustained power outage, keep a small generator on hand if possible. Depending on its size, you may only be able to run one item on it at a time, but it will come in handy for the essentials.
Taking these steps after a large windstorm and keeping your home and property well maintained will help with damage you may incur with future windstorms. It’s also a good idea to review your homeowner’s policy with your insurance agent to make sure you are adequately covered as well. We are always more than happy here in our Personal Insurance department at The Accel Group to go over your policy to help put your mind at ease.