Storm season is underway and has already caused substantial damage over large areas of the south. There are things you can do ahead of time to minimize potential weather-related damage.
Here are 7 tips you can do quickly that can have a huge impact on minimizing weather-related damage and preventing the need to file insurance claims.
Prune tree branches: I've mentioned this before, but it's worth reminding you to cut down any dying/dead foliage. Also, make sure no branches are near/touching your roof to prevent lightning from traveling down a tree and onto your roof, causing a fire.
Evaluate stability of fence posts: Shake the posts firmly to confirm they're secure and unlikely to allow fencing to fall over or blow away in strong winds.
Check your chimney: Ensure that your chimney flashing is in good condition and has a tight seal.
Check for drainage problems: Inspect gutters, downspouts, drains, etc. to prevent water (standing and rushing) and debris from harming your roof and foundation.
Move outdoor furniture, umbrellas, grills, plants, etc inside. If that's not possible, tie these objects together securely to make them more concentrated and heavier.
Identify a safe location for your vehicles. Obviously, the best option is in a closed garage. If you don't have a garage, find a location as close as possible to your home that: 1) is away from trees and power lines; and 2) is in a location sheltered from the wind by buildings or natural landscaping (ex. hills).
Develop a home weather safety plan that includes: 1) identifying the area in your home that will give your family the best protection from a critical weather event; 2) making sure if you have to leave your house that everyone knows what they are to do, and 3) having a specific spot for your family members to meet up if not together when bad weather strikes.
None of these items takes much time to complete and are certainly worthwhile if you anticipate a serious weather-related event coming your way.
Above all, periodically review your policies with your insurance agent to ensure you have the right protection and right amount in case disaster strikes.